2nd conference: Sustainable Art Communities: Creativity and Policy in the Transnational Caribbean
Joy Gregory, Artists in the archives of the lost and forgotten
Artists in the archives of the lost and forgotten When Derek Bishton and his wife Merrise bought a small beach house retreat in Reading, just outside Montego Bay, they discovered among the things left in the property a storeroom filled with dressmaking materials. They belonged to Trevor Owen, the former owner of the house, who had passed away a few years previously. My interest in forgotten or marginalised historical figures such as Matron Bell and Mary Seacole led to an invitation by Derek to create an event which would cast new light on the life of Trevor Owen. In response I set up the Beach House Residency Workshop, which took place in July and August 2013. The invited participants were photographer O’Neil Lawrence (Jamaica), visual artist Marianne Keating (Ireland), video and performance artist Olivia McGilchrist (Jamaica), and design historian and writer Davinia Gregory (UK). Drawn from a range of disciplines, they took part in a period of collaborative research and offered personal responses to the venue and in memory of Trevor Owen. This presentation will consider the experience of developing the Beach House Residency, and compare it to the process of artists working with un-catalogued archives at a residency at Lewisham Hospital, which led to the production of ‘Matron Bell’, a permanent site-specific installation. Biography: Joy Gregory is an internationally recognised and award-winning artist. Prominent in her field, she has always taken a cross-disciplinary approach to her work in the vehicle of photography; she is an artist of ideas constantly pushing the boundaries of the medium. Born in England to Jamaican parents, Gregory grew up in Buckinghamshire. She is a graduate of Manchester Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art (MA Photography, 1986) where she won prizes for still-life and architectural photography. She has since exhibited her work all over the world and featured in biennales and festivals, and has received numerous awards – most notably a Fellowship from the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA). In 2009 she was shortlisted for the Mary Seacole Memorial, a major sculpture commission for London. Her latest film, Gomera was premiered at the 2010 Sydney Biennale and forms part of a major survey exhibition – Lost Languages and Other Stories – which is currently on tour at Impressions Gallery, Bradford. Some images, sounds or other media used in the following presentation are subject to copyright restrictions that prevent them being shown. In order to provide a complete record of the conference, these items have been blurred or silenced. Should we obtain permission to use these images, sounds and other media in the future the films will be updated.