The Manchester Artist's Bonfire 2012 happens on Friday at Islington Mill, Salford. I was part of this event last year where I burnt my fresh from the printers book about Road-Side Markings. I burnt this book as a thinly disguised attempt at publicity, I didn't sell any more books but I met a couple of nice art people from Manchester. This event is now becoming the inaugural art event of the MCR Art calender.
This year I will be burning my maquette for a proposed public construct that was supposed to have been built in the Summer of 2011. This particular project couldn't be finalised though due to logistics and lack of finance and it kind of bugged me for some time. I think it was a little ambitious to have been built because I would've needed a lot of help and the whole project needed more planning.
I can't be there this year physically though due to have a device surgically placed to monitor my heart beat. I have a rare heart condition and this device will send the relevant data to my consultant via wifi..I'm a little apprehensive but hey-ho. The organiser is kindly going to say my piece and burn my work and I'll have a jar of ashes from the fire at a later date.
This is my pledge:
Sonny J Barker.
Title of art work:
Maquette for possible public structure
Description of art work:
Piece of Painted MDF with Plywood Squares. This was the maquette for a piece of public art that was scheduled for July 2011. It was abandoned due to timing and logistical issues.This piece spells out the word [TOUCH] in squared braille and at life sized would have been a three-tiered cement block structure.
Through destruction we have further construction..I am aiming to sacrifice previous thoughts in order to supplant a more phoenix-like process of working.
I needed to get back to why I love art and by doing this I have started a more personal and defined project…
This is my speech
Speech for MCR Artist’s Bonfire 2012
I’m sorry that I can’t be here in person, I have had some kind of recording device surgically attached to my heart and I need to convalesce. I have a condition called Dilated Cardio-Myopathy that is now being monitored.
This piece of work that I am burning is called Touch and was brought into being by my interest into public spaces and how these specific places are then used by humans and by animals.
I constructed this maquette/model after research into Braille and how this kind of semiotic text could be used to subvert the general public. I often take oblique text and use them within my artwork.
The plan was to construct this structure within a public space in the summer of 2011 but failings in logistics and because I am wholly dependant on my own funds, it couldn’t be built.
By burning this maquette, I am saying farewell to an old friend and an albatross that has lain across my studio floor. Through the destruction of this piece I may achieve a state of catharsis and begin new constructs that will be built within public space.
Sonny J. Barker