Canada: A spring residency

Sophia Moseley is on the brink of embarking on a residency in the mountain-side town of Banff in Alberta, Canada. While there, she will be working on a project surrounding the ‘deregulation’ of language through the mediums of art and storytelling. In this first of a series of three on the residency, and just before she sets off on her travels, Sophia explains the project in further detail ….

In a weeks time I will be located at The Banff Centre in Canada for a month’s residency. During this time period, I hope to develop a project I have in mind and have had on the mind for some time. Unable to proceed and develop this work in the manner in which I’d like, due to the restrictions and distractions of everyday living, I think some time alone up in the mountains of Banff might just cure this conundrum.

My project goes like this: I’m interested in storytelling and exploring the capacities in which we communicate, through found objects and discarded messages. I have this habit of picking up other people’s throwaways, discarded objects like notes, train tickets, perhaps little pieces of map. I’ve always been a bit of a magpie, able to entertain the notion of living in someone else’s shoes for a moment or two.

I have been collecting these old postcards, photographs and found objects such as notes and train tickets for approximately three years, building up a huge collection to encompass an artwork surrounding memories.

The growth of digital applications and virtual communication tools such as social networking sites have changed the way we interact with each other, in contrast to a past world connected by the more intimate telegram, letter and personal messenger. I have started to question the effect of these developments and whether they could be stunting creativity in relation to how we connect as a society.

In other words, has our language become ‘deregulated’?

Through this collection of discarded objects, I would like to create a body of work that comments on the idea, how we preserve our history, creating a work of other people’s memories that can be distributed to the masses, just as we do via social networking sites as a way of storytelling.

To execute the project I plan on creating a series of prints including collage, alongside other print methods. Some working directly with the found objects by incorporating them into the work itself, and others making a comment by fiction inspired from the found object. In a world where social networking sites are a way of expressing and filing messages and memories, I am interested in distributing these found messages and pieces of human lives as tactile works.

Of course, over the period of a month this body of work may take a completely different form. It’s hard to tell at a project’s conception.  But, eager to use my time exploring these notions and attempting to answer my own questions, it’s going to be exciting. And time spent in the Canadian mountains won’t be half bad either.

Article by Sophia Moseley


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