Conjunction: Eccentrics and Radicals

IssueDecember 2008 - January 2009

A body of work by Liz Jones, based on musings on creative nonviolent interventions at military places, in particular AWE Aldermaston.
This exhibition was held in Rope Store Gallery, Quay Arts, Ventnor, Isle of Wight August 12th - October 6th 2008. Here are her words describing the work around creative nonviolence.

Outside the gallery, as if standing guard at the entrance, and seen from across the river stood an 8 foot high painting of a police evidence gatherer happily knitting. Inside, a large textile map of AWE Aldermaston with attached draft plans for alternative developments used last Easter by “spy-developers” on site to start that work.

Three hand printed T-shirts about Newbury court, police station and the Empire cafe as a tribute to the place of dialogue, and to transform one’s approach to these places. The cafe is a given, it does a lot - gives refreshment and provides a place for meeting, chatting and plotting. The court T-shirt includes such words as “gigs with support” and the police station shirt – “bed and veggy brekkas”.

Further evidence of these playful, committed, post-protest type experiment interventions include a painting of the arrested plant-mister (above), bagged at a “Vine and Figtree Planting”. Its resonance as a gardening tool for plant care that is taken as police evidence has a place in the overall plan of making the change you want to see. It is funny, innocent and begins the process of transformative action.

Spy communication bean cans are strung up with a rack of spy papers. People-activists take on undercover spying while keeping their wits and wit about them with secret subversion. Pub cushions have been made for where the local spies regularly gather. This builds up an artist’s contribution to an activist culture.

Also in the show; concrete mobile phones, wooden credit cards, a 6ft painting of a bean seedling, a big penny, knitting for knitting, a stitched threatening red court letter, cards for prisoners of conscience – it was all connected in a way and made a certain sense in that space - a gallery and meeting place for the Quakers.

Topics: Culture