Songs Of The City - mapping the inspirational stratigraphy of Dundee
At the moment I am midway through a masters degree programme at Dundee's Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD). The MFA is named: Art Society and Publics and as such has a tacit focus on socially engaged art practices in the wider community. It also embraces notions concerning the nature of art writing and explores ways in which approaches to publication and writing can be delivered in non-traditional book forms and how creative research methodologies can be expressed in new and perhaps unorthodox ways - re-framing the essay or book into new modes of dissemination and exploring the boundaries of publication; for example performance and sculpture as book forms and other tangential approaches to the definition of text.
As part of this research I have created a project which focuses on local cultural value systems and attempts to identify the strands of vernacular creativity within the city of Dundee. I have used poetry as the vehicle for the first phase of this research, Dundee being deeply imbued with a strong tradition of writers and poets and also an historical cultural identity associated with printing - both journalistic and Fine Art.
Through the use of lithographic printing plates I am attempting to illustrate a poetic cartography of the landscape of Dundee. By taking site specific poems and physically placing them in the places to which they refer, my hope is to visualise the inspirational landscape of the place and to show how the urbane has also been the source of the creative wellspring - an inspirational landscape layered upon the prosaic urban environment.
The project also addresses issues surrounding cultural value systems, the commodification of art works, the ownership of work released into the public domain and the notion of creative expression linked to deep sense of place, artistic inspiration as a 'gift' and the influence of the 'genius loci'.
It is my hope that this methodology can be translated onto other situations and places forming a gentle intervention within public spaces and drawing awareness to the cultural riches which invisibly surround us all.
Songs Of The City
Any comments are most welcome.