ANGEL O’LEARY

I had reached a point where I had no ideas about where my art should be going or what to make. I chose to present a collection involving drawing, writing, photos, videos, music, and performance as an interactive installation. My hope was that the end result would be a visualization of the working of the conceptual process within my studio practice.

I put up everything I had done in the past few month up on the wall in order to see if I could find patterns or direction. I was present in the gallery sitting partially blindfolded inside a giant bell jar.

Before the first of the three days I had placed red X's next to ideas and images that I found significant. The visitors/collaborators were invited to place blue X's next to things they found significant.

Before the second day I strung red string between ideas and images which I felt were connected. On the second day the collaborators were invited to do the same with blue string.

On the third day I wrote in a new sketchbook ideas that came from the collection. The collaborators were invited to whisper anything they wanted to me through ear horns in the bell jar.

Come in and Visit forced me to look at what I had been avoiding and glossing over in my art. It was very hard putting my private thoughts out there for the public to see, but this showed me how kind and respectful people can be. It allowed me to engage in a creative dialogue with my viewers, who became a living mirror for my creative process.

The result was an interaction which sparked a refinement of my interactive approach along with a sharpening of my awareness of the key issues within the practice.