Collaborative Drawing Series #2, Installed at OCHO, Questa New Mexico
For the last week and a half, visitors at OCHO Art & Event Space have been getting a glimpse of some of the adventures, observations and imaginings that flowed through our pens and out into our “Dreaming Place Collaborative Drawing, Series #2” that we created during our Place Dreamer Pod Tour in 2013.
The sixteen linked drawings are installed in a wide hallway between rooms, so everyone passes them when moving from the front gallery to the back of the building. It is appropriate that viewers are usually on the move, transitioning from once space to another while looking at the drawings, as we were often in the same situation, moving from place to place in the Irish Borderlands, when we made these drawings.
It’s been fun watching people look at them and fielding people’s questions and comments. There was a very well attended “PechaKucha Event” at OCHO last night and we had lots of positive feedback from viewers enjoying the quirky patchwork pen and ink drawings nailed to the wall.
Claire and her young sidekick installing the drawings….
Here is an excerpt from the statement that is installed next to the drawings:
“We see drawing as an exploratory tool, like wandering, never knowing what you’ll find or who you’ll meet on the way. Whether a kind of dreaming tool into our own psyche, an observational tool illuminating the world around us, or a tool of introduction, allowing us access to people’s homes and lives as subject matter, for us they are all aspects of one of our favorite Place-Dreamer tools: Drawing.”
You can see images of all our collaborative drawings from both Series #1 and Series #2 HERE.
Individual drawings are available as limited edition prints.
Please contact us if you’re interested in ordering prints.
“It’s my dream to own a kettle like that!” says Mary-Jane, her tiny frame tilted back to take in the beauty of our family-size kettle which hangs from the pod’s rear hatch. Its brown enamel surface is hand-painted with bright bargee swirls and flowers and it’s slightly scuffed.
We are bursting to say “here you are, Mary –Jane please take it as a gift from us; for hasn’t she just given us an envelope with money in it, to repay our visit just as if we are her own children or grandchildren? But we don’t and the kettle stays in our care, ‘cos without it who knows how can we boil water for our visitors’ tea?
Back on the road we decide we will gift the kettle, but later on when we don’t need it so badly. So when we get back to England it is carefully wrapped and sent over to its new owner, Mary-Jane of Tawny McKelly. So that if you pass by her cottage today or tomorrow asking for “a little water from the tap” just as we did, to quench your cyclers’ thirst, Mary -Jane will say, “You can, Aye, so you can surely, surely.” And then she’ll say, “Are you needin’ a cuppa tea o’ anything?” And when you say, “Yes that would be grand!” She’ll invite you in through the front door and you’ll l sit on the sofa by her dresser, decked with birthday cards and the radio still playing.
“It’s a long way you’ve come isn’t it?” she’ll say and “D’you want a chicken sandwich d’you?”
Our Place-dreamer pod really is lovable and willing, billed as “Self-sufficiency and the Power of Dreams” our little micro-caravan draws the attention of many curious visitors at” Renewable Energy Market Place,” the biggest energy event in the South-West of England.
At the comfortable Encounters compound visitors are invited to join the great energy debate, sitting down to “tell a story” to another visitor and climbing into the cosy interior of the pod to immerse themselves in the rich collage of music, voice and sound that is “Radio Dreaming Off-grid.”
That Artists are invited to collaborate in such an event is a great innovation and a forward looking response to the challenges of the future. The upbeat Visual minutes company documents the conference with drawn image and text and The Art and Community hub generates a tangible thrum to enliven the wider energy debate. Matt Harvey, Regen South West resident poet, David Buckland of Cape Farewell and Ruth Ben-Tovim of Encounters are among the inspiring speakers of the day who share their particular energy and vision.
We were invited to participate as an exhibitor in this renewable energy expo by Chloe Uden of Regen Southwest. Billed as “Self-sufficiency and the power of dreams” our interactive art installation presents “Radio Dreaming Off-grid Part 1 & 2”, which will be playing inside the Pod as well as our expanding collection of props to spark conversations around renewable energy and sustainable lifestyles.
Some of the props visitors might stumble upon in and around the pod will include our trusty Kelly Kettle and driftwood kindling, camping gas stove, solar panels facing south, and new props to spur conversation about clean, dirty and potential fuels, ie. bottle of bluegreen algae, seaweed, turf, wood, coal, plastic, hemp oil, dandelion head, plants, fermented foods.
If you’re in the Devon area, come and check out the Pod! More info on the event here. If you’re out of range, have no fear, we’ll be doing a follow-up post rich with images for all you eager readers wanting a report on our experience.
We are delighted to share a wonderfully evocative, new piece of writing about Radio Dreaming and Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, by novelist and art writer Tracey Warr. It is called “Under The Blanket of the Land: ClaireandAnna, Radio Dreaming.”
“Hold a shell up to your ear and you hear the sound of the sea, a sound that tells you maritime stories, conjures up ships, waves, tides coming in laden with seaweed, sea breezes whipping your hair into your eyes. Artists Claire Coté and Anna Keleher make artworks that do something similar but with the sound of the land instead. Their artworks and radio broadcasts invoke ancient and contemporary stories of the land: its undulations, its soils, the layers of rock beneath our feet in a subterranean world usually hidden from view. The artists use the human geography and history of landscapes to speculate about our shared future.”Read more
During our Place-Dreamer Pod Tour, we visited the Organic Centre in Co. Leitrim. The students of the permaculture course that was taking place there at the time came out to visit the Pod during their tea break. Between drizzles, they listened to Radio Dreaming in the Pod and gathered ’round the hatch at the back to chat with us about “Off-Grid” ideas, tools and cures. (It was also during our time at the Organic Centre that we met Hans Weiland who told us about his very interesting Off-Grid entertainment/weather prediction method involving clouds. We blogged about it here, and featured him and the topic of cures in our Off-Grid Radio Dreaming Episodes Part 1 & 2. You can listen to them here.)
Conversation wandered from solar panels, to the kelly kettle, to the bramble vine we were using as a clothes line (clothes pins naturally included!) and finally landed on the topic of “cures.” We talked about traditional cures and hedgerow cures and cures that one might find in the kitchen or vegetable garden. There were a range of voices in this group, male and female, Irish as well as folks from other countries. Once the conversation got rolling, many people chimed in with a cure from their granny or something they’d learned recently.
Like a faithful pet our little pod follows us to outlying homesteads, castles, museums, lakes and windy hilltops, providing refuge to all sorts of people and their dreams. With its gleaming shell, comfy sofa and tool-kit of unusual props the pod becomes a vibrant hub of dialogue, music , ideas and laughter.
In the coming months we’ll be creating Episode 5 from audio footage gathered on the island of Ireland so completing our Radio Dreaming series. Look out for news of broadcasts on Community radio stations around the world.
A pod party is a great way to make art in outlying areas.
Today we are out and about. Sure it will be another enjoyable and busy day. Perhaps today the crows will be listening in as they climb the thermals on the crag and the swans may be listening from the lough.
We have been asking people at the Geopark for their definitions of Off- Gridding for our final Radio Dreaming Episode. Here are some initial responses from Louise, Judy and Marylin, who we spoke to at a Place-Dreamer Pod Tour home visit.
Today Monday April 29th we are visiting the Organic Centre at Rossinver to get a tour and speak with the staff about their take on off-gridding. No promises… but we should be around.
On Sunday we turned up at the Organic Centre a day early and invited, Lynne who was cooking lunch for participants on the centre’s”Reed-Bed” course to chat with us in our wee recording booth pod. In the 80’s Lynne and her partner who knew nothing about horses or life on the road, built a gypsy caravan, bought a horse and off they went, to travel the byways of Ireland. We were interested to hear her story and her reflections about her previous life style, particularly because one of our missions on this trip is to record conversations and sounds for our final Radio Dreaming episode on off-grid dreams and self sufficiency. She regales her kids with stories from that hard but rewarding period of her life when many lessons were learnt and the importance of warmth water and shelter were all important.
This week we started off the Radio Dreaming Pod Tour in Cavan town outside the Courthouse, town centre carpark and Bullock Art Centre.
Many of you stopped by on the way out of court to work or the library to admire the pod, climb aboard the pod for a listen or to respond to some of our Place-dreamer props. We heard some wonderful and inspiring stories about boglands,wild food, and hair rinses. And some of you stopped by for tea with us. Up on the hill traveler children came out to look at our wee caravan and ask for CDs of our episodes for their grannys and grandads. After an interview with local Cavan TV, we were invited on to a boat rally. Tea and sandwiches and many stories later later we finished up at Sally’s house to rescue a drowned boat from the lake!
Radio Dreaming Pod Tour: Marble Arch Caves Geopark, Éire/Northern Ireland 25 April – 17 May 2013 Claire Coté (New Mexico) and Anna Keleher (Devon)
Part listening booth, part Place-Dreamer tool-kit, Anna and Claire’s roving off-grid installation features voices of Marble Arch Caves Geopark. A 5-part radio adventure, Radio Dreaming whisks you over-ground and underground in search of edible landscapes, wild dreams and myths of the land. Visitors to the Pod are invited to share a pot of tea, step aboard to listen or simply to dream.
Catch the pod at MAC visitor Centre 5th May 10am-5pm, Enniskillen Castle Museum courtyard, Mon 6th May 10am-5pm, Green Lake opening 15th May, 7-9pm Cavan town or look out for the Place-Dreamer Pod as it tours to off-grid locations in Cavan, Fermanagh and Leitrim through 17th or May.
We made our Funding Goal, thank you so much for supporting us along the way.
We chose Kickstarter as our funding platform and the process has taught us so much. Our backers are now in a very real sense, part of our project.
A big thank also to Claire’s audience at Ocho Art Space in Questa, New Mexico, for their interest and support of our “Radio Dreaming Launch and Fundraiser”.
The audio-visual presentation, like all other aspects of our work together, was a collaboration. It was a fun evening!
Anna spoke via prerecorded audio and then Claire picked up the rest of it live. Our collaborative DREAMING PLACE Drawings were also on view in their entirety and Radio Dreaming Episode previews were available for listeners on headphones. The audience was great, so responsive and they asked great questions! Aspects of this presentation will be available soon here at www.dreamingplace.eu.
On Saturday, Anna picked up our new Place-Dreamer Pod, a taste of things to come. There were still patches of snow in the English Midlands and narrow boats were breaking through thin-ice on the canals. Looks like we may need long-johns, gloves, scarves and hats in Ireland; or will it be spring?
It was lovely to meet Nigel, of Diddyvans Teardrop Trailers, who built our Place-Dreamer Pod and see his workshop. Midlanders are real family people so as well as Nigel, we met his mum, who made the polka dot curtains, mattress covers and two extra cushions. The Pod is easy to manoeuvere (at least Nigel made it look that way as he brought it down the alley to hitch up with the van).
Soon we were streaming along the ancient Fosse Way with the Pod in tow, passing through quaint villages in Shakespeare country and looking forward to all that awaits us in Ireland.
Great news! Our Pod is really coming together. We’ve just had an update from Nigel of Diddyvans Teardrop Trailers. His mate, Rob, has been over to help him put on the Pod’s aluminium “skin”. The wood-burner has been roaring, but even so the freezing weather has meant the varnish has taken an age to dry.
We just love that our off-grid Place-Dreamer Pod will be energy self-sufficient. We’re so looking forward to road testing it. The comfy listening suite inside will be powered by two leisure batteries stowed under the “Pod’s kitchen” hatch. The batteries will be charged by two portable solar panels and on grey days (for which Ireland is famous of course!) through a special plug fitted along with the tow-bar to draw surplus energy from the battery of our towing van, keeping the Pod batteries topped up as we drive from venue to venue.
DREAMING PLACE is an experimental project by Anna Keleher (Devon) and Claire Coté (New Mexico), investigating dúlra – ecosystem; dúchas– heritage; aisling – dream. Based on an ancient Celtic tradition in which the land remembers everything, the project explores “dreams of place” and how lands speak through dreamers.
I believe the work you do really helps people to value what is important about their place in space – keep it up.
-Dave Scott, Gortatole Activity Centre Facilitator, N. Ireland
I'm loving the sounds, smells, textures, and virtual visuals of Radio Dreaming! It's a 'mini-vacation'!!
-Gale Picard Dorion, NM
A wonderful project, reconnecting to and listening to inner/outer Nature is crucial in this time of ecological and ethical crisis.
-Colin Donoghue, NY
I just listened to Radio Dreaming and I enjoyed it so much. It was really beautiful and soothing to listen to because I could sense how "in the moment" you guys were through your voices. I need more stuff like that in my life; Inspiring and interesting and a bit higher up on the cultural ladder that my usual forms of entertainment.
-Jessica Scott, OR