May. 11th, 2009 10:59 pm
devi: (mirror eyes)
Hello all. This is an exploratory poll for my new Sekrit Art Project. I've been wondering what I could do to follow the collaborative maps project. I wanted to do something else that would involve contributions from lots of people. I'm not going to tell you what it is yet, in case that prejudices the answers I get, but I'd really appreciate it if you could take a minute to fill this in and help me build something cool. The more contributions I get, the more potentially cool it will be. Once I see how this poll goes, I'll either refine it and try again or come back with Phase Two.

So: Without thinking about it too hard, tell me some things that have passed through your mind lately. In single words or short phrases, if you can. As many as you like - the relevant text boxes are maximum length (255 characters). If any of them are people, please tell me roughly what relationship that person has to you (eg "Barbara (evil boss)", "Brian (best friend)").

Some of this may end up in a viewable - but much altered - form at some stage, but if you say you'd like to be anonymous I promise you won't be identifiable in any way. Your secrets are safe with me.

Thank you!

Edit: Great stuff so far, keep it coming!

[Poll #1398294]
devi: (sunhead)

Maps corner
Originally uploaded by bluedevi

Friday, 9am: [livejournal.com profile] wimble very kindly drives me, my paintings, a large shoebox covered in bits of old map found in a charity shop with a postbox slot in it where cafegoers can put their illustrated maps, and a bag full of picture wire, masking tape, glue, hammers, scissors, paper and assorted folders, down to the Magic Cafe. I've hardly had any sleep. He's on his holiday sleep pattern, so it's a scant few hours since his bedtime. We communicate mostly in "urg" and "arrrr". He helps me carry stuff in, then goes home to bed. Hafiz calls out a cheery hello from the back kitchen where he and his helper are chopping peppers for that day's salad. The cafe is empty, not open till ten, but it feels warm and homely and it's full of classical music and the smell of frying garlic. I feel like shit by most objective standards, my head feels funny and I'm having odd floaty moments, but as I start cutting lengths of picture wire and coiling the ends into loops, standing on chairs to hang paintings from the picture rail, I think damnit, I'm going to enjoy this. And I do.

blow-by-blow account continues )
It wasn't till quite late in the evening that I remembered to take photos, and quite a few people had gone home by then, but they're on my flickr page. And I love this one. It's the warmth of it against the clearly visible rainy night outside.

Table of people
Originally uploaded by bluedevi

And then it was very late and I was very drunk and everyone was going, and I had to try and remember everything Hafiz had told me earlier. Dan followed me around taking note of what I was doing, probably anticipating the many panicky questions I would ask later along the lines of "are you sure I turned off the heating?" I drunkenly did the touch-up on the map paintings and miraculously did not cover anything in paint that didn't need to be. We turned the lights off and locked the doors, with the paintings inside in the dark, and went home.

Sorry the wine wasn't mulled after all - I decided I'd be more use out front than in the kitchen. I had a fantastic evening. Thanks to everyone who came for making it all that it was.
devi: (glow)
I have been looking at printouts of the map paintings for so long that they've lost all meaning. Well, sometimes they've lost all meaning, and at other moments they take on far too much meaning, so that I become convinced they are real actual places. Some, like [livejournal.com profile] the_elyan's trackless jungles full of spirits and riddles, I wish I could go to. [livejournal.com profile] hairyears interpreted the same bit of the same map as a toxic wasteland, left that way by eco-apocalypse due to industry run rampant. You really wouldn't want to make an accidental sidestep into the wrong parallel universe there.

I'm almost done customising them as per people's suggestions (I've even made a tube map for one of them) and compiling them all into a folder. Then I'm going to buy picture hooks from B&Q. My sleep cycle is still all messed up from Christmas. I sat up much too late last night painting round the edges of canvases and doing other little fiddly things and now I'm too tired to be nervous.

Just talked to Hafiz, the lovely fluffy proprietor of the Magic Cafe, and it turns out that not only can I mull the wine tomorrow night but we can stay as long as we like. Party! (Er, you might want to bring a bottle of something yourself if you fancy staying longer than half a plastic cup's worth of time...) Apparently Daily Info are sending someone too. I wondered if it might be someone I know, but no. Erk, have only been painting regularly for less than a year, am fraud, will get reviewed as "almost endearingly shambolic" - oh shut up and sort the picture hooks out, woman.

I've been asked if the paintings are for sale, and the answer is um yes, if only because what Dan calls The Art Heap in my room is burgeoning out of control.

Had to write press release about self this week. Very weird experience.

My mum is also coming over in a couple of weeks to see the pictures and meet Dan. This will be interesting.
devi: (lost)

All this year I've been dreaming of maps, so I thought I'd try to paint some. I started with no plan in mind and a random wiggly line for the coast and built the contours up from there. Of course, they're not remotely as cool as the ones in my dreams, which are part map, part blueprint, part weird schematic diagram. I don't even think they're that interesting as paintings, standing alone. But I have a plan for them, as part of my exhibition at the Magic Café in January, and I'm going to need your help.

There are no people on these maps. No towns, no roads, no names on anything. They're empty landscapes. I was going to see what they suggested to me and draw cities and roads and stuff on with a marker, but then I had a more interesting idea. I want you to populate them for me.

All contributions will be welcome. No matter how small. No matter how mundane or fanciful or frivolous. Anything from a one-line comment saying "I think there'd be a bridge there" right up to an extensive treatise on the history, culture and economy of the land. What I'd be especially happy for you to do is to download one of the large images behind the thumbnails, draw features on it and mail it back to the address in my userinfo. Or just comment on this post – comments with ideas in will be left screened because I don't want people's ideas to influence each other. What I hope will be really interesting about this is what different people will see in the same image.

For the exhibition, I'll compile everyone's contributions and map images into a book which will be displayed alongside the paintings. (Let me know if you want to be credited by username or otherwise.) There'll also be images of the blank map available there, so people at the café can add their own ideas. It might be part of my website eventually. I'll be doing my own version, possibly versions, but my contribution is no more important than yours.

Suggestions to kickstart you. Possibly blindingly obvious. I honestly have no idea how easy or difficult people will find this. )

…basically, anything whatsoever that occurs to you about what might go on in these landscapes. There are no rules or constraints. The colours are only supposed to indicate contours, not necessarily climate. The two maps may or may not be part of the same world. You tell me.

If you like this, please spread the word – I want to get as many contributions as I can. Please get it in by 20th December, to give me a chance to compile it all into a folder, though if you send me stuff before that I'll appreciate it. I'll unscreen comments when it's all over. The exhibition will be running from the 4th to the 31st of January at the Magic Café, Magdalen Road, Oxford.

Thank you!

(Oh, and check out strangemaps, as recommended by [livejournal.com profile] tamaranth, for possible inspiration, weirdness and general map-geek joy.)

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