Two people have recently moved into a house in the Garnets area of Beeston. Nothing unusual there, except that Toby Lloyd and Andrew Wilson are ‘artists in residents’, employed by East Street Arts to work with local residents over the next year.
Here they introduce themselves by summarising a few key elements of their working methods.
Artists are not (ahem) a waste of space* – well not these two
The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well. Psychotherapist Alfred Adler observed that the only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well, suggesting that our notion of ‘normal’ is a concept projected upon another.
We’re not ‘drag and drop’ artists. We’re not interested in producing static objects, painting or sculpture, etc. and moving them from one place to another for people to simply look at them. We have built spaces and hosted events that encourage people to talk to one-another, to open-up common and conflicting experiences of everyday life.
We have a romantic view of the ‘Public House’ where once a visitor has bought or been bought a drink they are in an environment where they are a participant rather than a spectator. We often borrow familiar features of the Public House within our working practices.
Despite brewing our own beer it is not a key factor and often doesn’t appear. In a number of previous projects we have opened galleries for breakfast serving Tea + Toast from 7am. Surprisingly these breakfast sessions often attracted more visitors than the regular opening hours.
People are often mystified by ‘art’ and the ‘art world’. Marcel Duchamp once gave up painting for a period and became a librarian because he was frustrated that art was only talking to itself. He said ‘it came from several things, firstly rubbing shoulders with artists, the fact that one lives with artists, talks with artists, displeased me a lot’.
We have no fixed Ideology. We are more interested in talking to people and finding how they agree and disagree with one another and how this changes the way we think and act.
Art can be magical. But we’re not magicians.
Toby Lloyd and Andrew Wilson have recently moved to Leeds from Newcastle upon Tyne, will be working closely with East Street Arts. If you see them in the street do say hello or if you want to contact them directly you can do so by email at:
* Toby and Andrew suggested a briefer, more Anglo-Saxon term.