Introduction to the exhibition
The idea of Keeper had been with me for some years – that I would perform a piece for which I would manage a space full of objects over a period of time. When Mission Gallery offered this opportunity, the work developed in discussion with Amanda Roderick and other gallery staff, and with Owen Griffiths. The notion of a number of roles or characters became the plan to invite others to mind the space for periods of the exhibition.
I have returned repeatedly to Jane Rendell’s writing for insight about both space and place, but also the processes and structure of writing. Her essay ‘The Welsh Dresser’ provided an example of deconstructed writing presented in a particular visual format – it was also about Rendell’s connection to Wales. When I emailed her to see if she would take part, she responded immediately and positively.
Kathryn Faulkner is an old friend and colleague, and I had long admired her photographic work, characterised by a quiet, thoughtful response to the book and space. We had met living and working in London, but Faulkner had grown up in Swansea. Inviting her back seemed appropriate and her calm and charismatic presence within the gallery, and the pleasure of those who had Biblioscription consultations confirmed that decision.
Karen Ingham is a colleague and supervised the writing and making of my MPhil dissertation. When I spoke with her about the project she showed such interest that I realised she was the other keeper I was looking for, and that her professionalism and enthusiasm would add so much to the project.