Czuj czuj, czuwaj!
If you are having difficulty deciphering the title and then the first line of this post, unlike me, you obviously weren’t a Polish Girl Scout in your youth. Never mind, nobody’s perfect.
The title is in Morse code and means Thanks, (the first line’s a Polish scout greeting.) I count having included Morse code in some of my poems as one of my biggest poetic achievements to date!
Why Morse code? Apart from the fact that I’ve always loved the idea of translating secret messages into lights that could wink across a dark sea, and without spoilers: check out Invisible Flock’s walk from Fabrica to the Marina http://fabrica.org.uk/exhibitions/invisible-flock/. Well worth going right to the end even though it was raining.
Why Thanks? It’s too early in my residency to be thanking people but I don’t care, I want to. First I want to thank the wonderful army of Fabrica volunteers who are encouraging visitors to the gallery to answer my Three Questions on the cards there. Secondly, thanks to everyone who is sending in answers whether on this blog under Questions or in the gallery. Have you read each others answers?
You’ve been arriving: without so much as a second glance from seeing Kinetica Bloco, tunnels, semi-detached existence, night & convention, make-believe, the edge of the world, Ealing (same thing?), Hamburg, heaven, a sea of memories, Yorkshire, Ostia Lido, Up North, just off the M62, Cyprus, sun, a crowd of women, from inside, from mothers, evasive fathers, the past, the unknown, a puzzle, a roller coaster ride…carrying songs, sonnets & childhood baggage, a suitcase of doubts, fear, without looking where you’re going…declaring green, imprints, secrets, hair colour, a trillion cells, the mind mined, love, language, lust & kindness, confusion, passion, truth, uncertainty… your purpose to gaze at the nape of her neck, to grow vegetables, to listen, struggling between the place you’re from and where you live, loving the Third Quartet, disagreeing, travelling light, crossing borders of hesitation, through the Green Zone, looking for a way out…
Don’t assume all you see is all I am (says Roo). It’s true, we have no idea what stories people have to tell. Being an artist in residence I’ve decided is a bit like being a bartender – people tell me their stories. Let’s say it’s a bar on the good ship Fabrica. People wander in, swaying on sea legs. Some love the adventure, some are feeling queasy.
I have done two of my meet-the-bartender-in-residence sessions already. (Please go to Events for details of the next, May 16th, May 23rd and May 27th). The first one was before the Festival, quieter, though there was already a steady trickle of people coming in to watch the Otoliths’ film, plus some who came specially to see me which was lovely. Then last Saturday it was so packed with the start of Brighton Festival I practically had to fight my way in saying Let me through I’m an animateur… What I do is go up to unsuspecting art lovers (casually, as if I were collecting empty glasses) and ask them if they’d like to answer some soul-searching questions about the meaning of life. Blow me down! They are as game as bagels and all say yes. Thanks awesome public!
They say heart-breaking stuff like the person who liked their life here but said everything looks wrong & they wished they’d never left their own country. Or another who wrote declaring they felt numb and didn’t belong anywhere. And Kitty on my Questions asks: I have to wonder, though, if it was actually braver to leave it all behind. So it’s not all plain sailing. Though one of my first visitors declared Maths to be beautiful… If you haven’t already done it, send me your answer, you can have more than one go, you could adopt another identity. Or perhaps you already have? Dash, dot dot dot dot, dot dash, dash dot, dash dot dash, dot dot dot!*
*Ok, I googled it – I am not a fluent Morse coder.