During my masters I began to get a rash when I stood up in front of people to talk about things I wasn’t sure about but cared about. I often speak in front of people and I’m fine, in fact I enjoy it, the rash just happened sometimes.
At a tutor's suggestion I wrote about the rash. Afterwards I read the rash text aloud, before presentations, to just point to it as it came up, so people would have a good long look at it before I started to talk about my "real work".
Writing about the rash, to own it in someway, is a methodology I’d often employ when making art. Unintentionally the rash text became performative and practically it became an effective way of dealing with the physical discomfort of public speaking. Though this is a simple example, I think there is great educational value in examining these kinds of self-reflexive, experimental methodologies that are integral to art practice.
Over the past year I have been researching and writing about the role of artist’s practice in gallery based education and working to locate my own practice in relation to the field. Education programmes in the contemporary gallery context are perfectly situated to support these conversations. I have always considered these boundaries to be blurry: education in the gallery often intersects with artists’ practice, at times they are inextricably linked. I believe that in order to avoid reductively simplifying a practice, or condescending to an audience, there needs to be a multiplicity of forms. The spread of the rash, reaching into unwanted places, posed an obstacle. Writing and reading the rash text is an example of a self-reflexive practice -praxis. Although it is an older term, ancient Greek, I use Paulo Freire’s articulation of praxis:
Human activity consists of action and reflection: it is praxis; it is transformation of the world... action and reflection occur simultaneously
- Paulo Freire