We have made, bubbled-wrapped, packed. Queued at the post office: Katja in Stockholm, Roberta in Milan, I was then in Delhi. We are nine artists living and practising in different countries, and we all work with clay.
We met in February, 2012 during a residency for young ceramic artists in Denmark. For six weeks we made, fired in the studio and outdoor kilns, cooked in turn in the kitchen and ate dinner together, watched films, spent hours at the local second-hand shop, worked until late in the studio, cycled in the countryside and, in the last days, put up an exhibition of our work.
We were wishing this symposium would not end. So one afternoon, we decided we would live on as ‘Project Network 3 (three)’, a collective named after the title of our residency group. We decided to organise a travelling exhibition, called Fragile! In transit.
The idea was simple: once back home, each of us would make a ceramic piece and send it to Clare in Belfast, where she organised an exhibition at the Maxwell Street Studios last August. Afterwards, the boxes containing our work travelled to Helene in Denmark, who exhibited the nine pieces as part of the Culture Week in Bornholm in September. This was the beginning of the journey. In the course of one year, we will post our ceramics nine times, to nine cities, to each of us. Soon it will go to Jill in Manchester, and next year to Egle in Vilnius, to Joe in Cardiff…
We are using the regular post office services, so we know we may have to use superglue sometimes. But from the start, we were ok about this. Because it’s cheaper, because it’s more fun also, and because we wanted to make it easy to work again together despite the distance.
Recently, Katie curated the Fragile! In transit exhibition in a bar in London. I travelled there for the occasion. It was nice to meet up after long and to see the work in the flesh. It’s interesting also how each of us decides to curate the exhibition, interpreting the show in their own way. The nine exhibitions will not only be different because they are set in different contexts but because they are reinvented each time.
For more photos and to follow the journey, visit our blog: http://projectnetwork3.tumblr.com/.
Élodie Alexandre is a freelance ceramic artist and illustrator. Originally from France, she lived for 10 years in the UK where she was working and studying, and has recently spent a lot of time in India. Right now, she is about to return to the UK to study for her Master in ceramics in Cardiff. She enjoys documenting her stories of living abroad in drawings which she publishes on her blog, www.elolala.wordpress.com. To know more about her work, you can visit her website www.elodiealexandre.com.