Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Farewell - До свидания!

Our third and final event was held on 26th August at The Smuggins, Susan's and Davy's croft. It was a typical Shetland day - wind, sun and showers. More than fifty people were there to select their Russian roses and to help launch Susan's new project, The Claesline Gallery.

We hung the pegbags outdoors on the clothesline, although due to the unpredictable weather, we had to hang the roses and the photographs indoors.

Like at the Manezh Gallery in St Petersburg, visitors took great interest in Susan's peg collection.

We hung most of the roses that the Russians made for us to bring to Shetland in the kitchen, appropriately alongside Susan's washing machine!

We hung Susan's photographs of Shetland washing lines in the sitting room, or 'butt', in Shetland Dialect.

Everyone was very happy to receive their roses, messages and drawings. June and Stanley especially want to send a message of happiness and good will to the person who made this rose.

Many of our visitors walked up the road carrying their roses to our local community hall for Sunday Afternoon Tea organised by the Burra History Group.

We feel sad that the project has ended. We have been very touched and moved by the warm and enthusiastic response to our invitation to participate in both Shetland and Russia. We have fond memories which we will share in future as we have been invited to give some talks about the project.

Once again we would like to thank everyone who has taken part and helped at each stage. Without their support this project would not have been possible.

If you would like to contact us, please send an email: domesticdialogues@hotmail.com

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Invitation - ПРИГЛАШЕНИЕ

Приглашаем вас к выдаче подарок из Петербурга
26.08.2007, 14:00 – 18:00 ч.
Клейзлайн галерия, Смаггенз, Бридж Энд, Бурра Айл, Шетланд

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Packing Up - Собираем вещи

Today we packed everything up. Our Russian visitors made a grand total of 639 roses and tags, so it took a long time. Fortunately we had help from Alyona who we met for the first time. Then Vera, the artist who we spent time with yesterday, came along to say goodbye and ended up helping out, too. We are very grateful for their help because it was such a big job.

The leaves on this rose are incredibly delicate. The text translates, “Look at the washing in a new way.”

Many of the tags caught our eye as we were packing up. We’re not sure how many people made this one, but the rose is one of the most elaborate.

Anna taught us how to make birch bark roses today. Her mother makes them professionally and prepared all the materials we would need for Anna to bring to us. She told us that her mother collects the birch bark in June. She must go to great lengths to protect herself from the harmful insects that are a problem at that time of year.

The roses were a pleasure to make once we got the hang of it. In fact it was a wonderful way to round up this stage of our project as it extended the exchange and gift-giving.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Last Day at the Manege – Выставка кончилась!

We’ve finished. We have got so many roses to pack up and bring home, we are just amazed. This set of 'before' and 'after' photos shows what a good audience we have had. We’re looking forward to giving the roses to Shetlanders when we get back and launch Susan’s Claesline Gallery.

14 August 2007, last day of Domestic Dialogues at the Manezh Gallery

4 August 2007, first day of Domestic Dialogues at the Manezh Gallery

We’ll put more photographs of the people who exchanged roses and tags today in due course. It’s just too late and we’re too tired to do it today! Please come back.

We have received so many congratulations for our project from such a range of people, visitors, artists, organisers, we are just overwhelmed and feel very humbled. It isn’t really our project anymore in that the audience has made the work themselves. The more they made and contributed to the project, it gained its own energy and momentum.

We were speaking over supper about the changes we have seen here in Russia. When Susan was last here in the mid-1980s, we would have never imagined a project like this would be possible with so much openness and interaction between people and so much freedom of expression.


We would like to thank everyone who has taken part in this project and all the people who have helped make it possible: in Shetland - Davy Inkster, Freya Inkster, Gill Finnie and Mike Finnie; in St Petersburg - Larisa Skobkina, Curator; Nikolai Vasiliev, Alyona Voinova and Anna Spiridonova.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Gallery of Exchanges – Галлерия выдач

The second day of our exchange was busier than the first. Here are some of the people in St Petersburg who have received the gifts from Shetland. Doubleclick on the photo to see a larger version.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

First Day of the Exchange – Выдача подарков

Today we began to give away the roses and cards we brought from Shetland. It was so nice to find some of the people who had made roses last week were there waiting for us when we arrived. Everyone took a long time to select the rose and message tag. Some based their choice on the rose and some on the message, while others specially chose a drawing. Below you can see some of the people who exchanged this afternoon. There were too many to include everyone’s picture here.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Getting Philosophical - Философские вопросы

Everyday we have interesting discussions with visitors who ask us a variety of questions. The most common remains the one about why we chose laundry as the subject for the tags, although that is shifting a bit. The more tags that people write, the more visitors are seemingly wanting to debate more philosophical questions. We’ve been getting involved in more discussions about whether or not this work is art. Someone even wondered whether we are artists. We are really enjoying the openness and frankness with which visitors and other exhibitors approach us.

One visitor asked us how on earth we thought up the project. Roxane replied that it is a union of each of our works and that we made it especially for Dialogi. Our visitor, who had spent some time reading the tags, was struck by how diverse and stimulating people’s reflections were. We have been very touched by conversations like this one and by how enthusiastically visitors have contributed to the project.

We like the humour that so many people are revealing in their tags both here and in Shetland.

The Dialogi team of organisers are here at the Manezh every day, ready to help us. They are from left, Larisa Skobkina, Curator, Nikolai Vasiliev, and Alyona Voinova.

Sometimes it feels like our work is a tourist attraction, because people have been taking photos of each other in front of our work as well as while we are all working.