Making something small happen

art of the everyday

Category: Uncategorized

Too Many Dinner Parties

7258_613568715320098_1704535985_n

A while back I was invited to be part of a show in The Shed, Galway by PS2 Gallery Belfast. It was a really interesting opportunity to see how work travels and how it changes. I exhibited the remnants of the Come let me lighten your (ironing) load. Originally I had ironed for free in the PS2 Gallery for a week.

http://juliemillerart.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/come-let-me-lighten-your-ironing-load-after-the-show/

This time I was unable to repeat the action and instead gave a talk about my practice during the exhibition. It was great to put together something for an undefined audience.

1052312_10152948060760144_1486809060_o

Advertisements

Stone Soup

stone soup-page001stone soup-page002

An Empty Promise – Tract 11

Tract 11-page001Tract 11-page002

March – Making Something Small Happen.

tract 10-page001tract 10-page002

A tract to sum up the feeling of the project so far. The longer I stand the less answers I have but I find this a good position to be in. I Have also had a uniform made to distribute the tracts in. I will show this in my next post.

As always all comments wecome.

January Blues

How to distribute leaflets like mine amidst what seem like endless flag protests?

I have often been asked what I am doing but never have I felt the backdrop of my work as charged as it is now. During the exhibition in PS2 the flag protests began and even in the relative shelter of the gallery the juxtaposition felt very strange to me.

I have decided to take a break from distributing the tracts for a time and spend this time developing their content further.

Secular Songs

http://gu.com/p/3ckt9

Here is a link to a guardian article discussing secular carol services printed a few days after our own.

Led by John D’arcy we sang lots of songs celebrating christmas that did not mention Religion. This may sound contradictory and indeed on sending out the invites one person declined saying you can’t have Christmas without Jesus. We put this to the test, I did not do any fancy introductions it was not important to me who believed what but that we all wanted to sing together and that we recognised enough of the songs to make this possible.

We sang for a few hours and got plenty of strange looks from those passing the gallery but it really put me in the christmas spirit – for me this means spending time with family and friends, eating too much and relaxing.

Fellowship of the Faithless

Today was the quietest day so far and again a huge reminder how art often survives with a support network. It is a fragile belief and a lonely one but I am preparing for the secular singing on the 15th December and it is this that keeps me going. exhibitionBelfast has a strong art crowd that go to regular openings but the wider public do not seem to often filter through to the smaller galleries. In thinking of a church as a support network art has some parallels. Your art friends will usually attend your exhibition or friends that work in town have called in when passing. I have said before about tract giving as being self sustaining as often Christians take the tracts from those giving them in solidarity of faith and the similarity if exhibitions are predominantly attended by artists. Is it critical that those outside your field recognise your work?

Fellowship of Faithless – PS2 Gallery

Open 11-3

5 visitors today and I would like to write about 2 of them. First was an older man who knocked on the window but wouldn’t come in he just shouted “keep up the good work!” I wonder what work he wanted me to keep up whether he knows the space is an art gallery and was telling me to keep going as there where no people in the gallery or whether he recognised the space as a church and was telling me to keep going as I had no followers.

The other visitor came in to ask when my next session was, again I found myself questioning exactly what I am offering as there are no clear boundaries. I explained the space as an art gallery and the work but after an expectation of religious guidance I think he found my hope in art rather empty.

Fellowship of the Faithless – Press Release

 

Fellowship of the Faithless Julie Miller

03 – 15 December 2012

The artist Julie Miller makes pamphlets, small in format and printed on thin paper colourfully framed like the leaflets laid out on the back tables in churches.
‘A love for baking’ describes her thoughts on a bus: ‘I often think when on a bus, what if I just started singing? Would people join in like in the movies?’ In her search to stimulate change she asks: ‘But what if things are different? What if, even just for one day, I did not pretend I was the only passenger on the bus…I could bake for them’.
And like a guide for societal reform, the back of the pamphlet shows a recipe for cupcakes: Baking for the bus.

Julie Miller has written many pamphlets from ’Good Intentions’ to ‘The Perfect Gift’, beautifully designed, each describing a different situation, each offering practical solutions and actions; instructions for happenings, handed out by the artist on the streets of Belfast.
‘Fellowship of the Faithless‘ uses elements of installation and performance, interior design and ritual. Quite like any religious congregation with their attempt to create a different and higher reality? Quite like art one might counter, believing in what?

Born in Northern Ireland, where Christian beliefs are still fundamentally anchored, she investigates how forms of religion shape society, speech, politics and art.
Her work replicates religious forms and rituals and fills it with new content. God is not the centre, but human responsibility, solidarity and mutual help, enacted and communicated through pamphlets, actions and performances. They are displayed in the newly carpeted space of PS², filled with chairs, like a church, like a room ready for small revolutions, a meeting house for neo- dissenters.

Julie Miller writes about her project in PS²:
‘Evangelism, familiar to the people of Belfast is the process of promoting a set of beliefs in attempt to convert others to the same belief. Making something small happen began as a simple exploration of the possibilities that evangelism holds as an artistic methodology.

The work attempts to promote dialogue about evangelism, gift giving and reciprocal obligation. Reciprocal obligation describes the feeling that once a gift has been received one should be given in return. I am interested in how this same obligation functions within Public art in Belfast.

I have used three approaches to explore these themes. The first of these are the tracts, a form of evangelical pamphlet, written and distributed by me on the streets of Belfast. The second is the account given of my experiences during the distribution of the tracts, which takes place on my blog -makingsomethinghappen.wordpress.com. Third is a series of events that deconstruct the traditional protestant church service and investigate how they can be used to address a range of secular needs.

The work is not designed or desired to be spectacular, its strength is in its persistence. I have adopted the passive approach of one particular Christian street evangelist often seen at City Hall, who first sparked my interest in the potential of evangelism as art. This work uses many of the qualities and values that are often attributed to Christianity but reclaims these as an intrinsic part of my secular lived experience.

With this project in PS², I explore what a Fellowship of the Faithless may look like and how it could function, not as a means to exclude those with religious beliefs,  but as a fellowship which does not build its foundation on them but rather on art and its possibilities.’

 


Saturday, 08 December 2012, 2-4pm: Artist testimonies.
Please pre-book your place
 miller.julie83@gmail.com.

 

 

 

Opening hours: Wed-Fri 11am-3pm, Sat 10am-2pm Contact: pssquared@btconnect.com or 07733457772.

For more information see http://www.pssquared.org/J.Miller.php

For more information on Julie Miller see https://makingsomethingsmallhappen.wordpress.com/

OfficialAClogo

PS² is supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. This Show is also part funded by Support for the Individual Artist Award.

 

Pride comes before a fall.

Pride goeth before destruction,

and an haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 16:18

Having been raised in the Christian faith but now finding myself a reluctant atheist I am exploring the meaning of biblical phrases in a secular life. Having finished the MA Art in Public at Belfast with Distinction the theme for my next tract will be Pride comes before a fall.  I am also working on a summary for the project which will be the next post.