“In the best conversations, you don’t even remember what you talked about, only how it felt. It felt like we were in some place your body can’t visit, some place with no ceiling and no walls and no floor and no instruments.” – John Green, Turtles All The Way Down
Just prior to lockdown – what now feels like an age ago – a groundbreaking new art project was just beginning to take shape. Consequences was born; a partnership between Metal Peterborough and Kate Genever funded by the Integrated Communities Fund with the support of Arts Council England. A series of face-to-face workshops planned; women across the local area and beyond were invited to – quite simply – draw and talk. The idea behind it? To enable women from a variety of backgrounds to explore themselves and others through the means of doodling and debating. With everything from the clothes we wear to our relationships with others, political activism and perception of self – no stone was left unturned, no topic ‘too much’. With paper and pencils at our helm we were encouraged to let loose on the surreal, the sublime, and the downright silly.
As with everything else in Covid’s path, the face-to-face aspect of the project was suspended as lockdown was announced, and the project subsequently remodelled. What had begun as collaborative, larger drawings passed between each other now translated to smaller, individual pieces of work created by individuals on whatever was to hand – an old cereal packet, a notebook, or even a newspaper – and shared within the arena of Zoom. Thanks to the power of technology the conversations continued, albeit with the occasional glitch and a degree of altered dynamics. As time went on and our worlds continued to shift, new issues emerged and presented themselves as talking points; a chance to learn not just about the experiences of others but also to understand our own responses to the good and bad. Whilst difficult to distance from the political underpinning of many issues, ‘lighter’ topics were welcomed as we considered what was better – cats or dogs?
In the latter stages of the project a postal element was introduced, and remains an active part of what is now the live exhibition. Collaboration and togetherness was at the very core of the project and as such, people of all genders and backgrounds are now invited to participate and share in the exhibition as it stands now.
To view the exhibition and see the ways in which you can get involved, visit www.whataretheconsequences.com between 15th August and 15th September. Get involved on social media using the hashtag #WhatAreTheConsequences.
You can read more about Metal Peterborough here: http://www.metalculture.com/about-us/peterborough/
You can explore Kate Genever’s work here: www.kategenever.com