Alicja, Tracy & Chris: Interview extract

Alicja:  I was attracted by making work for a specific family because as an artist you mostly make work for an imagined audience. You almost project an idea of who will look at the work, yet you don’t really get to meet the audience, you don’t get much feedback, and you don’t get to shape the work in response to it. I’ve been trying to escape this idea of a universal art and its public by creating works or projects that have very specific audiences in mind. Normally commissions like these are for an art gallery or institution. Even if they happen outside of that context they are not really for the people you make the artwork with. This project is different and I like its generosity. It’s exciting but also scary.

Chris: It was scary for us too. I would never have thought that anyone would ever want to entertain to do something like this for us. We chose you but you could have walked in and gone “I can’t work with this family”. But things just seemed to gell. Before you knew it we were sitting here talking about art, life and this that and the other. It was like talking to someone we’d known for a long time. It felt really comfortable. But if we’d seen you in an art gallery we wouldn’t have approached you. We would have assumed that you wouldn’t want to talk to people like us. At the end of the day though you’re a person like everyone else. We’re all the same. It’s just that somewhere along the line someone’s given us labels. And if you get beyond labels you find friends, as we’ve found here.

Alicja: I come from a family of non artists (people that are not professionally doing art) and I think most of artists do. It’s not such a long time ago that I didn’t have much experience of art. So as an artist you’re not that different. You develop a different way of thinking and doing, a language of a sorts, but that doesn’t make you an alien. But there are these stereotypes and they happen in every profession. Actually I don’t think the barrier was that strong in our case, it was more the not knowing….

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