Rosalie & Judy: interview extract

Judy: We gathered lots of things that I’d had in my loft and around my space, from journeys and collections and gifts. Things that I no longer needed or wanted. We wanted to raise money with that as you would in a normal boot fair but we added an extra little twist. There was a sign saying “your purchase today will fund a new art collection”. 

Rosalie: People seemed to re-act as if it it was a completely normal thing to do. If you want to start an art collection you sell your old stuff!

Rosalie: We’ve been at Faversham market selling since 7:30am this morning. We’ve made £94.04 (including one donation) and with the money made today we’re starting the Judy Art collection. I’m going to draw up a shortlist of artists and do a little report on them and analyse them and see which ones are worth investing in. 

Judy: Rosalie is my new broker….

Rosalie: …And Judy is now a collector. And £94.04 is our budget.

Rosalie: Each future artist will have to do something which generates money to continue the collection. 

Rosalie: I really wanted to come up with a structure that would generate more art rather than it being a finished thing. I also wanted to address the question of who funds art. We talked a lot about this. It was very funny because a local artist came by today and we explained the project to her, and she suddenly started treating Judy like a proper collector and gave her her card, as in “here’s my card in case you want to commission me with the money you make.”

Judy: We might have to make up a whole new persona for me. I serve this lady on a regular basis in Boots, and she’s never seen me in this light before. Now I’ll have to say “I’m just volunteering at Boots to keep my feet on the ground!” 

Rosalie: We were emailing quite a lot in the beginning. I didn’t know what Judy liked so we had a conversation about this. You might have wanted me to make a portrait, which would have been a terrible idea as I can’t paint. And then we got on to talking about Martha Rosler and car boot sales, and the stories that you have with objects, and the framing of art at home, and objects at home, and what distinguishes art objects from other objects in the home.

Judy: And who decides what’s what? Whether something i choose to collect is art or not.

Rosalie: And you were sure that you didn’t want me to make anything for your flat as you said it was already full. We went back and forth and I figured Judy would be good at selling stuff because of working at Boots. She can talk to anyone and make everyone feel so welcome. And I thought it would be nice if the process was really collaborative. So doing a car boot seemed like a really good idea.

Rosalie: And then just a couple of days ago there was the idea to make this the start of a collection. 

Judy: That was the final twist. And that completed the circle. It’s something that can keep going and going.

Rosalie: I was drawn to this project because it was a unique opportunity to make work for just one person, something you can’t usually do… Normally you’re either making work for yourself or a big anonymous public that you don’t really know. That’s the thing I thought was really unusual and interesting. Rather than art being accessed via an institution or gallery this is about artists mediating their work themselves. I thought “if this works it will be really nice”.

Rosalie: It’s been such an enjoyable process and has definitely given me more joy in my everyday work as an artist. So often when you’re commissioned, curators don’t actually talk to you and can’t be arsed to discuss what they like. I really enjoyed that all the way we were carrying this together. It felt like “this is what it could be like”. This has really re-enforced the type of art I want to do.

Judy: For me the journey has been so interesting. It’s made the art world less of a capital “A” and more of a small “a”. As I like it. I’d lost all faith in what art could be like and how it blended in with everyday life for other people. I become completely dissolusioned, with the whole way people perceived art, the way it was being made. I used to make stuff in college but I didn’t believe in what I was doing, and I thought “if I don’t believe it any more and it needs 10 minutes worth of explanation how can I expect anyone else to have any kind of emotional response to my work”. 

Judy: With this it has just been instant joy. Every email I’ve received from Rosalie has made me laugh so much… and its been ages since Ive had such a buzz about doing something new.

Rosalie: We’re both interested in the small “a”s in art. And having a good time. Art doesn’t have to be flashy. There are so many ways to access art, and this project is nice because it works on so many different levels. If all the processes were like this it would be much more enjoyable to be an artist.

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