Celebrating our Social Club.
On a Monday afternoon at the Woodlane social club, you'll find me appreciating afternoon tea and learning to dance. This weekly meet has become a ritual, where friends catch up, and life is enjoyed.
It's not rare to find places like these all over our country, where elderly communities come together to organise daily activities. The club is a special and positive place, and its doors are open to all ages.
These events occur often beyond the knowledge of the general public, and I think that everyone is missing out on a great deal of fun. There is an etiquette in these tea dances that I deeply appreciate and isn’t often found in the way my generation socialises.
The Woodlane social club is located on the same road as our art school, and although it is walked past by many a student on a daily basis, very few people know what goes on inside. I wanted to make work that celebrates the Woodlane social club and its members. Through dated mediums often associated with the elderly, I set about glorifying my normal, local social club. The elderly have many skills that can be overlooked and unappreciated, and through getting to know the members as individuals I was able to learn more about the activities they enjoy.
My work has always had leitmotifs of modernity in collocation with the past. A plasma screen sits alongside a large fabric banner, which I made whilst learning the techniques of embroidery and banner making; a medium that is often thought of as dated. This combination makes comment of the two generations being together in nostalgic harmony, despite disparity. I attempt to break down social barriers and lessen the relevance of age by taking a subject out of context. The work being in a neutral, contemporary setting helps the viewer to see each generations influence as equal within the works.
Alongside my exhibition I am also putting on a tea dance on the night of the private view, inviting all to share in the joyous event and participate too. This dance will signify the end of my working relationship with the members of the tea dance club, but not my friendship.