Tag Archives: art practise

The Spice Market, part 2

Rereading The Spice Market made it sound as if the benefit was all for Brendan. That the library was acting as a kind of guide to his personal epiphany. It definitely wasn’t all for his benefit. So what does the Library (staff and resources) get out of it?

There’s the tangible – we get suggestions for items that the library could/should own. Some were independent suggestions relating to curriculum. Some were from what I like to think of as the fairytale path of research – this book leads to this movie leads to this artist leads to this other movie leads to this director etc. We get a discussion on why those people or products.

Then there’s the intangible – we get insights into the way the industry works and how individuals in the industry work. (There may have also been a few rumours [REDACTED] but I couldn’t possibly comment on that.) I personally understand a little better how an artist could work. It’s certainly helped me to understand better how the students at the kura are being encouraged to work. From that it’s let me look at whether the library has changed along with the rest of the kura to accommodate that. I’m not sure it has, but talking with Brendan has let me see a potential way to change. He said that the library is a place to ‘stop’ for him. A small rest stop. I’m not quite sure how this meshes with my ideas that a library should be both “fucking awesome” and “fucking exciting” but we’ll see.

I guess the thing that feels most important to me about our conversations is that we are both working the thing we need to work while enabling the other to do the same. Which is a slightly wanky way of saying that I actually don’t know what the path is to get to the place I want the library to be but by talking to Brendan I’m getting closer to defining what that might be. And that is fucking exciting.

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The Spice Market

Currently showing in the library space is The Spice Market by Brendan (aka. Design Guy). Our shelves are green so the drawing is a dramatic statement against that background. It’s visible to everyone walking into the building as it’s positioned facing out towards the clear window/walls. (Where our display of new items is usually.)

When Brendan tentatively floated the idea that he would display the drawing in the library I was all for it. He said that The Spice Market has grown out of conversations in this place and therefore should be shown here first. He’s a regular library visitor. Sometimes he takes stuff out, sometimes he doesn’t. Mostly we talk about the stuff that he’s doing with his Art, the things that we’ve been watching or reading. [NTS: leave more comics on your desk to start conversations.] For me it’s a great example of how I want the Library (staff and resources) to work with the students.

In a weird way it feels very similar to the mentoring I’ve been doing. It’s the same process of discuss, question, research, explain, clarify, action etc. It’s not that the Library (staff and resources) are telling him how to be an artist, it’s that we’re facilitating the space he needs to work that out for himself. After that initial display conversation I tweeted “Don’t make art in isolation“, a bad reflection of the idea that art only becomes art when it is seen by someone else. @KiwiLibrarian responded “I make art while isolated in my art room, but I am not isolated in my art practice.” Yeah, I like that.

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