Comments, as perceived by Björn Therkelson, made i in Marbodal Center , Tidaholm, Sweden, on
the Journeyman’s Walk (JW) talk 15th of August 2014
during the 6th Endegra Meeting.
What was commented on, was the ideas of the Journeyman’s Walk project as described by the working group. The purpose of the talk was to ensure a qualified and representative application for funding from EU with deadline 1st of October 2014. A number of workshops and their capacities must be briefly described in the application.
An answer from EU can be expected in Dec. -14 or Jan -15 and the actual exchange might, in case of a favorable outcome, begin in May-Dec 2015.
My summing up: The ideas of the working group were endorsed with acclaim by the present assembly. There were subordinate points of discussion about the ensuing implementation.
Assessing authorities within the EU require a verbal substructure, something we, as pictorial artists , consider useful but not fundamental. Our times are overloaded with texts and analysis.
However, as so many nowadays have difficulties reading imagery, we find it necessary to introduce a development of education on seeing and reading pictures, just as we already learn reading and writing verbal expressions. Visual perception is in humans neurologically connected to learning languages. Imagery, and graphic arts, is communication.
At least three countries are to cooperate. Grafik i Väst in Gothenburg, Sweden, Fyns Grafiske Verkstæd in Odense, Denmark and Grafikwerkstatt Dresden in Dresden, Germany, constitute the project board for planning and decisions. They are also the ones to sign the application. A long line of workshops are associated coproducers and then there are the Journeypersons.
We are creating a system which can send a paid graphic artists 1-3 weeks to a workshop and economically compensate also a person to receive and handle the visit. One such event makes up a JW module.
Minimum requirements for a module could be:
1 working place
3 maybe an accommodation. This point was questioned on the ground that boarding should not be our task, we must focus on knowledge development and art making.
The modules should be flexible and not standardized, so that different needs about i.e. preexisting experience and length of stay can be met.
The workshops decide about whom to send.
The result of the process will be:
1.High quality prints
2.Knowledge feedback to sending as well as receiving workshop concerning printing techniques and concerning the workshops, preferably in the form of written reviews, diaries or blogs. A line of such reports could form a database. Exchange of knowledge was stressed. The traveling artists must not only learn but also teach or otherwise render knowledge.
3.Certificates, stating what has taken place. This point was however questioned, due to the dissimilar conditions of the workshops and to the need for criteria for such certificates.
The JW project aims at development of knowledge, not of economy in the first place.
60% of a module are to be financed by EU and 40% must be financed otherwise. EU can give maximum € 200k each second or each fourth year. Grafik i Väst is suggested to handle the monetary flow, to redistribute funds. A cost for administration should be budgeted.
Questions were raised about what kind and what size of workshops should be counted in, how open the process should be (Can only members of a workshop be journeymen, does the possibility apply to all kinds of artists and to artisans as well?), what kind of teaching and what kind of science (?) should be adapted. Are younger artists due to lack of experience in a position to teach or do their need of being taught dominate?
Which workshops should come in question? The importance of supporting small workshops was stressed. The representatives of Ålgården, the artists workshops and gallery, were introduced. KKV-Gbg (Artists’ Collective Workshop of Gothenburg) wish, according to a decision of their board, to participate.
Descriptions of workshops:
We need a pattern, a template for descriptions of the workshops and their respective resources in order to be able to choose between them. This should be done before the month of May 2015 when the actual traveling might begin. It was suggested that each workshop submit a Letter of Intent (LoF) with 3-4, max. 5 points.
In he US a similar system to JW already exists. We must avoid being subjected to rules governing schools. We must remember to distinguish ourselves from the AIR (Artist in Residence) concept