Learning Archive

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  • Erik Blinderman ‘Sounds of the Sea and Shops’ Workshop. Part of the Southend Polish Arts Festival
  • 12 September to 12 September 2009
  • The Old Quality Discount Store, Victoria Shopping Centre, Southend-on-Sea

Erik Blinderman ‘Sounds of the Sea and Shops’ Workshop

Erik Blinderman’s exhibition ‘Sounds of the Sea and Shops’ at Focal Point Gallery will run concurrently with a community-based workshop developed with Hungry Arts for the day of the Polish Arts Festival on Saturday 12 September 2009. Blinderman’s project will combine personal, historical and cultural narratives relevant to Southend-on-Sea’s expanding Polish community, as well as a rumination on the Essex town’s twinning with Sopot, the famous Polish beach town on the Baltic Sea.

Utilising the standard gallery practice of invitation card production as the basis for his workshop, Blinderman intends to produce a printed artwork as the impetus to a developing narrative. These ‘cards’ will be mass produced in Poland and distributed by the staff at Focal Point Gallery, Hungry Arts and the artist to all of the residential mailboxes in Southend. To make his cards, the artist will work with printers involved in the underground movement of printed matter during the 1980s in Gdańsk – the town that forms part of

the ‘tri-city’ with Gdynia and Sopot.

Southend, being a principal city along the The Thames Gateway, has had a long history of industrialised printing for both the British and international economy. After speaking with a former local printer about his own involvement with an East London printing press, Blinderman learnt that the Polish labour movement Solidarity – a name synonymous with the democratic revolution in Eastern Europe twenty years ago – produced printed matter by using many South Essex presses, as a result of the continual political suppression by the prevailing Polish communist government of the 1980s. Through its focus on displaced production, Blinderman’s project becomes relevant to a hidden historical and cultural link, as well as the contemporary super-abundance of free newspapers, which by contrast, is grounded in pure advertising, and lacks any obvious political agenda.

The resulting print workshop on Saturday 12 September will take place in an empty shop in central Southend. This event will also contain the screening of Amator (Camera Buff)

(1979) by Krzysztof Kieslowski, and represents an opportunity to develop an awareness and practice of self-publishing in art practice.

Polish Arts Festival
11 to 13 September 2009