Monument to 2020, Harriet Hill, 2021, gold leaf on brown paper, plastic box 5 x 5 cm
This morning Harriet Hill's monument for groving 2021 appeared in Woolhall Street. The artists were commissioned to make work on the theme Monument during the third covid lockdown and several have - unsurprisingly - referenced the strange period that we have been through over the last eighteen months.
Twenty twenty - the year that never was. The most numerically pleasing of years which was never allowed to be. Never allowed to shine. A little wad of tempting twenties. All promise and no delivery it was a box of treasure sealed forever.
Glimmers of sparkle, months of the mundane, all folded together like a year-long chain.
We locked it away for our safety. Saw it with clear vision and sealed ourselves from it. Untouchable now. Gone. We can look but never get back to it. Never get it back.
People who deal with numbers seem to forget
that people, not just numbers,
dangle on the other end.
Shut away in offices, several floors up,
they must lose touch
not only with the ground,
but with the everyday, with fellow-feeling,
shut away up there
beyond what’s natural.
All day long juggling and balancing
columns of figures, like numerical acrobats,
they must get dizzy with the concentration
forgetting that numbers have consequences –
meaning people, jobs, livelihoods,
possession and re-possession, debts and loans –
added up or taken away
they are still numbers, large or small,
and numbers don’t forget.
Numbers only talk to other numbers;
numbers measure, numbers make
bigger and smaller numbers;
numbers add up, and numbers take away.
People too easily ignore the fact
that numbers are hard,
where people are soft,
and need to remember
that people are more than just numbers,
that people are vulnerable
and need protecting,
sometimes from themselves.
Harriet Hill creates sculpture, site-specific installation and interactive live art that responds to the visceral qualities of materials, physical space and social frameworks. These may be structural, spatial, experiential or tactile. She is interested in the way these elements affect us and how they can be manipulated. Harriet has an MFA Textiles from Goldsmiths 2007 and supports her practise working in art fabrication. https://www.harriethill.co.uk/about Instagram @harrietlhill
Lynn Whitehead started life as an actor/musician and worked all over the country for years. Later she side stepped into theatre-education working with the National Theatre, New Wolsey and Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds running youth theatre groups and working with community groups. She fell in love with storytelling and likes to collect and tell traditional stories from all round the world. She has an MA in playwriting. https://www.suffolkartlink.org.uk/meet-artist-lynn-whitehead/ Twitter @LynnyWhitehead Instagram @lynnwhitehead96 Facebook Lynn Whitehead
Phil Barrett taught art for 27 years, then retired to his home county of Norfolk where he concentrates on writing. He teaches creative writing, in schools and libraries across North Norfolk. He has won prizes and commendations in national competitions, and has been published in anthologies including In Protest: 150 poems for Human Rights (2013), Word Aid Anthologies Did I Tell You? (2010), and Not Only The Dark (2011), the Ink, Sweat and Tears webzine, and Poems in the Waiting Room in 2016 and 2019. In January 2017 he published a book of poems, Writing Me, about growing-up.
I am an artist and the curator for grove and groving. This blog is groving online, and records the artworks placed on the streets of Bury St Edmunds along with responses to the work by commissioned writers.