2020, Edition on 50
‘Material as Labour. Labour as Value’ is a text written for ‘Production Production’, a Yellowfields publication. The text describes the labour-intensive journey of making the sculptural work Tetrapods, commissioned by Thelma Hulbert Gallery in 2019. Inspired by sea defences, the sculptures materials - mudstone, sandstone, gypsum, chalk and seawater - were collected from Devon’s Jurassic Coast. This narrative led Lathwood to write a manifesto exploring ways of making art sustainably.
Yellowfields is an independent project, curated by Georgia Hall which investigates critical ideas through the writing of emerging female artists. Across three thematic publications, featured artist texts sit alongside a curatorial or art historical essay which highlights overarching ideas. The project aims to generate critical impact through challenging environmental and socio-political issues.‘Production production’ also has essays from Jade Montserrat, Freya Dooley, Harriet Bowman and Ellen Wilkinson.
As part of a symposium hosted in partnership with Eastside Projects on 24 October 2020, together with Ellen Wilkinson, Jo Lathwood made copies of the manifesto by screen-printing the text with handmade Oak Gall Ink. Through an open online conversation, viewers offered contributions to the manifesto which could be added to the print:
- Design work to allow for re-use.
- Respect all resources required for the production of your work: materials, energy, labour
- Acknowledge that these ways of thinking are *not new* Indigenous knowledge is where we should start.
- Data and online environments are linked to physical server space. Take care to manage the data you horde
- Collaborate with sustainable companies for the fabrication of new work
- Use as little water as possible
- Listen to your body; Ensure moments of rest; And Breathe
- Considering Collaborators: Authorship and Consent
- Seek new platforms and sites for presenting/ connecting/ conversation
- Consider how artworks travel to their destination from where they were made
- Re-adapt and re-arrange your work
-Consider social sustainability - are people's rights being upheld? Are wages fair?
-Making work as a kind of meditation, to look after yourself, helping you to heal and be more in touch with ourselves and the planet
-Call on art material producers/ companies to make the material ecological and ethical.
With thanks to contributors, Sarah Strachan, Yas Lime, Rupi Dhillon, Sarah Taylor Silverwood, Veronique Chance, Carol Laidler, Fran Wilde, Mary Trapp, Jennifer Dudley, Joana Cifre Cerda, Brenda Hickin.
A PDF version of the publication is available to view here
and the manifesto here