Emerging brand, Laundry Service introduces its arts initiative - The Laundry: An arts curation and collaboration programme for women, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals at London's Protein Studio's this August. Aiming to endorse, sponsor and support emerging talent, the programme has selected twelve artists from an array of specialties and countries to create work towards a multidisciplinary and multi-sensory exhibition entitled - ',memories'. Ahead of its opening next week, we caught up with 3 artists taking part in the exhibit to discuss memories, sound and peace of mind.
Martha Pazienti Caidan
Tell us a little bit about yourself, what do you do and why do you do it?
I'm Martha. I'm a DJ, I host a radio show on Radar in London, and I make documentaries. Mostly audio documentaries so far, but watch this space. I've been working with The Laundry Service making some sound art in response to the works you'll see in the Memories exhibition.
Can you remember the first time you felt an impulse to be creative? Both my parents are creative and my mum encouraged me to draw paint and tell stories from a young age. I can remember trying out my first radio shows age 16 and the excitement of finding the medium that's right for me
Do your memories inspire your work? I'm not sure that they do. My radio shows are carefully programmed to reflect emerging music scenes around the world, so I spend most of my time looking forward, foraging for new and innovative sounds/patterns/ movements.
If you could see sound, what do you think it would look like? A lot of colours. And almost fluid, because sound can fit where other things can't, it can reach places other formats can't reach.
What gives you peace of mind? Knowing I've put the work in. Knowing I've done my research and I'm prepared before I make something.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, what do you do and why? I'm an evolving sound artist; my practice is moving towards a more performative focus. Initially finding myself through a sense of hearing and developing my listening ear as a means of revolution and power, my hyper awareness began to concentrate on the instrument that was listening, my body in space. My current works in progress are a contemplation of the power of being and ownership of black bodies through subversive public interaction.
Can you remember the first time you felt an impulse to be creative? My parents had bought me a point and shoot camera in 2005 when I was about 13. It was an Olympus SP 310 that was only 7 megapixels but had the function to be able to record video with sound which at the time was advanced. Being able to record audio transformed my creativity. I would spend hours upon hours capturing myself in extremely odd angles and recording myself experimenting vocally, performing for myself and using my whole body as an instrument.
Do your memories inspire your work? My memories are always subconsciously at the heart of my practice. My pieces are reactions to things that have happened to me in my lifetime so far, as well as memories and dreams of my ancestors and the inter-generational trauma that has been passed down through the happening of my existence, through the creation of my blood. Being of mixed heritage, the histories of Kuwait, Indonesia, and being black in America have been passed down to me aurally, and I know will forever inspire what I create. But I am working towards a mental and spiritual creative space where I can tell and create my futures, inspired by Afrofuturism.
If you could see sound, what do you think it would look like? Life is experienced with our bodies where sense is differentiated through six channels: hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, seeing, and an intuitive sense that is not so calculable and easily explained. But in transcending limitations of the body, I would see sound as the wavelengths and vibrations that they are, atoms moving in the air, rainbows bursting creating a visual of the sound I feel.
What gives you peace of mind? The most at peace I have felt were instances where I felt like I lost all sense of self, where my mind and ego were at rest, revealing myself in the truth of this forever moment. It's an overwhelming sense state—accepting and allowing yourself to just be, with as much logic out the window as possible, to allow that fuller state of experience to expand understanding of yourself out of the physical body to all that surrounds.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, what do you do and why?
I write poetry and articles, make zines and collages, do events and exhibitions cos it's fun and therapeutic and important. I feel like I got an ability to document certain things so I might as well take advantage of it.
Can you remember the first time you felt an impulse to be creative?
Nah but I remember drawing bare fashion collections on sheets of paper. I went in, did it for ages. Proper enjoyed just sitting in my room and drawing and colouring in. I used to get frustrated though cause I couldn't colour neatly in between the lines.
Do your memories inspire your work?
Yeah, of course. I process things that are important to me through writing out what I remember about them. Certain things I haven't explored too explicitly in my work cause the memory hurts too much and I don't feel ready or equipped enough to address them. I might never do which is ok cause there's other ways of healing and enjoying. True say making work can be proper painful and draining sometimes, but that's what makes some of what I do feel like a kick in the chest. Collective memories of different groups of people inspire my work in different ways as well, which is where being relatable comes in can't you're connecting with your audiences over something you both remember. It's proper wicked.
If you could see sound, what do you think it would look like?
Every sound would be different, but bare shapes and lines and mobile things.
What gives you peace of mind?
Going on a walk and/or to the park and being with certain family members.
Visit Memories at Protein Studios, London between the 4th and 9th of August, 11am till 6pm.