H E R M I T P R O J E C T S
HER MIT Projects came into existence in 2018 following a performance piece for Tate Exchange, Tate Modern, where I read silently from Sally O’Reilly’s Crude in various rooms of the public collection for 6hrs. By the end I was exhausted, dehydrated and had a thudding headache. I had experienced endless streams of people walking past on their way to the café or out the door having checked culture off their to-do list.
I was struck by how little time visitors had spent looking at the works on display and how overwhelming those spaces are. How difficult they can be to navigate and how much more comfortable people are once they reach the shop or the café where the rules are familiar. I compared it to the amount of time we spend looking at and asking questions about objects on the shelves, walls and window sills of our friends’ rooms, studios or houses.
I imagined the spaces of my house replicating those at the Tate, so that the kitchen and garden studio would become the gallery and café, the front room a library, our spare room a residency space where artists could come to rest and reside, and a garden where off-site performances or structures could be temporarily situated. The more I thought about it the more it took shape. I designed a sign and made a model of my house as a floor plan to refer to. I live in a small town on the periphery of Bristol, itself a periphery to London, and so it would be a way to remain connected whilst juggling my roles as primary carer, home educator, artist and partner.
HER MIT Projects was established in the autumn of 2018. It provides space for artists to try things out and for the audience to be close to the work. It introduces contemporary artworks and practice to my local community in a way that empowers them, making them part of the conversation, with openings that include sharing events such as meals with the artists. As well as using my house for exhibitions, in 2019 the Fag Packet Gallery was introduced for solo shows that could travel in a pocket and gatecrash events, taking the work to other audiences.
HER MIT Projects focuses on the experiments and ideas associated with studio practice. It aims to provide a safe space for growing ideas whilst questioning the possibilities of how work is produced, shown and shared. It is a space for trial and error learning, mistake making and list writing. The intimate audiences that attend HER MIT Projects openings give vital feedback and support so that work can develop and evolve, or be understood as ready. I strive for HER MIT Projects to open up what art can be and the depths that an individual practice can be explored.
Curator and Organiser