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Indepth Arts News:

"Boundaries: Jo Roberts"
2004-03-23 until 2004-05-02
Pump House Gallery
London, , UK United Kingdom

Jo Roberts favoured media is " people ". The debate and responses of those she involves in her work are at the core of her practice. For ‘Boundaries’ Roberts and her project participants from Age Concern will map a number of different real and perceived boundaries - such as the grounds immediately around the gallery building, the boundary of Battersea Park, the river and Wandsworth and its borough boundaries - investigating the arbitrary and mobile nature of where such lines are drawn.

This post-modern approach of questioning the apparent absolutes of boundaries carries particular significance when applied to current global politics, and on a much more local level examines the way borough boundaries have a direct impact on ones access to and quality of public services.

For Roberts exploring an idea is similar to a physical journey. Like the conceptual artist Richard Long, who uses maps to represent his journeys on the landscape, Roberts gathers and orders her knowledge by systematically plotting out her negotiation of an idea or concept. Roberts applies this approach in her treatment of the exhibition space itself. The journey through the building is like a climbing expedition, and as you climb up the Pump House Gallery you will encounter brightly coloured markers, like enlarged pieces from some board game. These marked out " camps ", are points in the journey where ideas are gathered on the theme of boundaries, allowing viewers to engage with a variety of perspectives.

On the ground floor, Jo Roberts has set up a Base Camp. Working with Age Concern, Wandsworth the artist will assist volunteers and clients to explore sections of Wandsworth’s borders. These " Boundary Teams " will map interconnections along the borough’s boundaries and the results of their explorations – drawings, writing and photography – will be exhibited. Camp I on the 1st floor will screen a film of the artist’s own exploration of the borough’s borders. Working with students from Westminster Kingsway College, Roberts will record and commentate on her experiences at each of the 31 boundary posts that define Wandsworth borough’s boundaries. Camp II will be a listening lounge where visitors will be able to experience the artist’s audio work, such as her piece "A Mass Exploration of the Isle of Thanet" in which Roberts investigated the locals attitudes to their hometown’s regeneration. The summit will display a collection of short writings on the concept of boundaries from a range of perspectives, including from a curator, a geographer, a yoga teacher and a participant from Age Concern.


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