Patricia Mackinnon-Day

Patricia Mackinnon-Day

Artist, Maker, Researcher

In all my art I have striven to unearth links in time and between people in the locations in which I work :

a shipyard\a Cheshire ridge\a new-build Fine Art Academy \a Cambridge town \a residential home
+ \ + \ + \ + \ +
its workers \ its farm women \ its local residents
\ its inhabitants \ its young tenants

Having been invited in to produce a piece of art which speaks to the place and those in it, I explore the setting and its social history in an effort to give substance to the specific elements of the space. I immerse myself in the place and, through my openness, become part of the community, sharing in the experiences of the people who live / work there. By inviting them to participate and play a role I allow the space to come alive through them.
In any project I always look for something that will challenge me in a new direction - my art, it's all about my journey.

When I embark on a project I do not know where it will take me but I have come to rely on ideas being triggered by my observations of the context in which I am working. For example, in the “Qui Pao ” piece the patterns of the film emerge from the marching that was, and still is, a part of everyday life in China. During my residency in Shanghai in 2011 I was awoken in the morning by the sound of students parading in the square below my window and this echoed the film footage of the depersonalised ranks of soldiers marching purposefully yet aimlessly that was such a familiar image of Communist countries as portrayed in the western media. The pink uniform of the women troops only serves to emphasise their lack of individuality as their gender cannot be defined in such a token way.

This neutral, orderly, state-imposed pattern of marching soldiers focuses on the sum of the parts, whereas the movement and colour of the dresses and the expressions of quiet joy on the faces of the women speak of their inner feelings, each one as individual as the hues of their
stylised dresses.

My methodology here, as elsewhere, was to seek out these Chinese women of a certain age in Shanghai and, having received an invitation to their semi-secret get-together, to offer them an ear and recount their story in images, patterns and sounds rather than in words.
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Location Liverpool, North West