tom hackett sculpture
Conversation Piece was an inter-active art project by Tom Hackett. During 2016 he undertook a series of conversation walks, working his way up the East Midlands, spending several days in Corby, Nottingham and Lincoln. He did this to collect conversations, to turn into suits as artworks. He began by wearing a brightly coloured bespoke two piece suit made from his own fabric design, featuring printed fragments of previously gathered dialogue. This attracted the curiosity and interest of passers-by and sparked up conversations. Tom wrote them down and used fragments of text and silhouette images to design a new fabric and conversation suit representing each one of the three distinctly different towns.
Conversations were reactive rather than steered and included all sorts. From; football, fishing, health and art to Brexit, divorce and dog custody. Subjects ranged from the local to the international and from the personal to the political. Response to ‘the man in the suit’ was warm and receptive. Both from those who Tom met directly and from others who clocked him from afar, giving smiles, thumbs ups and affirmative toots from car and van drivers.
The resultant suits, along with the fabrics were exhibited at The Courtyard Gallery, The Collection, Lincoln. Each standing as a kind of celebratory townscape generated through a series of incidental, un-scripted encounters. Each a unique record of meeting people in a particular place and time.
As well as the Lincoln, Corby and Nottingham suits, the words collected have been published as a free tabloid take away newspaper which will be available at the gallery. The exhibition also features a collaborative sound work created by artist Julian Woodcock who has re-recorded the conversation fragments. Spoken by different voices to the originals, phrases are mixed into a dynamic interplay of voice, accent and emphasis. This adds a third layer to the show.
Tom was delighted to work with regional creatives ‘Clothvsona’ fabric printers and Nottingham tailor, Timothy James Henderson. As an artist, Tom is interested in the idea of everyday talk and inter-action as a kind of glue that holds our communities and wider society together.
Conversation Piece’ was developed in association with Fermynwoods Contemporary Art and The Collection, Lincoln.
It was supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
For exhibition images click image below