Site specific installations, community collaboration & events, Grizedale 1999-2001

I spent a lot of time wandering round the forest, sometimes - rarely -  passing a group of visitors eavesdropping on their conversation. It's not the wilderness but it is remote, quiet, lonely and the more days spent alone the more I felt the need to connect with people. The start of my residency was unusual, not only was I alone during the day - no other residents arrived for a couple of weeks - I also spent my evenings alone in the then very odd 8 bed ex. guest house that was used for the Grizedale artists. I think a slight madness came over me. I started making jumpers out of cut-up walking socks, covering them in sew-on badges of mainly Cumbrian tourist spots. I thought at the time it was a reflection on the nature of tourism, the difference between belonging in a place and visiting a place, now I realise I made them as a device for getting out and connecting with people. I travelled to almost every badge location and started conversations that usually ended up with me photographing the people I met wearing one of the jumpers. I designed an embroidered badge to add to the jumpers simply stating 'Great view' that was made as a multiple to sell in the Grizedale shop. I would like to digitize my analogue images and make a separate website that celebrates these chance encounters and maybe tries to connect with some of the people in the photographs. I spent 3 years off and on at Grizedale, making work, cooking, producing and co-curating events. 

https://www.grizedale.org/artists/claire.shoosmith