I AM HERE
From the eerie new physical spaces of post-lockdown Britain to the multi-tethered reach of our new virtual world — with its cavalcade of distraction and incident — we invited our members to share where they’ve been, where they were, and where they thought they’re going. Had it been a world of shuddering bandwidth issues, digital alerts, too much coffee spilled on the screen? Or had you in fact been somewhere else this whole time; and where is that place?
At the end of 2020, RCPsych ArtSIG invited its members to contribute to the College’s first evolving exhibition. This exhibition took two forms, both on the theme 'I AM HERE':
1. A visual art competition
This came with a cash prize and a chance to be included on the cover of BJPsych! The longlisted entries are also included in our virtual online gallery. Entries were digital, original and on the theme of I AM HERE. The two winners were announced on 25 January 2020.
- 1st prize - £100
- 2nd prize - £50
- Winners may also get the opportunity to have their art feature as the cover of the BJPsych
Note: the competition deadline has now passed. Thank you to all who submitted entries.
2. A written word 'exquisite corpse'
The corpse was created by and for the membership and evolved over time. It was updated weekly on the College website and was composed of single sentences.
We invited fictional and non-fictional responses to the so-called ‘new normal’ in an effort to create something truly strange. And perhaps, through our wanderings, we finally arrived where we started - and to quote TS Eliot - "know the place as if for the first time".
An exquisite corpse is defined by MOMA as "a game in which each participant takes turns writing or drawing on a sheet of paper, folding it to conceal his or her contribution, and then passing it to the next player for a further contribution".
The exquisite corpse went live on 9 November and was completed on 31 December. It began with the following sentences, submitted by our committee:
And I found myself back in the house I grew up in.
Despite connecting often through screens, and phone lines and old fashioned post, I miss the touch of my Grandma's warm, curved hands, their over-heated home, and her persistent offers of food and drink; that space is one I long to return to, and wonder if I will before it is changed irrevocably.
I am here and I’m not sure I want or need to be anywhere else.