‘In hear it and say’


I went on a trip this weekend to see Emma Smith’s work ‘In hear it and say‘ at Waterbeach in Cambridge. The work includes fifteen permanent installations set in and around the village that are explored through a role playing game that led to some very shaky improv by me and a stream of what sounded like pretty good Elizabethan slang from Matt.

It rained heavily in the end, led in no part by my frequent proclamations that ‘it wasn’t that bad’ just before it got worse, but it was lovely to explore the village through her work. What seemed to me to be a pretty ordinary village with a village green, a handful of pubs and some housing estates, became gateways to stories and sayings from Roman conquerors through to villagers alive now. My favourite installations were where she played with words burning them straight into wooden fences, posts, and once into steps leading to the river. Words like higgle, mawkin and slummocky. Perhaps there is no such thing as a pretty ordinary village.

Matt, Albert, Emma and I have been friends for six years since the artist in residence programme ‘Creative Connections’ at the Whitechapel Gallery and although we argue and tease each other about art and love, money and framing, and whether sheep are affected by maternal suffering, I love meeting up with them.