Space For Peace is organized by Foundation Music, University of Winchester.
This is a yearly, interfaith communal music and art event to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, which takes place at the Winchester Cathedral.
Posters and leaflets with information about PIRG where on display.
The text reads:
A space for making peace
This is an opportunity to respond to the rich world of music through making drawings.
It is a way to explore through self-expression the dialogue between voices, instruments, bodies, architecture and materials.
It opens a new way of understanding conflict and resolution in its complexity.
It is a collaborative project; the audience is welcome to join alongside group members.
Phenomenology and Imagination Research Group (PIRG)
Two long tables were set up ready for this performative drawing.
It was performative in the sense that people participated, both, by doing and looking; and by the mere fact that it was part of a larger performative event.
Bev and Yonat covered the tables with black and white sheets of paper and put stones, natural chalk and other drawing materials and tools on the surface.
The idea ‘to respond to the rich world of music through making drawing’ (PIRG leaflet) was simple enough.
However, the experience was far more complex. It was interesting to be surrounded by music while
exploring the materials and moving into the realm of imagination.
Chalk in its natural and industrial forms, as well as charcoal, seemed to be suitable for this event
as people were particularly attracted to use these materials. Perhaps part of the reason is that both
have ephemeral qualities, similar to sound.
Some of the drawings where made with a mark-making sensibility;
others seemed to be about patterns. Again, this may be a respond to the structures of music,
such as rhythm and repetition. There were some written massages, too, in the context of peace.
There was a constant stream of interruptions, which seems inherent in any collaborative, participatory form.
The public was encouraged to not speak throughout the event which lasted for about 2 hours.
On Space For Peace publication it reads:
‘This is a place for quiet, reflection, prayer, thought, and stillness. Please refrain from talking until you leave.’ [Emphasis in the original text. YNG].
However, quiet conversations took place while making drawings as people joined or left the table.
The small group (Noriko, Bev and Yonat) was an inviting element for others to participate;
had it been only one person, perhaps audience would feel more self-conscious thus less inclined to join in.
A women introduced herself as a teacher from one of the local schools;
she wanted to know if the group will agree to come to the school to run a workshop with the students based on this method - ‘the table’.
The group will be happy to do so.
This was a great opportunity to test the method in a non-verbal but sound-based environment.
It adds to the exploration and investigation of ‘extended conversation’.
It is an experience to learn from and to build on in the forth-coming PIRG exhibition.
The group will consider the possibility to participate again next year.
It is an opportunity to work with a large audience and therefore will help with funding.
In addition, it may open other opportunities for projects and exhibitions.