Five rollercoaster years of AWM, and what's next
Updated: Jul 1, 2021
A quick recap of what we do, and what to expect from us
If you’re here and reading this, it means we’ve managed to do in the past three months what we’ve put off for the past 5 years. Namely this website and of course a new logo. When we began AWM in 2017 January, it was a result of months of conversations on how to work together again, talk about and share art that excites us, and ways in which we could engage and build new art audiences. In 2021, we’re also looking at how we can contribute to the presentation and preservation of the stories around the art we see.
AWM is a labour of love, living in different cities and having other commitments have only made us more determined to continue our monthly walks. We persevere even in the face of lockdown because we can’t imagine not seeing art. To be able to take a varied group of individuals up hidden staircases, ring on nondescript bells and have the doors swing open to reveal contemporary treasures still delights us. Discussing the finer points of an artists’ technique, tracing their journey through the years, linking their practice to those around them and trying to forge connections with the present, requires a commitment to the telling of the stories of art. Watching audiences interact and debate differing points of view makes our hearts soar, because the seeing of art and trying to understand a perspective other than your own is a key factor in community building. Through AWM we hope to build a strong foundation for art viewing and gallery hopping. By encouraging new audiences, providing context to what’s in front of them, and laying the groundwork for repeated visits, we’re steadily growing our tribe of art enthusiasts.
In a pandemic world where physical walks have been difficult, we crave the pure joy of standing in front of an artwork and drawing out its multiple textures and meanings. To be honest, the lockdown affected our morale. We had to pull ourselves out of a slump to create online content. And we ended up with #AWMprompts, a daily challenge to look at art that kept us on our toes and engaging with others who, like us, were desperate for art. A natural progression were themed art walks online, where we were able to cover themes like #fibre and #resistance, not restricted by geographical or time-line concerns.
Out of a prompt looking at #publicart came the idea to build an art map that pinned down works of public art seen in the city, and to grow this by inviting collaboration, an endeavour to catalogue these fast changing landscapes. Looking forward we also want to dig deeper and preserve the stories of art that surround the innumerable spaces that provided training, support and impetus to the art of the day. Our ongoing research into the Space(s) for Art hopes to build on these stories, weaving them into a series of conversations about long lost, and fast disappearing, physical locations.
Our first post for this new website ends thus on a high note, with plans and hopes for the future. We thank you for being part of this ride, and hope you enjoyed all the walks you’ve come on. We can't wait to begin walking again, but in the meantime, look out for announcements on upcoming walks and we’ll see you on the other side.
Alisha & Nishita
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