Many keen gardeners consider their patch of green, however small, however unruly, to be a kind of rolling work of art. I see mine as a collage, ever-changing, patched together.
Under the name The Gingerbread Tree, my brother Philip Davenport and I have collaborated over the years on art and music. Recently, we’ve been delving into our back catalogue, making choices about what to do with all that we’ve amassed.
One project is collages which Phil and I have been working on for at least twenty-five years. Inside our book The Practical Senior Educator, collages are layered from a variety of materials: medical notes, letters from friends and record companies, adverts ripped out of glossy 80’s magazines, wedding invitations; all assembled then dismantled by Philip and myself. It’s not just art, it’s a pasted testament to the microscopic fragments of our lives. It’s a comment on history with torn-up photos dripped in candle wax, pictures of rock stars and half-burnt promotions from yesteryear cramming the pages. It’s a project that never stops. We’re still altering its content now, we probably always will.
The Practical Senior Educator will be in an exhibition this month called Understanding The Ritual at The Storey in Lancaster. Curated by innovative artist Pete Flowers, The Gingerbread Tree will appear alongside the iconic Gaye Black (formally Gaye Advert of punk band The Adverts) and, renowned poet Jerry Rothenberg. Other select artists include: Adam Gregory & Gillian Jane Lees, Darren Andrews, Geoff Parr, Kate Eggleston-Wirtz, Sally Slade Payne, Sue Flowers and Sumit Sarkar.
For Phil and I, finding ways and places to show the content of this unique book is the start of another journey.
Collages: “Girl Column” (circa 1990), “Bad Flowers for Baudelaire” (right) (circa 1989), “The Pond in April” (2000)
THE PRACTICAL SENIOR EDUCATOR, by The Gingerbread Tree (circa 1990)