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Rory Pilgrim
The Fertile Ground (2017)

For the Radar commission artist Rory Pilgrim set to challenge and collapse the binary that ‘For & Against’ presented. Working with Reba Maybury, writer and founder of the radical independent publishing house ‘Wet Satin Press’, their project led them to initiate a series of meetings and hold conversations with Loughborough-based individuals and groups. 

“Instead of focussing our energy on an argument that panders to a ‘for’ and an ‘against’, The Fertile Ground alludes to a place of progressive neutrality. It is a space where conflict is replaced by mutual new growth. The irony of polarity, that political discussion all too often creates, is that it directly rejects what politics should be about – an instinctual emotional reaction of care.” Rory Pilgrim, Artist.

The ensuing exchanges, undertaken on the campus of Loughborough University, the town centre market and nearby community centres, explored the dynamics present in personal revelation. Conversations sought to investigate the potential of a common ground. From this research, The Fertile Ground was realised – a pamphlet which became an active agent in a performance that took place in Queen’s Park.

“Sitting in a circle, we were asked to imagine this ground, to breathe it and to embody it. Our eyes closed throughout, we were then asked to turn to the person that we wished to talk to. We were asked the first question from the publication: “What do you want to untangle?”. From this point, other questions emerged. Some of the group sloped away and the circle become smaller, more confessional. We addressed questions of authority, speaking of moments when we had felt empowered. Time drifted, the pamphlet market continued around us, and we addressed the potential that can be found in uncertainty.” Cathy Wade, Writer.

(Photo: Julian Hughes)

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Loughborough University Arts

Martin Hall Building

Loughborough University

Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK

01509 222 948

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