Monday 11 February 2019

Barbara Dougan - Love Tokens and Bad Pennies

Barbara Dougan - Epping Forest
Does love endure forever? Does a bad penny always turn up? During this Valentine month the artists and writers from CollectConnect explore this flip-sided theme with an exhibition of 32 miniature sculptures. These objects are placed in public places (#unsettledgallery), helping us to remember those who we hold dear - or cast off those who we would rather forget. Every day throughout February we will be featuring one of these tokens/pennies on this website. A writer will also use the art as inspiration to create something new and fresh.

Art - Barbara Dougan / Words - Ed Arantus 

We could be all grown up
Hard pruned and razor-cut
Scar street criss-cross lover
Trace the lines of heart and chart
Eternity carved forever
On the bow, our dawn treader

All sewn up
All sewn up

Patterns punched in sinewed thread
Overlapping seasons, the longing spread
Into a tornado ring
Hand grenade pulled within
In the wake we are lovers interwebbed

A film created by Barbara Dougan accompanies this artwork.

You can find Barbara Dougan's artwork near the covered water reservoir in Epping Forest. The Forest is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, bordering London and Essex and is an Ancient Woodland, one of the few left in London. The sculptor Jacob Epstein lived on the edge of the Forest. Nowadays the Forest is used by dog walkers, mountain bikers, horse and pony riders and picnicking friends and families as well as footballers, bird watchers and runners. I like to imagine all the lovers who might have left their own love tokens in the forest over the centuries. The Forest has also had its share of Bad Pennies reaching up to the present day.
Take a walk through the Forest and see if you can find a Love Token or a Bad Penny.

Barbara Dougan - Epping Forest
An interest in the environment informs Barbara Dougan's work, along with an ongoing exploration of constraint, change and adaptation. For two years she collaborated with choreographer Darren Ellis and dancer Hannah Kidd, leading to films Tea Break and Living Room, and a participatory work Unentitled: channel your angst in the Edwardian Cloakrooms in Bristol. Currently she is collaborating with fellow artist Henry Driver. They are artists-in-residence with Collusion, developing TEO for a showcase which will bring together all the innovative interdisciplinary work commissioned from artists. Work will be installed at Cambridge Leisure Park from 5 - 14 April 2019 with the public launch on 5 April. 

Ed Arantus is no stranger to art and writing, he first published his work in the Censored Zine (July 2010) and has exhibited his work ever since at venues like the Contemporary Arts Research Unit in Oxford (2014). Last year he exhibited his poem 'Google If' at the Museum of Futures as part of the Enemies Project.

Don't forget to submit to our next exhibition. The Art of Caring is accepting submission until the 7th April 2019. More at

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