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J a n e t  M c E w a n

Calendar Variations 2010 - 11

Images : Chris Fremantle


Calendar after Kaprow. A1 Folding leaflet, from documentation of a Group Activity, Woodend Barn, Banchory, Scotland. August 2010.

Allan Kaprow (1927 - 2006) developed scores as a way of listening deeply to the world. Calendar Variations 2010-11 is an exhibition of work developed in response to the score, Calendar 1971. It is a riddle that evokes time through states of change. By performing the score in drawings, walking, by exchanging experiences, we prompted our imaginations to find meaning as individuals and a group.  

Artist / Researchers involved: Anne Douglas, Georgina Barney, Reiko Goto, Janet McEwan, Chu Chu Yuan, Chris Fermantle, Fiona Hope, Jono Hope, Kathleen Coessens.


On the Edge Research is a research programme at Grays School of Art.

Aberdeen.This work is supported by IDEAS Research Institute, RGU, Woodendbarn, Banchory, and the Orpheus Research Centre in Music, Ghent, Belgium.

choc cake

 A selection of images from documentation and artwork I produced from late June 2010, following an invitation from Prof Anne Douglas, head of research at Grays School of Art, Aberdeen, to participate in the research project.


"Act 1.

Please take this score and create a drawing. You may define drawing in whatever way you like. You may interpret the score in whatever way you like, drawing on whatever materials and sources. This can take the form of sketch ideas........"


My ongoing search for meaning, was and is, undoubtedly coloured by where I live: on a small working livestock farm in Cornwall, where the condition of the grass is everyday conversation.

Here i have become increasingly interested in how agricultural metaphors infuse our thinking, and in considering the kind of knowledge aquired through agricultural work (agriculture being defined as the art and practice of cultivating the land): farming may be all about improvisation, the ability to respond to unexpected influences and situations beyond control.  

What kind of aesthetic might this experience produce? Can I connect with this ... can I describe it?


'"The real work of art is the building up of an integral experience out of the interactions of organic and environmental conditions and energies."

John Dewey.Art as Experience, p66.


Recently, my research led me to a fascinating book,

'A Cornish Farmer's Diary' by James Stevens 1847 - 1918.

I opened the pages randomly and my eyes fell upon the words "Today cut 200 turfs". This was the practice, long past in this area, of cutting turf for  fuel. I return to earth and to the score again.


The quote selected for inside cover from James Steven's diary is:


"Farm as though you were going to live forever,

and live as though you were going to die tonight"


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