From 1 June 2021, John Hansard Gallery will partly reopen with My Crazy Family Golf, a participative project made by Lisa Watts and her father, Gordon Watts (referred to as ‘Dad’).
My Crazy Family Golf tells Dad’s story of being the primary carer for his wife (Lisa’s Mum) for the majority of her adult life. Her complex mental illness has had profound effects on all the family and their relationships with each other. She has recently entered residential care and this project has grown from Lisa and Dad’s mutual desire to build something new that brought them closer.
Together they have created a series of crazy golf holes, each including audio recordings of the family made during Dad’s years of caring. The golf course holes also act as playful sculptural objects in their own right, incorporating elements such as domestic carpet and household objects.
Visitors to My Crazy Family Golf will be invited to play five holes of crazy golf, with a handmade golf club and score card to complete. Both fun and poignant, this project inspires visitors to reflect on their own family relationships, the nature of care, and the significance of those personal interactions.
My Crazy Family Golf is accompanied by a personal film, titled Dad Cares, that documents Dad and daughter as artistic collaborators. Dad worked as a builder all his life and this is the first time he has been able to work with Lisa and use his skills within a contemporary art context. The exhibition also includes an essay by Sarah Gorman.
My Crazy Family Golf is a John Hansard Gallery exhibition presented in partnership with Fabrica, Brighton, and supported by research and development funding from Arts Council England.
About Lisa Watts
Lisa Watts uses various media such as performance, video, photography, and digital imaging in her art practice, which often involves her own body. She showed her first performance work, the acclaimed Breadmaking (1990), at the National Review of Live Art, Glasgow. She went on to show performance work such as I Never Made It as a Sex Kitten (1993) at Serpentine gallery, London, Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, The Root Festival, Hull Timed Based Arts, Hull, Tramway, Glasgow, Prema Arts Centre, Gloucestershire, The Greenroom, Manchester. As well as Grassmonsters (1990) in Dublin, Ireland, Hamburg, Germany. Her film Bun (1997), made collaboratively with Sussanah Gent, has been a great success and been shown globally including Eat My Shorts film festival, Canada, Bombay, India, Mexico, and broadcast in Spain, Italy and France. In 1998, Channel 4 made a short documentary, Muscles, about her digital photographic work.
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