14th Aug 2018
Thanks Conch for having us and Aled Haywood for the nomination! sorry for being so slow at responding.
Peel Eezy is a pseudo-faux art institution, creative brand and collaborative practice of artists Mina Heydari-Waite & Gemma Crook (that’s us).
We are interested in how art information is disseminated in art institutions and arts education. We tend to work in massive ongoing projects, big lumps linked around a theme. These projects often become whole worlds that keep expanding and evolving. Our projects always span across multiple mediums, for example one project might include an installation, a text, multiple art projects, multiple events and workshops. They tire us out. We are strung up between social practice, concept-led installations and being product makers. We usually end up creating shops and classrooms. Our projects are always playful and always attempt to be useful; imagining alternative futures or attempting to come up with more tangible solutions.
We met at art school (Edinburgh College of Art). In our third year we started working together in an all-women cross-disciplinary collective, NET WT., with our best friends (Eden Hawkins an Sarah Bell Jones). As a twosome we found that our way of working complimented and pushed-against each others – there was both a productive tension and a mutual support. Initially Peel Eezy was a self-contained project that we worked on while we were in NET WT. – but this one project growing arms and legs and after graduating we realised that our collaboration could be our primary practice. Now she’s grown legs, she’s gonna run with them. We think that in art school there is such a focus on individualism, we both came to share the view that we could make more meaningful work if we’re bouncing it off each other and producing things in a less insular way.
The Art Classroom is an ongoing participatory artwork which consists of a set and a performative life drawing class. It is meant to be an alternative future conception of art production. We perform as classroom technicians using a fixed-loop script – “leading students through the process of making new art objects tied to the speculative exchange of money”. We essentially provide certain parameters that artworks can be made in and then throughout the lesson students can buy their own or other students work for 99p. We have run The Art Classroom at various venues and adapt the format, costumes and set as we go – our matriculated students include club-goers, fresher week art students, children and toddlers.
Naturally we’re problem solvers. And we find that focusing on the ‘purpose’ of a project often leads to a more ‘design’ way of working. To be honest, we struggle with this all the time – because we both love aesthetics and pretty things we love useful art more. We’re inspired by artists like Andrea Zittel, who walk the fine line between aesthetics, conceptual art and design.
The Plaza was a temporary space (17.11.17 - 1.12.17) that we developed at EMBASSY Gallery. We built a framework for workshopping ideas and a spacial installation to house the project. It aimed to contribute to an evolving conversation surrounding artist – ran activity. We wanted to focus on three key questions: What do we want the Edinburgh artist run network to look like? What use do/could artist run initiatives serve to the artistic community and wider public? What challenges do we face in getting there? We invited both Edinburgh’s artist-run initiatives and general public to occupy the plaza for hour-long slots (they acted like a lil’ micro residency). We asked participants to use the above questions as a starting point to generate writing, artwork and other content.
This working environment was documented in real time using an in-house risograph printer, with Mutual Press acting as technicians, converting all the work produced in The Plaza into printed pages live each hour. These printed pages were collected into an edition of 50 loose leaf publications (The Living Archive) as well as becoming part of the fabric of the space. As part of this project we also held an open discussion event, a transcript of which was printed and added to the publication. PHEW!!!@!!! Do you see wot we mean about our projects being “big lumps”? 7 months later the biggest question left for us, is how do you sustain the networks you create in temporary social artworks like that eh!? duno.
The Showroom is a project we initially staged in the Glasgow International Festival this year as part of Deborah Jackson’s programme for MAP Magazine, We Who Are About To. We created a capsule collection of art objects that were sold in a shop installation. The audience became shoppers – which we liked because we want to play with ideas of cultural participation in a consumer-driven society. All the objects were priced through a formula that tried to address the value and sustainability of unpaid artistic labour (PRICE FORMULA = MATERIAL COSTS + MAKING HOURS (PAID AT LIVING WAGE) ÷ EDITION NUMBER = PRICE). We plan to keep on developing this work and it aims to be a means of having a sustainable practice, we gotta pay the leckie bills…
Our trajectory is to move from Edinburgh to Glasgow and finally having a studio together. We have always been spread across multiple studios and flats, we’ve never had a shared space for both of us – for Peel Eezy. It’ll be interesting to see how Peel Eezy evolves when it is based in one space – and we’re really open and flexible to how she might grow.
Thanks! We both have individual skills and develop material research independently. We have separate strands of research but really Peel Eezy is the knot where we tie them together…