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FORTUNE FORETOLD

My ephemeral and interactive work Fortune Teller will literally be up for grabs during At The Vanishing Point’s winter group show: Reality Cheque. Artists were asked to address this statement in their proposals:

“Now, more than ever, we are all being asked to consider what makes the world go round; to consider our actions, our impact on the environment, our economies, our cultures and how our actions and choices effect all. It may not be money but a different kind of currency we need to look for to facilitate the world going round!”

Fortune Teller was a great way of continuing previous explorations into privacy, information exchange, identity and value, by manipulating surface and pattern. This work is my own personal ‘statement’ thrown back at financial institutions – a cathartic release from the power they hold over my day-to-day dealings.

After cancelling my old bank account due to the latest onslaught of fees and rules, I decided to pulp every impersonal statement in my files and reconstitute them into new leaves of handmade paper. I then screen printed a template and instructions onto the paper for making a nostalgic game.

These whimsical childhood distractions are a curious blend of choice and chance – an apt metaphor for how our financial realities function. Through this work, I am exploring the need to take more control over the ‘choice’ part of these realities.

Once the non-monetarised object is taken and played, its value is activated. In this way I am physically, mentally and symbolically severing a power connection to the bank. Hoarded statements which once held a very private record of my life – my daily financial choices and decisions – are reborn as very public origami ‘fortune tellers’. Though participants can take as many sheets as they want for free, once the stack runs out they will not be replenished, as they are based on a finite number of bank statements.

There are also two separate stacks to choose from. Written is screen printed with eight irreverent money-related fortunes based on cliched expressions such as “If a stranger on a bus requests that you show him the money, you should comply”. The outer section, which starts the game, displays “soar”, “dive”, spend”, “save”. This alludes to conflicting and fluctuating media reports and instructions about the economy. The second stack, Unwritten, has fold marks but no messages. Participants can inscribe their own personalized combination of fortunes as they see fit.

Reality Cheque runs until 5 July, but if you don’t hurry, your fortune may run out before then…