Trust (1996) was an inIVA (International Institute of Visual Arts) Artists-in-research residency. It took place in Middlesborough. England. Edwina spent a period of six weeks at:
- Tioxide Europe, (the country's largest producer of Titanium
- Ellis and Everard (a chemical distribution company)
- Phillips petroleum, (an oilport for the Ecofisk Field in the North
These three companies form part of a belt of heavy chemical based industry, which historically was based upon importing urine from London to enable the extraction of cardinal red dye from local rock. During the time spent at these locations Edwina worked with fifteen employees from each of the companies. She invited them to complete three questionnaires.
These initially involved standard questions (e.g. your most embarrassing moment), but they also used homeopathic indicators relating to the industry that the employees worked in. For example the Phillips employees were quizzed about the indicators for the petroleum remedy. They were also asked whether they should have a hazard symbol attached to them (for example, whether they were explosive or corrosive).
Using the results from the different questionnaires, Edwina created individual portraits for each participant based on the COSHH hazard warning labels.
The same participants were asked to supply urine samples to create a more 'natural' portrait.
Donations of this nature require an element of trust, because like blood, urine reveals truths about the body, the storage and the presence of 'alien substances/beings' (including pregnancy). This was especially relevant as employees of all companies were subject to random blood and urine tests because of the high risk nature of their working environment.
The bottles (with urine samples) were presented on glass shelves along with the COSHH regulations about how to safely deal with a urine spillage. All bottles had a tamper-proof seal regardless of whether they contained urine or not.
The installation took different forms according to the venue it was shown in. In Middlesborough, the gallery was a former doctor's surgery, so a mirror and sink were added to the original exhibition.
The sink involved perpetually recycled running water, which may induce the visitor to want to urinate. The urine bottles were presented in a single line on glass shelves on the facing wall, along with the COSHH warning regulations.
Out of the Bubble
This book was developed out of the 1999 Out of the Bubble symposium, which explored how Fine Art education prepared students for practice as professional artists. It featured ways that artists engage with process and research.
Edwina discusses the Trust, Flow Chart, and Returning the Stolen Water projects in the book.
Publisher: The London Institute
Artists: Keith Khan, John Kindness, Edwina fitzPatrick, Adam Chodzko, Alison Marchant.
Texts by: Gerrie van Noord, Richard Hylton, Suzanne Oxenaar, Platform (James Marriot and Jane Trowell), Keith Khan, John Kindness, Edwina fitzPatrick, Adam Chodzko, Alison Marchant, Patricia C Phillips, Hugh Adams, Jane Calow, Judith Rugg, John Carson.
Editors: John Carson and Susannah Silver
ISBN: 0947 784 527
Artists in Research 1996-98
This book explores the notion of research in relation to contemporary visual art practice.
It documents inIVA's Artist in Research residency programme from 1996 to 1998, through texts, images and artists’ statements. The Artist in Research programme was established as part of inIVA’s research activities in 1994 and was initiated and developed by the artist and freelance educator Alistair Raphael. It contains information about the Trust project.
InIVA is a contemporary visual arts organisation with a special interest in new technologies, commissioning site-specific artworks and international collaborations. Working across the creative forms of exhibitions, education, research and publishing, inIVA’s modus operandi is based upon creating new forms of collaboration with artists, curators and writers from culturally diverse backgrounds
Publisher: Institute of International Visual Arts (inIVA).
Featured Artists: Clare Charnley, Monika Dutta, Edwina Fitzpatrick, Nicky Hirst, Indika Perera, Louise K Wilson.
Editors: Alistair Raphael and Victoria Clarke
ISBN 1 899846 24 7