What is the key to happiness?
A site specific, socially engaged commission for
The Noble Creative, Edinburgh (2013)
220cm x 95 cm paper laser cut
Created from 40 people’s hand written answers to the title question.
What is the key to happiness? the artist book, is a visual narrative of the realization of this idea. It also credits all participants and randomly records, in type, all answers to the question. Digitally printed with a laser cut cover and insert. Limited edition of 400, signed and numbered with ISBN
Jenny’s Comissioned works are made for specific spaces and the creative process is designed to engage the people who interact within that space. This is an artwork that perpetuates the idea of sharing, reflection and discussion, created for a space in Edinburgh in which people do exactly the same thing.
Answers to the question were collected in person when the Noble Creative was launched in Edinburgh and Niarobi in 2013. All of these 38 answers form the artwork and are the first 38 answers listed in the artist book. The subsequent 40 answers, recorded within this artist book, were posted on The What is the Key to Happiness? facebook page or given in person by visitors to Jenny’s studio. From a distance the white cut-out drawing has an ethereal, fragile and elusive quality, creating shadows on the cream wall as the light changes. It echoes the delicacy and mystery of Japanese calligraphy, but on an architectural scale. On closer inspection the viewer is invited to search for, and attempt to decipher, a variety of answers to the question.
There is an element of chance and accident in who participated; who was in a particular place at a particular time. There is also a time-based element to the answers. The light and shadow constantly changes on the artwork and many people commented that their answer may have varied at another time.