Connect>Create 2008

A personal response to Alan Currall's 'Survival Kits'

Generally, people’s response to this work is laughter, partly due to the impracticality of having a survival kit with you at the time the disaster hits, and, partly because of the parents’ genuine attempts to prepare and protect their offspring; e.g. include “sweet tea” in your survival kit for the shock. In reality it is absolutely impossible to determine what we should or would do if disaster hits.


The reality of potential disasters hit home in Hull with the floods in June 2007. In February 2008, Hull felt an earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale. Although no damage was caused by the small quake, the experience was terrifying and I found myself attempting to prepare my very own survival kit. I too, in a child like manner began asking impossible questions: “where is the best place to hide, or run to, if your house began to tumble”? Some suggested the door ways, others said outside. My response was to empty under the stairs! It is impossible to know what our survival mechanisms would be if and when disaster hits. For example; my mum’s response to her home being flooded was to get out her mop and bucket, which was quite comical and futile as the event caused devastating and extensive damage.


My initial response was again comical because of my naivety of the situation. “Don’t worry, it will dry out”, was my comical reaction that arrived from my naivety of the situation.


Currall’s use of video media is an excellent means for portraying the impossible. He managed to display comedy, fear and powerlessness, all at the same time. Above all, he makes us think about our conscious and subconscious selves. It is a philosophical piece that touches you at different levels. Simply portrayed yet skilfully executed making it a fine work of art.


I think that the only survival kit I am guaranteed to have with me in a disaster situation is my prayers. Or would I shout for mum?


By Dawn Lord student from the BA (hons) Contemporary Fine Art Course at Hull School of Art and Design, 2009.

Document icon Learning article provided by: Ferens Art Gallery, Hull | 
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