Marley Starskey Butler shares from his BCN bursary and residency at The Wolverhampton School of Art.
As part of the Multistory’s BCN Bursary I undertook an artist residency at the Wolverhampton School of Art where I completed a photo book called Access Subject. It’s a project that explores the relationship between myself, my birth mother, and my children’s services records from age 0 to 3 whilst I was in her care. It was a beautiful time in a studio working on one thing with no distractions, and just embodying the project in the space until it was done.
I edited by sticking the images to the walls to figure out the orders and story every time you turn a page. It was also a way of being able to see the story as a whole and figure out exactly what I wanted to say and why. Finding concepts and relationships between images. After that I stuck the images and text into a sketchbook to get a draft copy. As soon as I sat and turned the pages, my heart told me it was finished. This video documents those final moments. I have not had the time to truly process finishing this book. Once I’ve had that space, I will really speak about it and what it means to me. The next steps will be to print a single dummy version of the book and think about design and how I will publish.
I make art, in particular; visual, audio, written and performance works. My work is about opposites, parallels, memory, love, loss, mortality, and the politics of belonging within self and in society. My concurrent practice as a Social Worker keeps me tied to the lives, stories, and experiences of the most vulnerable and complex members of society, whilst being a jigsaw piece in ensuring children in care have the best futures possible.