Lesley Wood

Lesley Wood likes and studies people.


Response by Leslie Ashton

Artist Statement

Where were you on October 25 1996?

Ancient history for some but for others, memories of joyous activism.

As soon as Lesley Wood began her story of political drama and grassroots communities coming together, I was transported back. I was there!

Lesley and her group didn’t stumble upon a magic moment. They made their own joy during this dark time.

There aren’t many photographs and because the D.I.Y. fun wasn’t sanctioned, not much of a paper trail. But when I come upon a crumpled postcard for a fund-raising dance or a blurry photo of everyone on their bikes, I can feel the energy and the camaraderie of speaking truth to power.

With paint and paper I am layering the memories of that moment in time in archival boxes. Each will hold a scene of special significance of that day. There will be bikes, brides, disguises and (yes) a monkey in this Archive of Joy.

These stories are important. Our memories of happiness, and of the power of community, can help us with the disquieting present and energize us to move forward.

I invite you to make art and archive your own joyous memories.