Kerri Jefferis – Jamboree 2018 participant

Takeover post from: Kerri Jefferis

Jamboree was carpooling with new friends, pitching a tent in an idyllic field and spotting the director of a gallery doing the same. It was falling on my face when Princess Nokia came on at the after party in the woods, swimming workshops and people stopping by the campsite whilst we made dinner on one of those little camping hobs. It was being late for one thing cos time had drifted and then attending something else by chance.

It came along at a really important moment for Sophie and me. We were super aware of how London-centric our bubble was and felt the pull to connect to a meaningful support network beyond this. We’ve always been committed to resisting the neoliberal logic of artist development and as soon as we saw this DIY artist camping thing we were in. I think possibly without being conscious of it I was starting to realise that life in the capital was unsustainable for me and was curious about how other people were doing stuff.

Now Jamboree is a point of reference and a loose tangle of people with a shared experience. It is knowing we could call Rachel and Hannah to ask advice about working at distance when I moved out of London and Sophie and I began working between two cities. It was getting an invite from Thomas Goddard and Sarah Davies to visit Cardiff and contribute to the a-n Assembly being hosted there and vibing a bit too much and getting into their christmas gin early! It is catching up with loads of Cardiff based artists whilst there including connecting with Yellow Back Books who ended up stocking a publication we had just made. It is putting into practice learnings from Ria Hartley’s presentation on Ecologies of Care and inserting this into other work (UAL and Artquest). It is having a sofa to stay on in Glasgow, Manchester and Bristol and opening up ours when others are passing through. It is emails and online chats sharing resources, news and shouting about what other folks are doing. It is our ongoing relationship with Tash MacVoy and developing a card game for their Fag Packet Gallery. It is also realising, now as I write this, how Sonya Dyer’s keynote has taken like two years to permeate into our new work around speculative fiction. It is being blown away when out of the blue you find out *someone* has nominated you for Jerwood’s Collaborate! award and when you scan the list it could only be via someone at Jamboree. 

We joke about the tagline ‘we met at Jamboree,’ especially ar Soph cos a love story emerged for them – but we did and amongst the artists there is a mutuality there – alliances – maybe that comes from a recognition of certain values or a way of relating, who knows.