What does it mean to be present?

I am interested in the various meanings of the word present.
Different disciplines and cultures have their own approaches to what it means to -


be present

the present

a present

Do these different meanings just happen to have the same word? Or is there an underlying relationship between them?

Can combining different ideas from artistic, religious or educational practices teach us anything more about what present means?

There is an empty shop next to Leytonstone Underground Station, on Church Lane that was formerly the Balloon and Gift Shop.

From 20th August – 16th September 2012 I offered it as a place for dialogue, experimentation and presentation, to explore ways that the word ‘present’ can be used as a catalyst for moments of connection or disconnection between people. Through this process of inquiry, and through experiencing the creativity of my community, I hoped to find out if there are common threads that underlie the various applications of the word, and also what artworks that result from this process might be like.

Frances Bowman