This week I’ve been creating an installation at The Bowery in Leeds. This is based on my long Spurn Cloth #2 but sees it displayed in a very different way to the previous venues it has visited. Rather than hanging vertically the cloth is hung horizontally round half of the gallery room. I have extended it using collaged rusted and printed paper so that the band of texture and marks forms a complete circle around the space.
The paper is collaged directly onto the wall, something that I was quite nervous about doing. Having completed it, I’m really excited about how it has worked. There is a kind of freedom to this sort of site-specific work. I don’t have to worry about pricing or whether anyone might want to buy it. It can just be.
At the end of the exhibition the paper extension will then be scraped off the wall and will be no longer. Just as Spurn itself is constantly changing shape, bits being eroded in one area and deposited in another, this installation has seen the original cloth extended, added to, enhanced. And then, as if by the action of an exceptionally high tide, it will be taken away again.
My work is showing alongside a beautiful exhibition by Hannah. The preview is this evening from 6-8pm (all welcome) and the exhibitions run until 5th July.
I’m working on a new project. It started with my contribution to the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project (link to my book in the digital library on the right). I’m now working on an exhibition for the wonderful Saltaire Arts Trail which takes place in my local World Heritage site in May. I’m taking the ideas I started in my original sketchbook and the resulting work will form an installation as part of the trail around the village.
Gifts from the Pavement is a collection of textures, marks and shapes found on the streets of Saltaire: Subtle changes in the surface of the pavement; points of interest under foot; discarded objects like a rusty washer or squashed tin can, a dropped ticket or a scrap of something not-quite-discernable. These marks and shapes are collected and arranged, explored and developed into unconventional prints and displayed in surprising ways for the viewer to follow, discover, explore.
So I have been collecting, pavement combing, sweeping the Saltaire streets with my eyes. I have a whole bunch of wonderful photos of ironmongery, kerb stone marks and ephemera of all sorts. I also have a box of ‘gifts’ that I collected on my walks, some more beautiful than others (I avoided anything too distasteful – there were many cigarette stubs and a few other unsavoury items!).
This week I’ve been sorting through the images and items (some more of them are here) and preparing to print with them. They’re a strange mix of things: some with a history as long as Titus’s village, some dropped from someone’s pocket on a rushed journey to work a week ago.
This interesting exhibition opens at the weekend with a preview on Friday evening. Artlink is a centre for community arts in Hull and has an exciting programme of exhibitions and workshops. All the artists showing work in Re-Present use found objects in different ways.
I have a series of prints (incorporating rust and collagraphs) in the exhibition that I’ve called Beach Ghosts and which, you guessed it, feature items found on the beach.
My book is a record of things picked up in the streets around my home on everyday short walks during autumn and winter: on the way to the post office or back from school. The things I’ve picked up are insignificant: a rusty washer, a few leaves, a beer bottle top… They have come together with the help of the chemistry of tea to make marks on the pages of the book. I’ve then used rollers and ink to build up more marks and texture and finally there are stitches added in response to the other marks.
This morning I finished my book and now I can post it off to the Brooklyn Art Library for it to join all the other books from around the world. Eventually my book will be available online to view digitally, but for now here are a few peeks at the detail:
My head is full of lists and logistics for the coming week. There is just a week to go now before my residency exhibition in the lighthouse at Spurn. Most of the work is finished: I’ve spent the week stitching into Spurn Cloth #1; prints are back from the framers; cards and postcards are made; the book is with the printer; my interpretation film is complete and equipment arrived…
There is still a whole list of things to do but I can’t wait now to get over there on Monday and spend time putting my work in the space it was made for and about.