This little piece is now winging its way round the world to New Zealand as a result of the little giveaway I did on my Facebook page last week. There are a few more Printed Fragments now in the shop, along with some of the smaller Pavement Pieces.
Yesterday I finished off my extended pavement piece and sent it off with other work to the Mall Galleries in London. It will be on show as part of Designer Crafts from Friday 10th to Sunday 19th january. Pavement is over 2 metres long and hangs down the wall and out onto the floor (or plinth as galleries don’t generally allow things draping on the floor).
As with my previous Pavement Pieces, this includes rust prints and collagraph prints, all using street-combed items and the layers are hand stitched. I’ve been plugging away at this one for two or three months so it is good to see it finally finished. I look forward to seeing it in the gallery when I’m there on 19th for my stint as a steward.
In addition to the gallery exhibition there will be a ‘Shop within the show’ where there will be items for sale that can be taken away rather than waiting for the end of the exhibition. I’ve sent a range of mounted small Pavement Pieces and some new Printed Fragments and these will be in the shop.
Last week I posted off two of my most recent Pavement Pieces to Unit Twelve for their Contemporary Craft Open Exhibition. This runs from 5th December to 1st March. This small but perfectly formed gallery is well worth a visit and there will be a magnificent range of contemporary craft on show.
Meanwhile I’m working on a much larger scale Pavement Piece for the SDC exhibition in London in January. Pictures of that to come another time.
Anyone who has been following my work over the last year or so will know that I like an unusual gallery space. This week last year I was exhibiting in the old lighthouse at Spurn – I can’t believe it’s been a whole year. Well, the next unconventional space is an old 1960s Sprite caravan that Stef and Ian Mitchell of Duckett & Jeffreys run as a touring gallery space. Over the next two weeks it won’t be touring but will be parked up outside their house in a stunning location in the Yorkshire Wolds. Stef and Ian turn their house into a gallery four times a year and invite artists to show their work. I was thrilled to be invited to do a ‘caravan takeover’.
I’m showing some of my Gifts from the Pavement work, including a few new pieces. I took my work over there yesterday in beautiful autumn sunshine. It was tempting to linger in the dry valleys that are so typical of the wolds, amidst pheasants and buzzards and berry-heavy hedgerows. Sadly I had to get back to do other things. I did get a sneek peek at some of the work going up in the house, particularly Helen Booth‘s and I really do recommend getting over there as there is some lovely stuff. There are directions to find Canada House here and there are some lovely images of my work going up over here. The exhibitions are open between 11 and 6 daily until 13 October. If nothing else it’s worth just to see this lovely part of the world!
This weekend I will be showing work alongside my fellow Society of Designer Craftsmen members from the Hallam region. We will be at Art in the Gardens in Sheffield’s botanic garden. The weather forecast is horrid but I’m assured the event is a lovely one and there will be lots of great art to see and buy. The show is open on Saturday and Sunday between 10.30 and 5.30.
I’ve been working on some small textile pieces that are part of the series of works called Gifts from the Pavement. These compliment the paper based prints that formed the original exhibition. They are made in the same way, building up layers of rust print, collagraph print (both using found objects from the Saltaire streets) and stitch, but this time on silk.
These ones have just gone off to the framers and I have a little stack to work on through the holidays.
You can now hear some of the music that was composed for my Gifts from the Pavement exhibition for Saltaire Arts Trail in May. Composer Nigel Morgan wrote a series of miniature pieces in response to my prints. These were performed by the award winning jazz pianist Matt Robinson and a taster of those is now available here. Matt will be recording an album of these along with other works written for him by Nigel as part of an on-going collaboration.
The Gifts from the Pavement book is now available to buy on my online shop.
By the way, this is the last week to see Industrial Abstract at the Beetroot Tree in Derbyshire. Textures of Spurn continues at The Bowery in Leeds and if you’re around that area next Saturday I’ll have a stall at the Leeds Festival Chorus Plant and Produce sale at St Chads Parish Centre, Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds from 11.30 – 2.30. This is a fundraising event for the wonderful choir, which I sing in. There will be lots of plants, food, craft stalls and general loveliness.
The dust has settled after the Saltaire Arts Trail last weekend. It was a wonderful three days that were blessed with lovely weather and we had thousands of visitors to the various events happening as part of the trail. I had almost 2000 visitors to my pop-up gallery over the three days, which was amazing. I had some lovely conversations with people about the project too, which was great – until people came to see the work I really didn’t know whether people would ‘get it’, but they did! It was lovely to see children’s imaginations being sparked by the different shapes I’d captured and finding delight in recognising some of the items I’d used to print with.
I’ve had a few problems uploading things this last week or so but now I can catch up on a few of the things I was going to share about the Saltaire project
Wandering round the streets of Saltaire there are a whole range of carved marks in the kerb stones. I assumed these are masons marks and they seem to be referred to as those by many people. I found some discussion on line about whether they are benchmarks for the ordinance survey, but this seems unlikely. I then had a few conversations with people during my exhibition at and it seems that these marks indicate utilities: A little less romantic, but the most plausible explanation.
Some marks are in the form of letters, some are simple shapes. Whatever their provenance they make an interesting and sometimes playful-seeming addition to the pavement-scape.
These marks found their way into my collagraph prints for Gifts from the Pavement, recreated on the print plates by string that was found on the same streets.
I’ve been working quietly away at my exhibition for Saltaire Arts Trail. This time next week the event will be in full swing and the ‘village’ of Saltaire will be buzzing with people of all ages, inspired energy and a plethora of different art experiences for visitors to sample. One of these will be my exhibition Gifts from the Pavement, in one of two pop-up galleries on Victoria Road.
I posted a while ago about finding my ‘gifts’, the result of a kind of ‘beach-combing’ or pavement combing. Farley & Roberts (see post on Edgelands) refer to this kind of collecting of objects: “This is not beachcombing, but edgecombing” (p154). Saltaire, a World Heritage Site, can’t really be classed as an edgeland; it’s far too loved and looked after. However, the discarded or ignored details that I’ve explored here are generally over-looked, so there is an edgelands quality to them.
My collection of ‘combed’ textures, marks and shapes found on the streets of Saltaire has been transformed into a series of long prints or sections of a path, which will form the main part of the exhibition. As with other recent print-based work these are built up from various layers of different print techniques and texture: There are rust prints from found metal objects; collagraph prints, some made with found items and some from paper but inspired by the textures and patterns found on the street (drain covers, worked stone etc.); mono-prints using some of the natural items I found (leaves and seed heads); screen prints featuring scraps of found text; hand stitch adding a further layer of texture to the surface and finally a layer of subtle texture, almost like a rubbing, that makes the surface even more pavement-like. There are areas of intense activity as well as quieter sections. This reflects the ‘activity’ on the streets: some stretches were rich in points of interest, others much ‘cleaner’.
In the run-up to the Arts Trail the Saltaire Tourist Information Centre has some ‘Pavement Pieces’ prints (like little fragments of the main ones) and cards. I still don’t know exactly how the long prints will actually come together in the exhibition space until I get in there later in the week. This is slightly nerve-racking but exciting too. The book I’ve published to go with the exhibition is due for delivery on Monday and until I see it in print I won’t know if it really has worked how I hoped. Although the work is all made there are unknowns and challenges for the week ahead.