gifts

Alice Fox Gifts from the Pavement print textures detail

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.

Alice Fox Gifts from the Pavement layered rust, collagraph and screen print

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’.

Alice Fox Gifts from the Pavement Saltaire collagraph and screen print detail

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.

11 thoughts on “gifts

  1. Looks great Alice. – hope it goes well – if I was nearer I would be there! I’ve been to the open studios in Saltaire several times but now I’ve located to the south west it’s a bit far!

  2. Looks really interesting , shame it’s only for a few days, will the exhibition be going on any where else?
    Joyce

    • Hi Joyce. Yes it is a short event. I don’t know yet if it will be shown elsewhere but I’ll post info if any plans emerge.

  3. I really prefer your title, ‘gifts’ to one I had been thinking of when looking along the edges of pavements for inspiration, the title that wouldn’t leave me was, ‘gutter press’…maybe one day I will get a positive out of it as you have from your gifts!

  4. Hi Judith. When I was actually looking for my ‘gifts’ the title seemed a little ironic at times! It really comes from another project that has been on the back burner for a while and references Utamaro’s “Gifts from the Ebb Tide”, a book of illustrations and poetry about things found by the sea. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/gallery/utamaro/
    The collaborative project I’m involved in called by the same name is hopefully going to come to fruition later this year.

    • What a great book, and web site, really looking forward to seeing how your project progresses.

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