Cabin Fever Small stories, Big News All set up for the Cabin Fever Artcore residency. It was lovely to meet the other artist in residence, Poet, Dan Webber, who has done a fantastic job of making the cabin very colourful with his poetic text sprayed all around the outside and spilling onto the pavement. Now I invite you to participate in my project which is part of the Artcore residency, Cabin Fever, in association with DCC. Please come along to the cabin and share your story. Create a small piece of artwork that is inspired by your own experience of the lockdowns. The artwork we make together will be small, in contrast to Dans big bold work, no bigger than A6 and can be text, type, collagraph, monoprint, screen print, tapestry, lino print, a short film telling your story, a drawing, a painting, or if you are an artist who has a specific medium and materials to make the work please do that. You can book for an hour workshop (which is free) where you will be able to learn a technique to make your piece of art. Artwork made by participants will be left at the cabin with the intention of publishing the work in a magazine/book/e-book alongside your story. When the book is published, time depending on funding, participants will get a free copy. If you are interested in taking part please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call at The Cabin, The old Stand, Osnabruck Square, Derby between 12 and 4 Wednesday, Thursday or FridayRead More
First commissioned as part of Derby Feste 2020, The Derby Witness is poetry and street art project created in response to the first Coronavirus lockdown. Comprising of 49 lines of text, submitted by Derby and Derbyshire residents, summing up their thoughts and experiences during this time. One line of text for each day of the first lockdown. The aspect of the project I proudest of, is shamefully the thing I have become most immune to, which is the impact of the lines of text included in the work. One of the joys of setting up for the Cabin Fever residency was seeing and hearing the reaction of people as they walked past the space, discovering line after line and beginning to discuss it, sharing their thoughts and taking pictures for their social media. The lines represent a snap-shot of a conversation or a fragment of thought, and during the residency these lines will be sprayed over and over again, spilling out onto the ground surrounding the space, building up ‘the great cloud of witness’ (Hebrews 12:1) which inspired the work. It is a divisive piece dealing with a difficult subject matter, but I hope during the residency people who see the work will find a line of text they can relate to, and hopefully be inspired to add their lines to the project. Care. Cry. Fight. Survive. #TheDerbyWitnessRead More
Last week the apparition of the ‘Knife Angel’ next to Derby was an example of the ways in which objects can be used to reflect on social and political meaning. As 'social sculpture', the 27 feet high sculpture made from around 100,000 bladed weapons collected in knife amnesties, and created by the British Ironwork Centre with sculptor Alfie Bradley is a stunning and topical National Monument.
Tuesday morning, Birmingham. Bad luck. Someone thought that it would be a good idea to break into my car. They didn't get in. Nothing was taken because there was nothing of value to steal and some of my personal belongings were thrown into the road. I spent the day getting 2 car windows replaced.
Later in the day my disappointment in people became re-enchantment as I talked to Brummies on the bus back to where I was staying. More than 4 people gave me advice about buses and directions, one old lady her life story and the bus driver waived payment for the ride.
I was even happy to find the rock used to break the windows, inside the car. Perhaps an interesting object to make art from? An opportunity to change its story and create a new one?Just as we change our stories about ourselves and our lives, manipulating objects around us can change the
We recently moved to a small village in Cornwall where news and gossip travels fast. One of our neighbours passes our house regularly, stopping we are sure to collect any gossip about us that she can share in the local shop. Since she has a zimmer frame and she moves extremely quickly onto the shop after talking to us, so our nick-name for her is ‘hot wheels’.
We also have meaningful conversations with ‘hot wheels’, as although she plugs us for information we manage to change the subject. One day when she was talking about our new home and how we were settling in, she said “home is where you are understood.”
This evening finding time to relax in front of what I call ‘sad telly’ - there was a scene where the main character returns home and sees the old teapot her mother has on the table. She asks why she still has it. Her mother replies “Nothing says home like that old teapot”.
Visiting Derby Museum and Pickford’s Museum this week, I enjoyed some of the objects and the idea that much of this particular display was selected by people from Derby.
Tim Shore’s exhibition throws up stories in contemplating ‘Derby Meantime’. Little Red Riding Hood in the paper theatre display is a story that is never threadbare no matter how it is multiplied, mutilated and retold. We tell
Salt and Water. Water and Salt.Salt and Water. Water and Salt. One is born from the other. Each can be separated from the other. Once called White Gold, a currency, the rise of wealth, the cause of war and exploitation. Sacred, holy it wards of evil. Its spillage is sinful and can bring bad luck. A sign of hospitality, loyalty and treachery. The more I research salt the more connections it seems to have with the human condition, culture and identity. I wanted to use the residency as an opportunity to really consider the medium I work with. To explore its properties, to play with it, to learn about it, to understand its benefits and limitations. Playing with materials is such a vital part of my artistic process; it allows me to experiment and expand my thoughts, seeing the materials move, change and react allow me to visually transfer text-based research and ideas through symbolism. I will not adopt a masterly tone and bore you, rather allow me to take you on a visual journey Both salt and water are essential and detrimental to our existence. The first part of this process was seeing what would happen to a chunk of Himalayan salt under a running tap within a few minutes the water created a hole within the salt. What was dry on the surface was now glistening and part translucent. Read More
Returning to Derby to undertake the Artcore No Matter How Strong Residency I was interested in how I could re-root myself in the landscape of Derby. Having moved from Derbyshire ten years prior the city centre felt full of ghosts; half-forgotten memories and uncanny recollections of streets and other open spaces. As an entry way I began developing a fieldwork method of research. Following routes and pathways through the city I found respite by the river edge and began to think about the intergenerational relationship of early settlers also coming to the river, interacting with the same site and mud, the same material heritage. I went to Derby Museum and learnt through material fragments about early settlers and the development of Derby as a city, how layers of mud have held onto memories. These excavations have enabled us to trace the land through forgotten tools and drawings left in dwellings. As someone who works with clay and pottery, remnants of early pottery vessels connected my process to early ancestors, working through the ground their skills and techniques have been passed down into the way my fingers shape clay today. Metal working further rooted my material practice, connecting my sculptural material to land extraction and alchemy, and closer still to my grandads work at Stanton Iron Works in the 1970’s and 80’s after moving to England. A fragment of a carved monument encouraged me to consider the hands which had so carefully chosen this stone, taken it from the earth and skilfullyRead More