Collect 2013. Laura Ellen Bacon was presenting in the Project Space this year and as soon as I saw her piece it revealed another echo in my project; layers.
The density of the layers that she shows with the the weave she uses has been internalised, ‘joggled about’ and cooked up to produce the notion of layers in my interpretation of surface. It really struck me. The impact of those two weeks was acutely felt in that simple revisiting.
It PROVES how very sensitive we are to our environments and the longevity and complexity involved in the process of embodiment that making reveals.
This a question that has yet to be answered. It is something that now I am considering how to present this work must be formalised in writing. The peripateticism of my approach to my work is significant. I literally, ‘go for a walk’ and see what I find. This takes quite a leap of faith but it also always serves to re-validate itself as a means of beginning a project, and in the same breathe, of demonstration of the resourcefulness and abundance that pervades the whole of life!
There are a number of things about Coventry that are of interest to me. The industrial revolution saw it as the centre of ribbon manufacturing and Alfred Herbert founded the Herbert Gallery and Museum on the wealth of his tool-making business. Historically it is the centre of transportation in the UK. The Asian population were economic migrants in the 1950s who were attracted to the automotive industry there. It is a place of transition, therefore. It was completely re-built in post-war modernist idealism and for all it’s failings (the predominance of concrete being one) the spirit of ‘PEACE AND RECONCILIATION’ that emerged from the disaster of WWII pervades the place.
Geologically it sits on the same type of bedrock as Stoke on Trent. It is also shaped like a bowl geologically. The ring road acts as a kind of safe rim to the city; you can never really get lost. Yes, the heart is a shopping centre, dominated by concrete but there is a municipal kindness and an overwhelming sense of unity in the place that sustains it. I realise from this response that I am acutely sensitive to the heart of a place and I find fragmentation very destructive. Perhaps this is the reason for my reaction to the Kings Cross development.
The Cathedral. It is full of art. Even it’s stained glass windows were a major commission for contemporary artists. It has an international reputation for unity that is lost on the national UK population and it manages a sense of intimacy in a vast space that I cannot help but contrast with the space of the new UAL building, which is itself a whole other type of cathedral!
Comparison over, the discovery of unity and strength of purpose in the place is supported by the people I found there. It touches me because they are open and honest about their work and honesty is something I value above nearly all things. As makers we hold the tools to forward motion, towards improvement and progress. Discovery of Coventry has been a very important one in the synthesis of my learning at this stage of the degree.
I need to speak to Uma about the regional density of family carers in Coventry compared to the rest of the country as it seems like a very densely packed region for carers (45 in the one group that I am working with alone). She will know where to look I am sure.
The use of a manufactured mass produced body speaks to notions of place that have informed my site specific work to date.
The trajectory of travel is under review at this stage of any academic course and looking back on my first year began by externalizing domestic imagery (which I subsequently discovered has it’s own feminist discourse in modernism) by placing a scatter cushion in a public space. Since then there has been a move towards the internal; making domestic homewares is a fact of life for ceramics but the movement of my sculptural work toward occupation of internal space is noteworthy.
Now the domestic sphere seems to become reconciled through this project.
So my investigations into raw clay building and how to sustain it’s life has led me to the http://www.cobinthecommunity.org/
Dropped them a line and was going to meet up with proejct leader at their latest exercise on Friday but the rain stopped play.
Great personality though and we will meet up when the time is right.
This gives me some time to regroup and do some testing of my own on clays I would want to us in Waterlow Park. The contact at Camden Council is holiday until 18 March so there is a little leeway there as well.
Plenty to do!
The General Secretary at BOPA (British Organisation of People of Asian Origin) has invited me to a meeting on Monday.
Their enthusiasm is amazing – I only sent the email yesterday afternoon and they replied within a couple of hours. There is a huge networking opportunity it seems to be had. VERY short notice though, Monday night.
Back to Coventry next week then 🙂
At the moment my research has been in consulting with GLIAS (Greater London Industrial Archeological Society). They have been exceptionally helpful in pointing me to various research resources, where I might find more about the tiles that were produced on this site.
The advice I have is that because a name was given to the site, the chances of it being of significant size and duration are greater, and also that this potentially indicates a more ornamental or decorative tiles were being manufactured there.
We will have to wait and see what the research uncovers.
Visit to Coventry today to attend a surgery for the Coventry ArtSpace project I am planning a proposal for.
My first visit to Coventry, and it didn’t rain! Visited the site to get my bearings really and to understand the location, which is Broadgate, the main and oldest square in Coventry. A pedestrian zone, close to the Herbert Gallery and the Cathedral
Really positive feedback from the surgery; they seemed to like the idea; now I need to firm up the plans for the proposal. Main points of my idea are;
- to share ideas and stories through ceramics
- transfer craft skills teaching and exchanging designs for ceramic transfers
- engender a sense of place and discussion between participants/delegates/members of the public
Things to do:
- find contacts for community groups in Coventry
- sort out contents insurance
- research Alfred Herbert’s interest in ‘art into industry’ in the 50s
- explore whether a commercial entity can be involved in the proposal
- locate some possible sites for consultation workshops, including Herbert Gallery’s ‘Whats in store’ room
- N.B. Artspace has a kiln!
- start thinking of an image – possibly work with an existing commercial entity
Things to consider:
- backstamp ideas. There is a logo for the symposium which could be used.
- ownership of the cups – the participants in the consultation need to be able to identify their own work and take possession of it when it is done.
- international community that lives in the city – they are the resource that makes Coventry vibrant
The positives of the meeting were that the will seemed to be there for a peripatetic to be a positive contribution to the work of ArtSpace. There seemed to be an established community willing to invest in the international ‘peace and reconciliation’ message that Coventry had cultivated but who wanted it to promote it nationally and locally. Local-Global factor again. The context of Coventry being a centre for transport seemed to support the idea of a shared story. This is THE THEME.