Between March and September 2017 I’ve been working with a lovely group of people from the Foxton Centre in Preston at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery. It started out with a request from Kyra Milnes, the Harris’ outreach worker to do some work which linked into their Martin Creed – Artist Rooms exhibition and has developed slowly and organically as we’ve developed our working relationship together. We’ve shared stories, aired our grievances about PIPs, got lost (literally! we had to pick up two people from the police station as they had no way of finding us), shared our skills (Gail can find you the perfect charity shop bargain), fallen in the sea, searched for a set of false teeth in a receding tide, got a panda-face sun tan and learnt about how to make art together and alongside each other.
As a programme of workshops it’s been different to a lot of what is usually commissioned by galleries as we had a starting point, but there was no pressure to get to an end point. We’ve created objects, drawings, sculptures and videos along the way, but a lot of the time it felt like I wasn’t doing much as an artist/workshop leader. On reflection it’s been quite Creed-ian – nothing happened, but at the same time lots did happen, it’s all been a bit like the lights going on and off, you have to sit in the room for a while to appreciate what is already there even when you think that there is nothing. If anything, now that the workshops have finished, it’s like the group are in a great place to begin.
Here’s some of the things that happened over the last six months
The adventures of the inkpot and the quill, by Nirmala Dholakia
The Crosby Trip, performed by Neil Black
Observing our environment on a day trip.
Sculpture by Gail.
oooh, plan, you, see, lord
With thanks to Paul and Laura who work tirelessly with the Foxton Centre, to the always-present Neil, Gail and Nirmala and everyone else who worked with me over the past 6 months.
I’ve had a recent flurry of drawing activity that has had a public showing over the summer. A pair of monoprints titled ‘Helped up/Held down’ won the Drawing category at the St Helens Open exhibition at the World of Glass, these drawings are also due to appear in a national arts publication soon, which I’ll share when it is published:
And a set of three drawings that are part of the ‘Drawing the Collection’ exhibition, also at The World of Glass. They are based on observations in the hot glass studio of The World of Glass, observing how the ellipses of glass morph and change in the process of hand blowing different vessels.
Morphing ellipses iii
Morphing ellipses ii
Morphing ellipses i
‘Drawing the Collection’ is on show at The World of Glass until Friday 3rd November 2017.
On Saturdays 17th and 24th June at Meadows Library, Maghull we celebrated the legacy of Frank Hornby and the library’s Meccano collection. Families were invited to design and construct a full scale Portal Door to be housed at Meadows Library, becoming our magical gateway to a host of imagined worlds. Using vintage Meccano multiple generations explored building techniques, playing with both small, scale and human scale creations. Together we imagined the worlds that might lay beyond a portal, with the initial idea coming from a 1930s Meccano instruction manual before scaling up our ideas using contemporary construction materials. The families ideas came together to result in a time travelling portal, complete with whirling rotor blades, steering wheel for setting the gauges and options of which world to travel to next.
Workshops: Claire devises workshops that combine her interests and skills with your situation and needs. Example commission: ‘At the library’, family heritage workshops, designing a portal with Meccano.
Designs for a meccano portal at Maghull Library
Commission: At the library, family heritage workshops, designing with meccano
I’m really pleased to share that I’ll be exhibiting at the Bluecoat this spring as part of their ‘Public View’ exhibition, celebrating the Bluecoat’s 300th anniversary. The list of artists exhibiting is really amazing and I’m humbled to have been invited to exhibit as part of this show as an artist who has exhibited there in the past. The exhibition will feature works that have been shown throughout the Bluecoat’s history, some that were made at the same time as the artist exhibited there, or as a completely new artwork.
My history with the Bluecoat stretches back to around 2003 when I volunteered in the gallery whilst at University, then exhibited my degree show work ‘Sit and Draw’ in the old windowbox space in 2004. The Bluecoat have been brilliant at supporting artists as they develop their practice and invited me to exhibit in 2008 as part of Next Up and to create ‘Passing, Watching, Waiting, Following’ in the College Street space. Sara-Jayne Parsons invited POST Liverpool to exhibit as part of Global Studio and supported me to create ‘Two installations’ in the Vide in 2013 following my residency in Shanghai.
It is work from that latter exhibition that I will be representing in Public View, showing one of my pinned collages that acted as a study for the interactive projection work that featured in the Vide. I’m really thankful of Sara-Jayne Parsons and Bryan Biggs support over the past 13 years, and am really happy to join in the celebrations of a brilliant Liverpool institution.
Public View, The Bluecoat Sat, 04 Feb 2017 – Sun, 23 Apr 2017
John Akomfrah / Graham Ashton / Conrad Atkinson / Glen Baxter / David Blandy / Derek Boshier / Sonia Boyce / Mark Boyle / Jyll Bradley / Pavel Büchler / Chila Burman / Marc Camille Chaimowicz / Stephen Chambers / Edward Chell / Jagjit Chuhan / Pete Clarke / Maurice Cockrill / Sue Coe / Common Culture / Cornford & Cross / Graham Crowley / Adam Dant / Mal Dean / Jeremy Deller / Maurice Doherty / Sokari Douglas Camp / Bill Drummond / Alan Dunn / Stephen Dwoskin / Nina Edge / John Edkins / Stephen Farthing / Alec Finlay / Leo Fitzmaurice / Pete Frame / Neville Gabie / Malcolm Garrett / Georg Gartz / Melissa Gordon / Jean Grant / Tony Hayward / Peter Hagerty / Sean Halligan / Ian Hamilton Finlay / Rowena Harris / Susan Hefuna / Adrian Henri / Lubaina Himid / Lin Holland / Pam Holt / Nicholas Horsfield / John Hyatt / Andrzej Jackowski / David Jacques / George Jardine / Brigitte Jurack / Peter Kennard / Michael Kenny / Naiza Khan / Juginder Lamba / John Latham / Mark Leckey / Hew Locke / David Mabb / Elizabeth Magill / Bashir Makhoul / Clement McAleer / Don McKinlay / John Monks / Jacqueline Morreau / Paul Morrison / Val Murray / Niamh O’Malley / Yoko Ono / David Osbaldeston / Brian O’Toole / Tony Oursler / Keith Piper / Nicole Polonsky / Tricia Porter / Imran Qureshi / Peter Randall-Page / Paul Rooney / Marisa Rueda / Emma Rushton / Walid Sadek / Lesley Sanderson / Peter Saville / Yinka Shonibare / Jamie Shovlin / The Singh Twins / Mark Skinner / Robert Soden / South Atlantic Souvenirs and Trouble / Emily Speed / Imogen Stidworthy / Elizabeth Stuart Smith / Mike Stubbs / Pádraig Timoney / Ray Walker / Sam Walsh / Claire Weetman / Ann Whitehurst / Pat Whiteread / Tom Wood / George Wyllie
The first new work I’ve exhibited in a while is now on show at the latest Markmakers exhibition at The Brindley in Runcorn. A maquette for a maze of displacementis a video installation work that forms a study for a proposed mass participation public intervention.
Landmarks & Boundaries is the latest project from Markmakers; Halton’s contemporary art collective, and is inspired by the artists’ geographical location of living near to the coastlines of North West England and Wales, and their individual experiences, knowledge of tides, islands, pathways, histories, folklore and rites of passage.
Crossings at high tide, clothes as signifiers of personal boundaries, migration and the experience of moving through the physical landscape are among the subjects explored with media ranging widely from paint and print to sculpture, textiles and installation.
Expect the unexpected and join the artists for their gallery talk and reception on Saturday 17 September in the Brindley Gallery at 1pm, all welcome, refreshments will be served.
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 10am – 5pm, Sat 10am – 3pm The Brindley Theatre, High Street, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 1BG Tel: 0151 907 8360 | www.thebrindley.org.uk
Seven artists, six residencies, one group show. Claire Weetman, Ian Jackson, Alice Bradshaw, Rebecca Long & Cameron Muir, Leah Hislop, Tom McGinn 5 Dec 2014 – 25 Jan 2015 Opening night 5 December 7pm Join me on the opening of Residual Projects to see the beginning of my mini residency as part of this new exhibition or come and visit on Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th December 12-3pm.
Residual Projects is the culmination of an annual traineeship programme between South Square Gallery and The Hepworth Wakefield, which sees Curator Charlie Booth make her debut. Charlie explains;
‘Residual Projects is a critical look at traditional artists residencies, where work will be created and installed whilst the gallery is open. The result will be a group exhibition which grows week by week as different artists enter and leave the space. This is an interactive project, where visitors are invited to engage with the work being created so as to better understand the processes used and decisions made.’
Residual Projects is a series of miniature residencies with seven nationwide artists using the gallery to explore their own artistic interests whilst the gallery is open to the public. The work they create during their residency will be left for the next artist to negotiate. The aim is to create a dynamic group exhibition which explores how artists can work collaboratively. All participating artists will be creating new work which responds directly to the physical architectural or social history of South Square Gallery and the history of Thornton.
Throughout the evening of the 5th December I will create an instinctive performance piece inspired by South Square’s domestic history as a collection of Stonemason cottages. My intervention will involve the audience on the night; dividing lines will intersect the galleries floors and walls, marking out different possibilities of living arrangements within the confined space. This new work is a continuation of the socio-political piece Residential Mosaics shown at the Brindley earlier this year and ‘a remarkable architecture of stairs‘ which looked at the proliferation of high rise flats of Shanghai.
Residual Projects | Group show | 05 December 2014 – 25 January 2015 Opening night – 05 December 7pm Christmas Closure – 29 December 2014 – 05 January 2015 Closing celebration – 23 January 7pm
Participating artists and residency dates (Exact dates are subject to change):1. Claire Weetman – Fri 5th Dec – Sun 7th Dec 2. Ian Jackson – Tues 9th Dec – Fri 12th Dec 3. Alice Bradshaw – Tues 16th Dec – Fri 19th Dec (dates tbc) 4. Rebecca Long and Cameron Muir Tues 6th Jan – Fri 9th Jan 5. Leah Hislop – Sat 10th Jan – Mon 12th Jan 6. Tom McGinn – Thurs 15th Jan – Sun 18th Jan
During October I’ve been working with St Augustine of Canterbury Catholic High School on some varied drawing activities. The bulk of the time was spent with Year 7 on a project using footprints, although I also got to spend some time with pupils from Years 9, 10 & 11 on a range of drawing activities too.
Over the course of a day I worked with each Year 7 pupil using frottage to capture an image of their footprint, before they layered tracing paper over the top to create a black and white graphic design. These drawings have then been transformed into digital files suitable for cutting with the school’s laser cutter – a piece of kit that more and more high school technology departments have in their arsenal.
Their very helpful technology teacher then cut the files that I laid out into mylar stencils and rubber stamps for an after school session where Year 7 pupils returned with their parents for an evening of jet washing and animation.
The stencil designs are inspired by the transitional journey that Year 7 pupils have taken from primary to high school and feature footprints, maps, school names and words to describe the emotions of moving to this new community.
The footprints were also turned into rubber stamps, which were used to create a quick stop motion animation by building up the prints a few at a time, the results of which are here:
You’ve only got until this Saturday 9th August to catch my exhibition at the Brindley. If you missed the artist’s talk on Saturday 26th July, then here’s a bit of footage of me talking about the Residential mosaic works:
The Cornerstone Gallery at Hope University in Liverpool celebrates it’s ten year anniversary this summer with an exhibition of artists who have exhibited there in the previous decade. I’ll be showing one of my pinned collages created in Shanghai in 2012. The show will be open during the Liverpool Independents Biennial, 9am-5pm weekdays only.
The Cornerstone Gallery, Liverpool Hope University, Creative Campus, 17 Shaw Street, Liverpool, L6 1HP.