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.
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