I was commissioned recently to make windows for the door and porch of The Studio Gallery, Scarborough. I was pleased that my contemporary style windows worked well within the Victorian architecture.
The gallery is run by mixed media artist Helen Birmingham and is a great addition to Scarborough’s art scene, functioning as gallery, meeting place and flexible use space, with lovely studio flat available too. The gallery’s website has a ‘Scarborough Based Artists’ page, where I am very pleased to be listed.
I recently took my daughter to have a look at the Art + play exhibition. I was happy to see that our artwork worked! She loved running and walking through it, wafting and swirling the fabric around. I was also happy to see that the white ring reinforcements, as well as sticking to the silk, were also now dotted around the floor in true ‘snowflake’ style! Not sure the gallery staff will be quite so happy when it comes to removing them!
Here’s a few shots of other artworks in the show – Jason Taylor makes wonderful humorous artworks using everyday objects. Lucy Fergus has made a lovely tactile wall sculpture from rubber offcuts. Linda Arkley made a great kaleidoscope using film footage of plastic bottles.
Art + Play is a touring exhibition initiated by 20:21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe. For this project I collaborated with Kathryn Welford – my sister. This has been our first collaboration of this kind, and it’s been great fun working together. Six artists in total were commissioned to make an artwork that was targeted at under 5′s and allowed that age group to interact or ‘play’ with it. Making something that could be grown-up art as well as a play object for small children was pretty tricky!
Part of the project involved spending time in a nursery and a reception class, which proved immensely useful and enjoyable (a post of the process and pictures will follow). We were excited by the research focus of the project and the opportunity to watch how children imagine, invent, explore and create, and to create new work in response to this. We really liked the open-endedness of the brief, and the challenge of bringing together ‘Art’ and ‘Play’ as equal components within the creative process.
We became interested in how materials or environments affect how children behave; how certain ‘stimuli’ encourage careful, curious moments and how children behave in uncharacteristic or a-typical ways because of the materials or environments they are given to explore. We wanted to challenge preconceptions of play and of what young children are believed to like or enjoy. So, instead of creating something that was robust and solid, we created a delicate installation using sheets of silk chiffon and white ring reinforcements. We positioned the artwork thoughtfully to make it more likely that children explored it in a slow and careful way. We also provided sheets of white ring reinforcements so that children (and grown-ups) could spend time peeling and sticking stickers onto the chiffon, which requires careful concentration.
Titled ‘Uh-uh! A snowstorm! A swirling, whirling snowstorm.’ the artwork was developed taking the book ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ by Michael Rosen as a starting point. It uses light and translucency to create depth and a sense of being engulfed in gentle snowfall. The chiffon is responsive to even slight air currents and almost appears to breath as one walks past.
The panel we made for the Theatre lift was quite unusual, and maybe even unique in that it’s main purpose was to give patients on their way to or from theatre something to look at and, hopefully, a welcome distraction from the other things on their mind.
In line with our ‘tree’ theme, this lift featured the Silver Birch and had accompanying text about the bird life characteristic to Birch woodland.
Applying layers of cut vinyl onto the ceiling was a tricky business. Here’s a couple of shots of the process, showing our trusty signwriter Don French applying the vinyl branches, whilst fellow collaborator Adrian, very importantly, keeps everyone cheerful and props up the wall!
Three lifts in York Hospital are now adorned with glass panels. We’re pretty pleased with them. I showed details in my previous post, and now here are a few shots of them in their entirety. Beech and Horse Chestnut are the latest ones to be installed. The final one ‘Silver Birch’ is a little different so that’s going to get a post all of it’s own. This project was a collaboration with Adrian Riley of Electric Angel Design.
Well the van is packed and we’re ready to go. I’ll be driving very carefully along the A64 tomorrow, taking care of our precious cargo! Here are a few details of the glass panels we’re making to go in the the back of three lifts. We’re particularly pleased with how the text and images become highlighted with reflected light. The panels have a rear layer of mirror, creating a lovely glow through layers of sandblasting and printed colour.
Tomorrow is a big day! It’s installation day for our glass panels – going into lifts in York Hospital. This project has been a collaboration with Adrian Riley of Electric Angel Design, and I must say, it’s been a joy to be part of a team. Adrian and I are collaborating more and more, and it’s a great way of working. Don French – our trusty signwriter has also helped significantly on this one – here we all are, weeding and applying vinyl in preparation for sandblasting.
Here’s a few shots of the installation – a nerve wracking experience but handled with great expertise, care and attention to detail by ng developments. They also managed to manoeuvre the very very very heavy 2.5m high glass panels into place without even a flinch! Thanks chaps, we were very impressed!
Each panel was crated for transportation. They were so heavy we had to rig up a roller system to move them around.
First unveiling. Everything intact!
Then assembly and manoevring into position. Easy!