Sunday, 24 August 2014

To pick up or not to pick up?

People often ask why I pick up something and not another thing. I guess that's something I don't exactly know the answer to, but the decision I make in that moment of seeing something on the street and bothering to stoop down is obviously a crucial one. I'm very selective with what I pick up. This may depend on what mood I'm in, whether I am able to stop, how covered in mud that thing is... While I was in Cork recently with Martin Green, I found an interesting strip of rubber. I picked it up and as I was trying to get some of the mud off it (quite yucky) I dropped it. Where did it land? In a dog poo. So that's definitely where I draw the line. 

I am drawn to toys, plastics, colourful things, interesting shapes, objects which bear traces of peoples' lives - marked, worn, used. They may be tragic, comic, peculiar. It fascinates me when items have been changed by their environment - (perhaps flattened by cars or weather worn) and the objects become sculptural beyond their original designs. Another interest for me is to build up a collection of like items. Finding similar things and presenting them in a set or series brings a different meaning and 'weight' to them; they gain greater significance together.

These are disregarded things - lost or thrown away, seen as worthless. To pick these things up and present them within a new context and with a new value is a redemptive act. 

Monday, 18 August 2014

Open Doors

A week of hard toil and installing and Shed - Collect - Shed has now opened!

The Coventry Centre for Contemporary Art (CCCA) looks great it in it's new setting - under the covered court in the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum. It may be small but there's plenty to see inside - over 40 new works for your contemplation and enjoyment!

Thanks to everyone involved in the set up, including artists Martin Green and Joanna Rucklidge and the Herbert staff.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

The first work has been installed for Shed - Collect - Shed at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum. Although not technically in the exhibition, it is part of the show. You can find my work Down at Heel (2014) in the What's in Store room on the ground floor of the Herbert. The room is not easily found which is perhaps fitting for this little precursor / trailer to the main attraction all about found objects and is opening in a just under a week.

You'll find this draw marked Found Coventry Shoe Heels in amongst other Museum drawers housing various interesting collections such as Medieval Leather Scabbards, Fans and Prehistoric Stone Tools.  My aim is to encourage people to visit the room as much as for it to point others in the direction of my show. To me it's one of the most interesting rooms in the Herbert with a real mixture of things to explore - from paintings to clocks,  stuffed animals to ... shoe heels. 

Friday, 8 August 2014

This is one of Joanna Rucklidge's pieces for the Shed-Collect-Shed exhibition - a screen print from found rubber bands. This forms part of a series of work called 'Going Round in Circles' made using everyday objects found on the streets of Coventry. She uses the symbol of the circle that she found recurring throughout her journey around Coventry - both in the objects she found and the details of the city. I love the way she draws inspiration from very mundane things and creates something beautiful. I'm looking forward to seeing these installed next week ready for the exhibition opening on Saturday 16th August.