Thursday, 10 March 2011

Wooden Sardines and thumbprints

The Open West Exhibition and Community project:

My ceramic pieces in the exhibition and the new piece of furniture I adapted and clad in cardboard... why don't you remember how painful something is the first time round?

The postcard propped up at the back tells Gertrude Kiwi's story that inspired the pieces....

View of the exhibition with my cabinet in the back, the boat hanging from the ceiling was beautiful, I think it was made from gold-leafed cardboard. Alan Goulbourne's piece is in the foreground, the artist I assisted with the community project.

I spent the first half of last week in Cheltenham helping Alan Goulbourne with his half of a community project run by The Open West (the exhibition I was part of).

His piece for the project, based in the Hester's Way estate, is an 8ft spherical 'Bait Ball' made from pieces of 2x1 wood. A bait ball is a panic and defense mechanism adopted by sardines in the face of a predator and Alan's pieces referenced a community being squeezed yet coming together, as the area in which the project is based was due for much needed regeneration yet plans have been cancelled since Asda is moving in down the road.

I helped Alan by adding on the smaller 'sardines' to the piece and passing him drills and screws through a small gap as he climbed inside to attach the top of the sculpture.

My favorite part of this experience was heading over the road to the youth center and chatting to and involving the staff and young people there in the project. We collected over 1000 4x5cm thumb-printed squares as a side project which with their help we constructed into one large piece.

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