Thus far the miles

An installation of 600 paper planes, made from the pages of a book – LIVERPOOL Gateway   of Empire, by Tony Lane, and maps of the Wirral, Liverpool, Leeds and   Stockholm.

At first glance, this is probably an usual book to choose for an installation of planes, after all it is a book about the everyday life experiences of ship owners and seafarers, not air travel.  I felt though that it was about working together on a project that is heavily dependent on funding and collaboration.

I had recently returned from exhibiting in SUPERMARKET: the Stockholm art fair ( with the group SciBase) http://www.supermarketartfair.com/  a year long project, funded by Arts Council England, which saw a collaboration between UK and International artists, initially exhibiting in Liverpool, Leeds and Stockholm.

The project inevitably involved a lot of travelling and communication and when I picked up the book – which was gathering dust on my bookshelf, I began to see connections.

The planes filled the unit, in Liverpool’s Albert Dock, As part of Liverpool Independents Biennial.

Thus far the miles taken from Shakespeare’s Sonnet How heavy do I journey on my way

Paper Houses

I started making these paper houses last year in response to an exhibition about housing. I had many problems with the design though and found that they travelled badly ( got crumpled easily)  So I put them away in a box and left them.

It was only when I started putting together The Cruel Sea Installation and I had to think about making the ships more sturdy and ‘people proof’, that I was able to go back to the houses and  redesign them.

The 400 + paper houses in this artwork represent a possible regeneration of the derelict terraces in Ducie Street and surrounding area in Toxteth, Liverpool.

The demolition of these buildings is highly contentious, with many residents taking the view that the houses are ‘fundamentally sound’  and that ‘renovation would be preferable and cheaper.’

With arts funding cuts greatly effecting public artworks , a question of how we can  sustain the level of art visibility – which has grown immensely due to the popularity of the Liverpool Biennials, with the regeneration of the area.

Each house in this installation is covered with a reproduction of an artwork.

The houses will be shown as part of  Liverpool Light Night : http://www.lightnightliverpool.co.uk/2012/the-spaces-between/

       

         

The Cruel Sea

I chose to make this work as I wanted to create a piece that had a connection with Ormskirk.  It follows on from the ship  installation I’d made in 2011 – 300 Viking shops, following a residency last year at Leasowe Development trust on the Wirral. Leasowe had a strong connection with the Vikings.

Although Ormskirk also has a Viking connection and the gallery had expressed an interest in showing that work again, I wanted to create something new for the exhibition.  The exhibition theme was ‘ journeys’ and  I really wanted to make something to do with ships again, but Ormskirk didn’t have an obvious maritime history.  On searching Wikipedia however, I saw that Nicholas Monsarrat, author of ‘The cruel sea’ had lived in Ormskirk at one time.

I bought a copy of the book and began to read….  thinking up what I could do in terms of a artwork.

This installation is made from the pages of two copies of the Cruel Sea – two copies to represent the two ships in the book.

The Cruel Sea Chapel Gallery, Ormskirk West Lancs. 24 March – 5 May 2012

          

275 Paper ships, cut from the pages of the novel.