Thursday, 17 March 2016

Artspace on the Move

Have you ever wondered what happens when an exhibition closes? Beyond the physical packing up and sending objects on for new exhibitions or into storage, what about the impression the exhibition leaves behind? Is it a clean break, or does it linger like perfume spray?
As the opening venue for British Art Show 8 there was an energy and excitement surrounding Leeds Art Gallery and the city itself, something we are hoping to continue even after the exhibition had moved on. We have been inspired by the artists Martino Gamper and Ciara Phillips who were interested in collaborating with members of the public.

Gamper, a self-described designer, not artist, worked with local artisans and skilled craftspeople to showcase the repairing of damaged and forgotten items. This included shoe-cobblers repairing soles of shoes, book binders re-binding books, and chair caners fixing chairs. Each artisan also added a design developed by Gamper, co-producing a ‘unique piece of design’ (as it says in the exhibition catalogue).This practise strengthened a conversation within our wider community about the value of objects in our culture. It also considered the way in which we as a society have a tendency to throw things out rather than expending energy to revive them.

During the recent half-term holiday, we took pop-up activities inspired by the collaborative and transformative qualities of Gamper’s work to Leeds Trinity Kitchen. We invited families and young people to repair or bring a new life to damaged or unwanted objects. Our team were on site to encourage imagination and help realise their designs and ideas (and operate the hot glue gun!).
These pictures show their artworks ranging from books to trophies, animals to new tools. 

Basket turned in to a squid

Toy car transformed in to a butterfly and clock made in to wall-art

Toy giraffe transformed in to doll and a cardboard tube turned in to cannon
Cardboard tube and wooden letters transformed into a trophy

By Corinne Foskey, Learning Officer Intern 

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