12 June 2012

Art Trail at Grassington Festival 2012

I've been keeping quiet about the work in progress for the Grassington Festival 2012 Art Trail, largely because I've been feeling unconfident about it.  There's always the worry about making a fool oneself in public.

Originally I was going to make some kind of book structure out of paper to be displayed in a shop window, but I did really want to try to make something to go outside in a specific site, for the challenge of it.  As soon as I saw the lovely ancient stone dovecote I knew I wanted to put work there and it just seemed natural to involve the folding paper bird skulls I started making as part of the 28 Days later drawing challenge in February. What better use for a disused dovecote than as an Ossuary? Like a cabinet of curiosities or a shrine to the birds whose skulls are so beautiful and redolent of their species.

So today I went to Grassington to install the work, ready for the start of the festival on Friday.  My colleague from Brooklyn Studios, Lynda Thomas very kindly offered to help me and I really appreciated her standing guard as I scampered up and down a wobbly ladder.

Here's all the stuff in my studio ready to be packed up this morning and an earlier trial run of installing a skull in a niche in the printmaking area.

And here's the initial concept drawing in my sketchbook with a mini skull in situ.

The theme of the festival is Tracks and Trails and the 15 participating artists were asked to respond to an artwork chosen from Leeds Art Gallery's Picture Lending Scheme. I chose Black Landscape an etching by Norman Ackroyd.

The connection between the etching and my final artwork is the starkness of the winter land, a black and white world where the underlying architectural structure of the landscape is revealed. And on those late winter and early spring walks you often find exciting objects to bring home, like the wondrous skeletal remains of birds and plants that still speak so strongly of their living selves.


Janis Goodman said...

Chilling and beautiful - looks amazing - do hope you are pleased !


I was pleased it didn't lash down with rain all day! The skulls are made of Tyvek so they wouldn't mind but a slippery ladder doesn't bear thinking about.

It all looked good in my studio but things have got distorted by having to be wedged/rammed into the niches as not allowed to use any kind of nails or screws for fixing (which is fair enough on an architectural antique). And of course every niche was a slightly different size, unlike my perfectly regular templates! Oh well, I'm cutting myself some slack in the circumstances. Its good to attempt these crazy things sometimes. x

Alice Fox said...

They look wonderful Angie - well done! I hope I can get to see them properly.