Commissioned by: The Derby QUAD
Workshops: July – September 2017
Exhibition Dates: 29 September – 19 November 2017
ABOUT. Residency and Exhibition
The conceptual departure point for this project was art and its relationship to industry, with particular reflection on the loss of regional and individual identity. Focusing on Derbyshire and its localised history of artisanal craftsmanship, this project sought to facilitate a space for creative production, knowledge and skill sharing through a set of workshops. Participants considered the city’s pre- and post-industrial period against the backdrop of immense technological and cultural change. There was an exploration of the processes within which artisanal trades were streamlined into mass production, thereby stripping the artisan of their role in society and at the same time their means of self-expression and personal identity.
Workshops took place at the Derby QUAD, during August 2017. Within these sessions, a collaborative environment was created, bringing together members of the community to learn alongside artists, professional sculptors and makers alike. Sessions were led by local professional artists, David Booth and Lee Richards (Upcycled Creative). They guided participants through a series of activities, to begin a process of forming conceptual ideas and later developing them into sculptural and utilitarian artworks.
‘Art as Life’ functioned as a space to reconsider the importance of artisanal craftsmanship and for participants to learn new skills while engaging in the creative process. The prospect of working collaboratively provided new pathways for individuals to share resources, understand and support each other. The project is imagined as part of an ongoing process to form new, collective identities within the region. As we near the end of this project, we envisage personal creativity to be re-imagined as a valuable resource within the emerging new era of automated work. We regard creativity as a tool for personal transformation while considering art as a catalyst for social and political change.
Artist Practitioners: David Booth (MRBS), Lee Richards (Upcycled Creative)
Lead Artist: Kajal Nisha Patel (Lightseekers)
Assistants: Hannah Sarah Day, Natasha Huff
Project Partners: ReThink Derbyshire
Artworks by: Louise Bembridge, Steven Bown, Harrison Chambers, Stevie Davies, Rebecca Edwards, Tink Harvey, Marie Hegarty, Elaine Hicklin, Barbara Lait, Nieve Lewis, Dave Morley, Lisa Morley, Anthony Murtagh, Nina Powe,
Livia Simpson, Trudie Wilson, Jorge Uriza.
Project Manager: John Whall
Lead Curator: Michael Sargeant