Ian Davenport and David Shrigley head artist pilgrimage to Macclesfield church for Save Us

By Culture24 Staff | 23 June 2010
A photo of a small porcelain female figure holding up twigs

Hilary Jack, Wandering Woman in a Landscape, Lladro figurine with tree roots and mirror. © the artist, hilaryjack. blogspot.com

Exhibition: Save Us, Christ Church, Macclesfield, until July 4 2010

Set in a redundant Georgian church opened on Christmas Day in 1775, Macclesfield's Save Us combines big names with emerging contemporaries under the common theme of their links to the silk town, testifying to the surprising conveyer belt of artistic scheming it has inspired through the decades.

Ian Davenport, a peer of the Young British Artists and 1991 Turner Prize nominee, grew up there and studied at the nearby Northwich College of Art and Design. Returning this time with Poured Lines, Davenport presents a typically abstract set of musical score-inspired coloured lines originally commissioned for Southwark Bridge in 2006.

An image of a swirling, multicoloured painting of limb like figures

Mit Senoj's new drawing work, Alterpiece, borrows from medical dissections to create mutations and chimera (My God!, 2009, shown)

Artist Ben Cook takes the Macclesfield Stripe, a delicate, linear-style fabric adored by 1920s and 1930s designers, and turns it into a silk canvas "photograph" of speeding objects or, as he alternately suggests, a "concrete spin with mere traces of colour".

Andrea Booker, who won the Centre for the Urban Environment's Open design award in Manchester two years ago, has pinched lettering from the facades of derelict building and reordered the lettering into social commentary.

Nick Crowe and Ian Rawlinson – last seen warning animals in the Cheshire countryside about the dangers of city life by taking recordings of urban life to unsuspecting pastoral fields – are presenting England's Glory, a pile of matches which continually ignite and burn out on film to a soundtrack of the hymn I Vow to Thee my Country.

An image of a linear piece of art showing thin lines in multiple colours of yellow, blue, black, pink and purple

Ian Davenport, Poured Lines (2006). © Ian Davenport, courtesy Waddington Galleries, London

Other highlights in this playfully inventive show include Death Size, a mosaic work by Ralph McGaul alluding to the church’s build and burial grounds, an installation of broken figurines mounted on plinths of wood from Macclesfield Forest by forager extraordinaire Hilary Jack, and a series of photos taken on ingenious cameras designed to let animals trigger their own photographs courtesy of Manchester nature artist Daniel Staincliffe.

David Shrigley, a Maxonian by birth, creates an unsettling look at the human condition of the kind he has trademarked, and Jen Southern has drawn a series of silk maps, devised alongside a walking tour of key sites from the town's production of silk during World War II.

Open 10am-4pm (closed Wednesday). Admission free, visit the show online for more.

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