Artists In Cornwall, Newcastle & Leeds Tackle Their Industrial Past

By Tessa Watkinson | 22 April 2004
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Shows a photograph which depicts a close-up of a pair of hands shaping sheet tin into a rosebud shape. There are tools on the table underneath.

Photo: rosebud creation by Roxane Permar.

Three artistic groups have joined forces under the creative title, Coal Salt Tin (CST) as part of an Arts Council-funded project to explore regeneration through art.

From May to October exhibitions and events organised by the Cornwall-based Penrith Artist-Led Projects (PALP), Newcastle’s Multiplus and East Street Arts (ESA) from Leeds will consider industrial decline and its effect on their local areas and heritage.

The first stage will take place at Newlyn Art Gallery in Cornwall from May 1 to May 8 and will be led by Shetland-based artist Roxane Permar.

"I want the work to use and evoke processes of memory and commemoration, reinvention and regeneration," says Roxane.

Shows a photograph of an artwork, which depicts a drawing of a hammer on a pale beige background..

Photo: Hammer by Les Biggs.

Her work will celebrate the area’s two most significant industrial resources, tin and fishing. The Rosebud, a Cornish fishing vessel which in 1937 carried a petition highlighting the plight of local residents to Westminster, will be remembered by the production of 1100 tin rosebuds over the week-long event.

In June, Newcastle will host Warehouse, by multi-media artist Stefan Gec, in the North Tower of the Tyne Bridge. This sound-work will aim to evoke the city’s recent history.

Leeds will complete the trilogy from September 9 until October 7 with an exhibition and installation at ESA's newly opened project space, Patrick Studios.

Artist Les Biggs intends to create a display inspired by the extensive hand tool collection of the Wunderkammer Foundation Museum, set up to collect, catalogue and archive ordinary and typical objects from everyday life.

The project was the brainchild of Paul Glinkowski of Arts Council England and is much anticipated by its organisers and supporters, as the idea originated back in late 2001.

Shows a photograph which depicts a mustard coloured caravan with a sign which says ' The Caravan Gallery'. It is in front of two large classical-style buildings. There is a table and a parasol next to the caravan.

Photo: the Caravan Gallery. Pictured outside the Walker in Liverpool during the Biennial 2002. Jan Williams and Chris Teasdale.

The groups have undergone a long period of communication and collaboration across the country, including a year of development work and short-listing of commissioned artists to reach the pending start date.

According to George Heslop of Multiplus, this dedication and hard work will lead to "some radical work. Some things," he says "are very political."

As well as their united themes and concepts, the three locations will be drawn together by two features. One is set to be a Coal Salt Tin tabloid produced by Leeds-based artist Matthew Shelton, which will be distributed at each site.

The other quirky addition is a mustard coloured caravan called The Caravan Gallery, which will be at all three locations displaying work made in response to each site. Jan Williams and Chris Teasdale have specially adapted the caravan to provide a setting for a continually developing mobile exhibition.

Despite these communal aspects, the idea of location will be significant and Heslop assures us that each piece of work will be distinctive. "Each group has its own ideas of regeneration and its effects with relation to our heritage."

More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:

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