Thursday, 19 January 2012

New trees and old...

Title: ‘New Trees and Old’
Description: A 19th century regimental silver table centre surrounded by a layer cake modelled in the form of a view of the land around Burnley, taken from a ‘Pride of Burnley’ photographic competition entry by Angela Grimes.
Rationale: Burnley is as much a rural as a post-industrial place. It is still scaled to the surrounding landscape: fields and hills are only a couple of miles from any street in town. Part of the reason for this was the type and period Burnley’s industrialisation. Lead and coal were only ever extracted here in comparatively small quantities, whilst weaving was space-efficient, even at the height of production. Consequently, the town feels comfortable in it’s location. Its outlying villages retain direct traces of older histories whilst its hills and valleys remain beautiful: destinations for contemporary leisure pursuits. ‘New Trees and Old’ appears to embed a 19th century fantasy tree from the Towneley collections (made as part of the social/ceremonial kit of the Lancashire Regiment) in a new physical representation of the landscape. The cake both suggests the strata of the Namurian coal-bearing geology of Burnley and provides a startling new image of the countryside, re-articulating the relationship between Crown Hill and the popular new  ‘Singing Ringing Tree’ sculpture.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Ginger Dan...

The 5th Grennan & Sperandio piece is now installed at Towneley Hall, see here for more information.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Parker Lane Hearing..

The fourth piece in the Grennan and Sperandio series at Towneley Hall is now installed in the Burnley Room...

‘Parker Lane Hearing’
A wooden ear from an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus, with a three dimensional, gilded wrought iron support by Rourke.
Parker Lane is the site of Burnley’s Magistrates Court. The ancient wooden ear from the collection embodies ‘the person’ at the centre of the finely-made and immutable social structure of the law. It seems vulnerable. Its body is absent. ‘The person’ is a definition of responsibility in relation to the State, according to philosopher David Hume. ‘Personhood’ is a quantity to be retained, manipulated and used up, relative to the law. It carries with it a pathos that derives from the difference between this legal definition and our own experience of life, described by the different meanings of the word hearing: hearing is both subjective, lived experience and legally objectified adjudication. Wrought iron of the type made by Rourke has been used to signify this objectification for four hundred years. It is a commonplace of the visual language of the public structures of the law.

Victoria apartments..

I was just about to post the fourth in the Grennan and Sperandio series at Towneley Hall, and I realise that I hadn't put the third up, very shoddy of me. so this is the third piece...

‘Victoria Apartments’
A nineteenth century classical bronze of a dancer upholstered with a crimson polyester satin quilt.

‘Victoria Apartments’ creates an image of a woman struggling to control a quilt, which comically undermines the gravitas of the neo-classical bronze dryad and re-affirms the bronze’s original function as a domestic object rather than a scholarly one. The relationship between the contemporary quilt and the nineteenth century statue reflects the relationship between old and new ideas of domestic luxury particular to post-industrial towns and cities, which are underwritten by regeneration and changes of use. Victoria Apartments is the new name of an old Mill in Padiham, where contemporary luxury apartments now recycle the physical shell of nineteenth century industry.

Monday, 22 August 2011

ReVisit Artist Talks Invitation

Stuart Haygarth, Grennan & Sperandio, Timorous Beasties and Adept

29 September & 13 October 2011

Limited places,  please RSVP
On the 29 Sept at 4pm, Paul Simmons from design duo Timorous Beasties, and Steve Manthorp & Shanaz Gulzar from artist collaboration Adept will be giving artist talks, introduced by Anthony Preston from Arts Council England.  Event at Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery.
On the 13 Oct at 4.30pm, Stuart Haygarth and Simon Grennan from artist duo Grennan & Sperandio, will be giving artist talks, introduced by Emma Anderson, Manager of Renaissance North West. Event at the Haworth Art Gallery in Accrington.

ReVisit is a series of creative commissions developed by
Creativity Works
that has invited artists and designers to look at the collections of museums and venues in Pennine Lancashire in a new way. Over the spring and summer of 2011, Haygarth, Grennan & Sperandio, Timorous Beasties and Adept worked with the collections of the Haworth Art Gallery, Towneley Hall, Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery, and the North West Sound Archive, respectively. Each brought their unique approach to the process to develop work that was unexpected, insightful and, in some cases, challenging. The artists will talk about their own practice and the experience of working on the ReVisit program.

Please book your place by emailing Laura Rodgers, Creativity Works Arts Engagement Officer on
Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery,
Museum Street, Blackburn BB1 7AJ

Howarth Art Gallery,
Manchester Road, Accrington, BB5 2JS

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Rossendale garden launch...

Lots of exciting things have been happening whilst I've been on my holidays. Last week saw the launch of the medicinal herb garden at Rossendale Museum. Over 150 braved the rain to come and celebrate at the event which included an opening speech by BBC The One Show's garden expert Christine Walkden, stalls by local food producers and guided walks around the park with local herbalists. Local group Incredible Edible who have planted a community garden next to the herb patch did a great job organising the event, you can see what they do and how you can get involved with them here. The garden is looking great, and you can now buy a DIY medicinal herb kit for £1 from the museum shop, which invites you to go and pick the herbs for yourself. We are so pleased with the response we are busy planning another event in October, more details as it is confirmed!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Falling together

The second Grennan and Sperandio piece has gone up in Towneley Hall this week, let us know what you think!

and the original...