All aboard… the wardrobe!

Today we went back to the age of the steam train courtesy of Peter Handford’s superb recordings from yesteryear. These really are effective in capturing the environment of a time of steam powered locomotives and are perfect for testing out the capabilities of our installation space (inside two old Gentlemans Wardrobes). We piped the sound of approaching steam engines into the wardrobes via wireless speakers and were immediately transported to another place, complete with local bird song and chattering children on distant station platforms.

Alan, being an old hand on the footplate had actually worked on the same routes that Handford had recorded back in the 1960s (the Lickey Incline) and brought back memories of fire, soot, steel and sweat.

found-trike

Lost and found: superb example of make do and a/mend to provide a very stylish form of transport.

Gentlemen’s Space

With some help with the woodwork, we have finally managed to see how it feels to dwell inside the wardrobes, yes they are safely joined together to make one space.

A space for thinking, a space for listening, a space for watching.

We have several ideas for the first installation and its just a matter of time before we take it out into local towns in Burnley and Pendle, with a potential trip to Preston too. We are going to use the interactive piece of sculpture (made from two antique gentlemen’s wardrobes) to engage with members of the public and raise awareness of what it means to be a male carer.

Thanks for the spare wood Daveid, we needed it to strengthen the internal floors, and thanks to Marcus for joining us all the way from the West Coast.

It was good to chat to Diane from CarersLink and I hope that she will pop in again soon to keep us informed of the opportunities available for Male Carers in East Lancashire.

Can U C Pi?

It was great to catch up today with Pi @pjrt and Daveid at the UCLan MA Show. We loved hearing about their inspiration for this latest collection of work. We like all things connected to Pi.

We were also lucky enough to meet the artist Abi Townsend who had made some work about contemporary farming conditions governed by forces beyond their control, this ultimately led to conversations about the price of milk these days.

This Friday at our base at Canal Cottages in Rosegrove is a chance to chat with Diane from CarersLink. Its also the start of our transformation of the Gentlemens Wardrobes into a little exhibition space.

Wild Wild West

Really enjoyed listening to tales of the wild west and the Native American heritage of Alan’s family. He has been on some fantastic train journeys across America. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Alan.

Next week we are heading west to visit to the MA Show at The University Of Central Lancashire in Preston. (Thurs 15th)

alan-yellow-shirt

Images from Mick’s Photo Archive

Recently discovered in the vaults of local photographer Mick NSE, we found some amazing photos from some of our day trips including Manchester, Preston and the Birdbox Workshop here in Rosegrove.

Batty Over Bird Boxing

A great session at the Bird Box Workshop with Emma Fielding (and her mum).

A good turn out and everyone learnt so much about our endangered birds and bats.

The open-faced bird box is the future and should be encouraged in every garden from now on. Its quick and easy to make from ‘un-treated’ wood with galvanised nails, and it helps the next generation of young birds to build nests in a more natural site, instead of relying on single holed boxes.

As always, we started off with a brew and some good old fashioned and non-judgemental  conversation in the kitchen, art writer and critic Grant Kester would call it a ‘discursive space’ although I prefer to call it a ‘digressive space’. The conversation today was a great example of how the beauty of social interaction can lead to new understandings of the world we live in, each of us recognising how our consumer habits can impact on the local wildlife and beyond.

In the workshop and guided by Emma, we all managed the simple steps to make our own rugged and natural bird box to take home.

We are meeting next Friday morning at Canal Cottages 10am. Pop in for a brew, if you’re passing.

Conversations

4-web‘Conversation Pieces’ by Grant Kester

According to Habermas ‘every subject with the competency to speak is allowed to take part in discourse’, ‘everyone is allowed to question any assertion whatsoever’, ‘everyone is allowed to introduce any assertion whatsoever’, and ‘everyone is allowed to express their attitudes, desires or needs’. Kester 2004. page 109