Monday, 21 May 2012

Making Spawn

Spawn at Attingham Park

Those of you who have visited our House of Beasts exhibition at National Trust's Attingham Park will have seen the commissioned piece of work Herd by Susie MacMurray. Herd bursts through a door in the inner library of the mansion, bringing the realities of life in the deer park crashing into the mannered quiet of the library.

Meadow Arts invited Susie MacMurray back to Attingham to make a new temporary artwork on the front lawn of the house. Susie's idea was to make a piece of work that was like a giant frogspawn and to invite members of the public to help to make it: all with a lot of balloons and some water.


We all went to Attingham on Sunday 20th May to help to make the piece of work. Making work on site always involves some unforeseen elements and ours on this occasion were mainly to do with the water supply and hosepipe, which jumped off the tap a few times before we could get it sorted out. Luckily the Attingham staff were on hand to sort out the problem and once we got going we had a really good 'relay' system of balloon filling in place.

Carrying the water balloons (photo courtesy of J Cook)

Spawn at the end of the day

We all managed to pop a balloon and get covered in water at some point in the day and there was a definite knack to placing the balloons onto the end of the hosepipe, but we learned as we went along and I was only soaking every third member of the public by the end of the day!

We had a lot of help from Attingham's visitors and we even managed to persuade some of their staff to have a go too. We all left exhausted but happy, after Susie gave a great talk in the Steward's Hall of the mansion.

The sun will cause the latex of the balloons to deteriorate over the next few days and the balloons will either burst or wither, so the artwork will be gone in a few days time.

Thank you to everyone who took part, all of the Attingham staff and volunteers and especially to artist Susie MacMurray for a fantastic day.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Strange Cargo

Strange Cargo

Things are getting very busy now as our next project at Croft Castle in Herefordshire - Time Will Tell - has begun to take form after months of planning 

Time Will Tell will be a new way of working for Meadow Arts as it will consist of a rolling programme of contemporary art in 2012 and into 2013. There are going to be a lot of art events and performances beginning this summer and it will lead up to an exhibition next spring.

We have already started working with Folkestone based artist-collective Strange Cargo  at Croft. They came and stayed near Croft for several days and spent their time interviewing local people about their experiences and memories of Croft and its surroundings.

They also went to the local pub, The Boot in Orleton, to talk to the locals and were lucky enough to be there for the St George's Day celebrations, including some fine Morris Dancing!

Strange Cargo collecting stories at Yarpole Church

Strange Cargo collecting stories (at table) while BBC Hereford & Worcester interview people

Strange Cargo used the village of Yarpole's very interesting shop and cafe in a church for their venue when they went to collect stories from local people. We were also lucky enough to have an interviewer come over from BBC Hereford and Worcester, to put the event on the radio.

Postcards were left around the village and surroundings of Croft to collect more stories and memories too.

We are really looking forward to seeing how Strange Cargo's work is going to develop, now that they have collected so many Croft stories.