The Whitaker Museum & Art Gallery, Rawtenstall, and The Boo Theatre, Waterfoot have worked collaboratively for the first time this year to offer a Joint Artistic Residency for Young and Emerging Artists from the North West.
The two-week residency was offered to graduating Fine Art Students from Salford University and Manchester Metropolitan University. This opportunity has been a joint effort with The Boo Theatre and Arts Council Funding in order offer these artists a fully equipped workshop/studio space; and now The Whitaker has provided its contemporary exhibition space and curatorial expertise, in displaying the work made during this residency.
The artists have responded to the following brief: -
“Rossendale has a radical political, religious and social past. We want you to engage with that heritage and use it to bring a contemporary focus to the radical issues that face Rossendale communities today.
In 1888 Marshall Mather in ‘Rambles round Rossendale’, wrote of its people: -
“Pronounce, individual, blunt when once known they are never forgotten. Their dialect is peculiarly their own they possess a two-edged wit. The inhabitants, if they only knew it are among the highly favoured of the earth.”
This project asks for artists to bring their own interpretation to the Rossendale story and its rich heritage. Using whatever medium, you prefer we invite you to respond to an aspect of the social history, maybe its landscape, its people, its politics, its religion’s, its industry, its music or even its Gin drinking!”
The brief was taken up enthusiastically by Josephine, Hattie, Rosanna and Karen, and the work they produced over just two weeks is here to challenge us, make us laugh and to think. They all had different approaches to the brief, working in many different media their often radical, diverse approach to making is what young and emerging artists work is about.
About the Artists
Using the body as the main tool, Hattie Thomas explores the performative practice of making wearable sculpture. Obstructing the human form and constructing a campy humour within her art to capture a not so serious take on art. Her work allows the audience to engage tangibly and performatively while creating a comfortable space. While working in Rossendale she has connected to the local history and folklore translating this into soft sculpture and performative outfits.
Inspired by the Rossendale landscape, Josephine Byrne has created three large scale nets made of nylon. Creating three geometric hanging nets to commemorate the three stones that sit on Liver Hill. Byrne has also decided to paint three images inspired by an energetic visit around Pendle Hill Rossendale.
Inspired by Surrealism and the abstract every day, Rossana Dakin works with traditional mediums such as oil paint, drawings and print. Dakin develops her ideas through a combination of the conscious and subconscious. In her residency work, Dakin strives to push the viewer to think beyond their own personal everyday life and create a link between their thoughts and her own; using symbols, shapes and colours’ in her paintings and prints that she hopes connects to the audience’s memories and experiences.
Karen’s work is centred around realism and the everyday. Her chosen medium is charcoal as its instability creates a compelling comparison to the imperfection of humans. In this work, Karen has translated her photographs to charcoal drawings, using locally printed newspapers to really hone in on the community aspect that she is striving to address.