… But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy…
In January I got very cross about our government (again) and decided to organise a march in Macclesfield to show support for the NHS. It happened on February 3, a national day of action, and was a great success, with around 500 people taking part. Loads of friends helped with organisation and stewarding. Demonstrators made placards at home or at a Macctivist workshop we ran on the previous weekend. Jo Bell was a brilliant MC.
With the colours and the music/chants/drums it felt like an artwork, creating a fabulous positive collective energy. See the wonderful film of the event here.
Then in March I was thrilled to be part of an exhibition at Townley Street Chapel in Macclesfield. How did it get so dark? was inspired by the ninth-century ritual of Tenebrae (Latin for shadows) which uses candlelight, darkness, silence, spoken word and cacophonous sound. Central to the experience are suffering and redemption. It is also known as the ‘extinguishing of the lights’, where candles are put out throughout the service. There remains one small light still glowing, which is symbolic of hope – a glimmer.
Mike Thorpe, Erika Groeneveld, Rachel Ho, Anita Reynolds and I approached this idea from many different starting points – some with faith, some without – and using many different media – sculpture, ceramics, 2D images, words. Despite and because of all our differences we collaborated to create a collective response based on our own perspectives – political, spiritual, personal – and on the answers provided by members of the public to the question, How did it get so dark?
The response was more than we hoped for: 80-90 visitors on each of the four days and lots of wonderful comments.
‘Better than anything I’ve seen at the Whitworth.’
‘Take your hanky! Would love to see this in a more permanent space. A wonderful collection to contemplate on, reflect & down right feel Arrrggghhh! As well as knowing I’m not the only one…’
‘This should be sponsored to run for a longer period or be housed permanently. It is genius. Felt so emotional but unsure what the emotion was. Just Wow!’
‘Proper art with the ring of truth. A delicious darkness.’
We do hope to exhibit again. Watch this space…
And finally… Last Saturday the Manchester Print Fair was held at Manchester Cathedral and our very own Print Mill was very pleased and excited to have been awarded a stall. We had a fabulous day, making badges with folks young and not-so-young, selling prints, cards and poems, and chatting to customers and other makers. It was a beautiful setting and all the colours of the various stalls made the space spectacular.
Next time: The reprint of my pamphlet… in new colours!