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Pillar to Post (and back again)

We were back at Strutt’s North Mill Belper again last week (Thursday 15 May) for a Museums at Night event. This time animation was projected onto 10 of the monumental mill-stone grit piers in the mill’s basement.

The new animation was stripped back to blocks of light and colour with short sequences that responded to the blocky rectangular geometry of the pillars. The animation playback was synched to an audio track using Isadora software. So unlike the last light and sound show – where we had to manual synch the separate laptops – for Pillar to Post the installation’s five laptops and projectors responded to the audio independently of any input from the team (once it had been setup to go).

Visitors were able to walk between the pillars affecting the animation by breaking the projection light beam and changing the animation sequences by adding their own audio in the form of shouting, clapping and stamping.

From Pillar to Post (and back again), animation by Stuart Poynton, Shane Mellor and Tim Shore with sound by Marc Bosward.

Strutt’s North Mill Belper

01 Punched_roll 02 Time 03 Wood 04 Hole 05 Shingle 06 Shingle again 07 Mast

The Industrial Museum, Bradford and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, nr. Wakefield

Last weekend we travelled up to South Square Gallery, Thornton (nr. Bradford) to collect my installation ‘Place Setting’ which was shown in ‘The Most Beautiful Things Cannot Be Seen’ exhibition.

Then we retraced our steps to Bradford and the Industrial Museum. Which was interesting, especially the detailed self-guided trail explaining the journey from wool to worsted cloth. Also interesting is the monotype typecaster, with its punched role of instruction. Good description here but no pictures!

Then on Sunday after enjoying a view of Bradford’s infamous hole (thank you Westfield) from the window of our room in the Midland Hotel we went home via the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

The second and third images are small details from the very large work of Ursula von Rydingsvard. The lovely shingle, which really was this bleached out colour clads the ‘Eat, drink, Enjoy’ snack shack sitting outside the Longside Gallery where the survey show ‘Uncommon Ground: Land Art in Britain 1966 – 1979′ is currently on.

Uncommon Ground features some lovely Boyle Family work and a surprising Derek Jarman film that reminded me of an early work by Marvin Gaye Chetwynd (formerly Spartacus Chetwynd) called The Walk to Dover (2005) which I saw at Studio Voltaire, Clapham. In that film she performed David Copperfield’s seven-day journey from London to Dover described in the book of the same name by Charles Dickens.

The last picture is of the Emley Moor transmitting station seen from Basket #7.Oxley Bank by Winter/Hörbelt.

Window_workingsCourtyardWindow_inside_2Window_insideSetupCrawling

Rebirth: light and sound show at Strutt’s North Mill Belper

So the event on Saturday 29 March went well. Sarah (mill manager) and Ruth (engagement officer) reckoned we had about 120 visitors for the show.

While Stuart set up the laptops I measured and cut out film to stick to the windowpanes of the six windows, each window had six panes, so we had to measure, cut and stick 36 sheets. Meanwhile Stuart discovered that the laptops went to sleep after five minutes and we didn’t have administrator rights to cancel the sleep mode.

Still it all worked well. We staggered the startup of each laptop by the time it physically took to get each one going. So a relaxed synchronisation and a kind off delayed playback coupled with running or crawling (in my case) to each laptop to tap its trackpad to ward off sleep. Not live but certainly performative animation happened behind the scenes and largely out of view of the audience.

We are reworking the animation and sequencing for the North Mill’s ‘Museums at Night’ event on May 15. We will project the animation onto eight of the 26 monumental stone piers – all that is left of Jedediah Strutt’s first mill (1786) that burnt down in 1803 – that form the foundation of the ‘new’ mill built in 1804.

More information about Culture24′s national Museums at Night festival here and Strutt’s North Mill Belper

Strutt K

Strutt’s North Mill Belper

We want to reference some of the elemental forces that helped shape the mill including fire, water and iron. Strutt’s North Mill was built in 1804 and is one of the oldest surviving examples of an industrialised, iron framed ‘fire proof’ building. The first mill burnt down.

I’ve used mono prints made during the printing of the first card template (below). I was thinking of iron being cast and the firey furnace and also some of the fantastic footage used in ‘The Big Melt – How Steel Made Us Hard‘ (Martin Wallace and Jarvis Cocker).

This will form part of a larger work made with Stuart Poynton and Marc Bosward (sound). It will be projected onto the windows of Strutt’s North Mill Belper this weekend (7pm on Saturday 29 March).

Strutt’s North Mill Belper

Strut-JPrint 01Print 02Print 03Print 04Print 05Print 06Strutt Animation Process

More animation for Strutt’s North Mill Belper

I’m making very short animation sequences using a convoluted, complex (relatively) slow process.

Method
The gif (top) is the result of drawing the animation in Illustrator, then laser cutting the individual frames from corrugated card, followed by relief printing the frame matrix with black ink onto 40gsm newsprint. When the ink is dry the sheet is cut into individual frames that are then scanned and photoshoped before assembly and timing in AfterEffects.

The process needs refining. I like the finished result but it’s a bit too ordered or regular. I was hoping for more of the unexpected and that the various format changes and translations would add a greater range of ‘mistakes’ or random events into the workflow.

As I make these sequences I’m thinking about slow animation that is beyond the control of the animator and that through an engagement with a range of machine processes (both analogue and digital) I can attempt to foreground both animation’s craft legacy and its constructed nature. A project to make animation visible again.

Maybe animation is sited in the frame after all and not in the gap between frames?

My sequences will form part of a larger work made with Stuart Poynton and Marc Bosward (sound). It will be projected onto the windows of Strutt’s North Mill Belper this weekend (7pm on Saturday 29 March).

Strutt’s North Mill Belper

Strutt_Test_4Strutt_Test_2Strutt_Test_3

Sample images and treatments for ‘Rebirth’ a light and sound projection made with Stuart Poynton and Marc Bosward. A looped animation made from a patchwork of short animation sequences will be projected onto the windows of the first floor and basement of Strutt’s North Mill Belper as part of the celebrations to mark the museum’s Summer Opening event.

The animation will be projected from inside the museum onto six windows that will be covered with a translucent film. A lot of animation to make and stitch together before the event on Saturday 29 March 2014 (7pm).

Strutt’s North Mill Belper

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Howarth, Saturday, 8 February 2014.
Last Saturday we walked from Haworth up on to the moor and Top Withens, on the Pennine Way, a little below Withins Height.

Top Withens

This farmhouse has been associated with “Wuthering Heights”, the Earnshaw home in Emily Brontë’s novel. The buildings, even when complete, bore no resemblance to the house she described, but the situation may have been in her mind when she wrote of the moorland setting of the Heights.

Bronte Society, 1964
This plaque has been placed here in response to many inquiries

See Simon Warner’s 2012 project ‘Ways to the stone house‘, commissoned by The Watershed Landscape Project and the Brontë Parsonage Museum, for more information about the site and its landscape. The exhibition included iconic images of Top Withens by Bill Brandt, Fay Godwin and a drawing by Slyvia Plath, who also wrote the poem Wuthering Heights (1961).

Inventory
IBavaria, Schumann, Arzberg, Germany
IIBohemia, Made in Czechoslavakia
IIIBone China, England
IIIICovent Garden, Wedgwood, of Etruria & Barlaston, Made in England
IIIIICrown Ming, Fine China, Made in China, Jian Shiang
IIIIIIDuchess. Bone China. England
IIIIIIIEvesham, Royal Worcester, Fine Porcelain, Made in England
IIIIIIIIFairfield, Royal Doulton, Made in England
IIIIIIIIIFancy Free, Royal Standard, Fine Bone China, England
IIIIIIIIIIGainsborough, Bone China, Made in England
IIIIIIIIIIILongton. Stoke on Trent
IIIIIIIIIIIIPoole, England (x3)
IIIIIIIIIIIIIRainbow, Royal Albert, Bone China, England (x3)
IIIIIIIIIIIIIIRondeley, Fine English Bone China, Made in England (x6)
IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRoyal Kent, Bone China, Made In Staffordshire, England
IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISpindrift, Doulton & Co. Limited, Made in England
IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIStudio, J & G Meakin, England
IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILitany

Place_Setting_A Place_Setting_B Place_Setting_C Place_Setting_D

The Most Beautiful Things Cannot Be Seen

Place Setting is a new work for the group exhibition ‘The Most Beautiful Things Cannot Be Seen’ at South Square Centre, Thornton. The show opens tomorrow (Saturday 8 February) and closes on Sunday 2 March 2014.

Place Setting is made up of 22 china tea and coffee cups turned upside down, to create a fairy ring of china ‘mushrooms’ on the gallery floor.

The cheap, mass-produced, mostly transfer printed, china challenges William Morris’s romance of craft and production and his command ‘‘to have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’.

Place Setting exploits the transformative power of the ‘ready-made’ or found object. The act of making a cup resemble a mushroom responds to the natural world and the flora and fauna that the Arts and Crafts Movement referenced in their work. In arranging the cups in the form of a fairy ring, I also want to make a connection between the idealism of Morris and the location of Thornton. It is a place setting rich in folklore and myth making from Brontë shrines, Cottingley with its dubious photographic fairies, to nearby Keighley, once the centre of British theosophy and spiritualism.

Place Setting
22 China cups, 22 Tesco Toilet Tissue cardboard cores, some IKEA cardboard packaging

The Most Beautiful Things Cannot Be Seen
Taking the work of William Morris as a starting point, this group exhibition explores the relationship between beauty, nature and imagination.

Curated by Samina Hamid.

South Square Centre
South Square
Thornton
Bradford
BD13 3LD

Place_Setting_E

Derby_this_morning

Derby yesterday, early morning, wiley, windy.

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