Archives for posts with tag: Wirksworth Festival 2013

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Wirksworth Festival 2013

Tape Measure is finished, delivered, assembled and safely installed in the window of Airr Clothing, Market Place, Wirksworth.

The festival starts today and is on until Sunday 22 September.

Wirksworth Festival 2013


Tape Measure

Working on my installation for the Wirksworth Festival 2013. I’m installing later this week for the festival opening on Friday 6 September.

I had to rethink how I was going to make my original proposal and so made a new maquette and then tried to work out how to translate from cardboard and paper to the real thing. Turns out I just needed to use more cardboard and paper, some wood and then get laser cutting, stitching, folding and slotting. The individual parts of the installation are almost all now made and I will be assembling it on site on Thursday night.

Tape Measure will be in the window of Airr Clothing, the Market Place, Wirksworth for the duration of the festival from Friday 6 to Sunday 22 September.

Tape Measure is one of 10 Contemporary Visual Art commissioned for this year’s festival. Festival details here and also information about the Contemporary Visual Art Focus weekend at the new Northern Light Cinema, Wirksworth on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 September.

Wirksworth croquet tight 2

Wirksworth Festival 2013

An old croquet ball and a scanner glass which hasn’t been cleaned for a long time produce a kind of negative of the previous paper maquette for Tape Measure.

Wirksworth white cutout 72

Wirksworth Festival 2013

A much smaller model of part of the installation (scanned). Cut from heavier card than the larger maquette and the layers have been guled together, so much more easy to control. I’ll need to photograph it in natural light to understand better how shadows affect the depth of the circles, and how much space is needed between each layer.


Wirksworth Festival 2013

This is maquette #2 for Tape Measure, my installation for the Wirksworth Festival 2013.

After making it I left the flat and went to Wirksworth to do some field research and to see Airr, the clothes shop on the market place where Tape Measure will be shown in the window. I also went to the Heritage Centre and, armed with information, visited some but not all of the former Tape Mills in the town. Wirksworth was a major centre of tape weaving, including the famous red tape “synonymous with legality and bureaucracy in the complicated world of the British Empire.”(Wirksworth Heritage Centre).

The Mills (that I saw) are Haarlem Mill at Millers Green (established as a cotton mill by Richard Arkwright in 1777), Providence Mill at Gorsey Bank and Willow Bath Mill off Water Lane. At the Derbyshire Record Office in Matlock, a 1976 promotional brochure for Bowmer Bond Narrow Fabrics Ltd. (formed from a merger with John Bowmer and Sons of Wirksworth) contained a descriptive list of their tapes uses:

hospital clothing, surgical dressings and appliances, caps, aprons, bags, disposable clothing, electrical blankets, flags and banners, the car industry, ironing board covers, knitwear, hockey sticks, rosettes, mosquito nets, sleeping bags, legal documents, packaging, carpets, suitcases, parachutes, electrical coils, horse blankets, leather goods, tents, life jacket, toys, saddle bags, blinds, sportswear, flexible doors … and many other products.

Wirksworth also appears as the town Snowfield in George Eliot’s novel Adam Bede (1859). I saw several Adams on my walk around the town. Eliot based characters in her novel on real people in Wirksworth including her aunt and uncle, Elizabeth and Samuel Evans, who managed a silk and velvet mill, now home to the Heritage Centre’s museum.



A recent purchase, research for ‘Tape Measure’. One old typewriter ribbon from Imperial Business Equipment Ltd., Leicester, England. BLK/RED

Tape Measure Final 96DPI

This is my first working drawing for Tape Measure, an installation for the Wirksworth Festival 2013. I was thinking of a blueprint when I made it and I do realise that I have to stop using that image > adjustment > invert button in Photoshop. The dimensions are not fixed yet or a decision made on how I’m going to make it. I think there may be some structural issues to overcome because the disc will be made from a continuous winding of paper, carbon paper and typewriter ribbon.

Misery generates hate Square

I moved to Derby at the end of March 2013 and soon after heard that my proposals for the Wirksworth Festival and the Belper Art Trail were both successful. Belper and Wirksworth are both just up the road from Derby. The Belper Art Trail is in July, and the Wirksworth Festival is in September. Also a proposal to art:language:location, an art exhibition in Cambridge (October) was successful too.

I’m going to be making two installations, ‘Full Employment in a Free Society (1944)’ for Belper and ‘Tape Measure’ for Wirksworth and one intervention ‘Caution: Misery generates hate’ for Cambridge.

All three works are concerned with language and text.

‘Misery generates hate’ is the clarion call of ‘Full Employment in a Free Society’ (1944) by the British economist and social reformer William Beveridge. This book and the report that preceded it (Social Insurance and Allied Services, known as the ‘Beveridge Report’, 1942) mapped out the blueprint for the post war welfare state and its attendant qualities of publicness, common ownership and the public good. ‘Misery generates hate’ is from the novel ‘Shirley’ (1849) by Charlotte Brontë. Shirley is a romantic and dramatic novel that fictionalises elements of the West Yorkshire Luddite uprising of 1811/1812 when skilled workers in the textile industries sabotaged and destroyed the new machinery that was being introduced into the workplace and directly threatening their livelihoods and jobs.

art:language:location is the first to have pages up about participating artists and more information about the exhibition which ‘aims to punctuate Cambridge with a series of visually exciting and unexpected encounters in which our everyday interactions with text can be explored and challenged’ can be found here.