Three Days in November – a Walsall Arts Fest event
Guest post by Carolyn Bayliss.
Sugar, Ironlak’s new range of acrylic paints were sent over from Queensland Australia. An email to their creative director led them to send cans over to Rob at Bench 504 at the Custard Factory in Birmingham. Because of Ironlak’s support this will be a truly global event.
Dale Grimshaw was originally from up North, not far from fellow artist Catherine Kaufman and will be coming to Walsall for the three day event and will create a mural at the back of the Wheatsheaf Pub.
As Walsall Arts Fest organiser, I saw Dale’s work and immediately thought of theatre, “there’s a real richness to Dale’s work, it could mean many things to many people” I said. His scenes could be real or imagined; they depict how the world has become one through globalisation. I am also interested in how this makes people feel and the West Midlands region is a great place to explore this.
Many people came to this region from all over the world to work in our industries. We are now in a post industrial era which has led to economic decline throughout the region, including Walsall. These are questions that I would like to see explored in this Three Days In November arts event. How are people feeling about their heritage? These are questions to be explored and answered through a medium to express those feelings. I created ‘Coffin’ after I saw clashes between the EDL and UAF on the streets. The St Georges Cross on the top is made out of the finest Duchess satin. I wondered if there are people who feel that this decline is like the death of England. I decided to invite people to think about this and write in a condolences book, so they can express their feelings. They can decide what we have lost and what we have to say goodbye to and express that, in the condolence message.
My other artistic work is a multi, which will be a type of bunting featuring flags to represent modern Britain. Again this will be a way for people to express themselves through an artistic medium and be part of the event.
The work of Catherine Kaufman draws on the heritage of ‘Bacup’ where she has recently moved into a studio. The area is known for felting and the image of Hypatia on the Lancashire landscape is one which may take us back to a time when we lived off the land. Catherine’s work is a collection of soft sculpture and felting, some figurative and some as a tapestry which will hang, so the viewer can walk around. References to myths and the female over the ages run through this impressive collection of work and Catherine will be talking to people over the three days.
The interactivity of the event will continue as people are invited to create their own footage on mobile phones and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org . This can then be made into a film for YouTube and I hope that this may reveal how people really feel about the work.
The way that language becomes one is the subject of Leanne Bridgewater’s work called ‘The Homophone Translator’. You can listen to this through headphones. Leanne’s story Silver Linear Cloud was translated into a number of languages which she then listened to, until words or sounds came to her through the English language. Leanne will also be performing her unique spoken word against a backdrop of the work of Dale, Catherine and I.
Another contributor to the event will be Ddotti Bluebell, a Birmingham spoken word artist. Ddotti is known for the rawness and honesty that runs through her work. She welcomes newcomers to the spoken word circuit to be part of her Word Up @ Coffee Lounge event in Birmingham.
The artistic mix and diversity will continue at the event with a contribution from Hanifa McQueen-Hudson. Hanifa is an originator and paints ‘b-boy style’ with her feet. Hanifa immerses herself in her environment and is influenced by the sounds and music to give a spiritual feel to her work. Another originator, Najma Hush will also be showing her work which she calls ‘Poetography’. This is an eclectic mix of poetry and photography blended into a performance as she talks about her practice and work.
You can also meet Miz Brixz who will talk about her installation work with Lego. Dawn Hilton-Mc Alister’s current practice involves stockings and what they mean to us. In an artistic interpretation they will be hung on a line for the audience to write tags expressing what they mean to them.
Also at the event, short films by Deborah Haywood and Patrick Coyle will be shown. These are Sis, Twinkle Twinkle and Dirty Egg which has some of the ‘This is England’ cast in it. Patrick wrote and directed Dirty Egg which has been shown in festivals around the world and he will be talking about his work in Q&A alongside Walsall’s published author and lecturer Paul McDonald and Dale Grimshaw.
Neth Brown is a creative writing undergraduate whose work is receiving a lot of attention around Walsall. Not only does she paint, but she will be entertaining with her spoken word alongside the art work and some work of her own.
Come along and meet this great mix of people and talk to them about what they do. You can be part of the event through recording it and contribute to the work as it grows.
Three Days in November
6th, 7th and 8th November
4 Birmingham Road
12 noon to 6pm
Also, a film by Andrew McKenzie will be shown on the 9th November at 7pm. This was made using mobile phones.
You can checkout the brochure here.