#end_of_empire: Eva Sajovic commission for British Textile Biennial
This year In-Situ, funded through Nelson Town Deal, commissioned Eva Sajovic to create an installation for British Textile Biennial working in collaboration with women from Nelson.
Having first worked with Eva back in 2020 on the Testing Ground micro-residencies during lockdown, where she first worked with local women group Mums 2 Mums. We invited Eva back to Pendle to do a period of research towards a large scale commission within the community, where she picked back up with the Mums and, over the course of a year, hosted sessions inviting other women to join conversations and textile workshops, talking about family, faith, place, tradition, dress, textiles and making.
This culminated in an installation upstairs at 'The Technology Centre' - the old Methodist Sunday school building in the centre of Nelson which has been unused since the 1980s, where incidentally some of the mums had attended knitting workshops.
Installation, image: Diane Muldowney
Slider images, courtesy Eva Sajovic
Working on her hacked knitting machine and using up left over spools of yarn, Eva produced enormous knitted columns from digital photographs sourced from internet searches that hung form the ceiling, like the doric columns in Ancient Greece now held in the British Museum. Working then with AI practitioner Nicholas Privato, the fabric of these columns was interwoven with touch activated sensors which played back sound recordings in place and of conversations with the women, which had been fed through AI and played back, distorted. This collaboratively created work considers ideas about capitalism and patriarchy, colonialism, how we use resources and the traditional singular persona of 'the artist' versus collaborative working.
To find out more, you can read Eva's writing about the work here, visit British Textile Biennial website here, or click here for a filmed walk around of the installation.
Images: Diane Muldowney
In-Residence: Ellie Barrett and Nora (2 yrs)
We are re-starting our In-Residence programme in Brierfield, supporting time and space for creative practitioners to wander, notice and work slowly, building connections and new ideas
Ellie Barrett will be the next artist in residence in Brierfield between now and March 2024. Ellie is an artist and practice-based researcher exploring the impact of material engagement on art making and participation. Ellie's studio practice focuses on low-cost, democratic materials as a means of opening access to making, viewing and critiquing visual art. She has produced sculpture from materials such as soap, tin-foil and salt dough.
Since becoming a mother, Ellie's practice has shifted towards interrogating barriers around parenting and art making. Her current work seeks to test and share methods for overlapping art production and childcare through the lens of material interaction. She lives and works in Lancaster, and teaches Fine Art at Lancaster University.
For In Residence, Ellie will be working experimentally with her 2-year-old daughter, connecting with parent communities in Brierfield towards offering a makerspace for parents and caregivers to collaboratively create with their children.
Ellie and Nora is on residency with ArtHouses in Whitley Bay, 2022
"Explain Things to Me" 2020, Subsidiary Projects, London, photo credit: Natalia Gonzalez Martin.
"Personal Histories" 2021, Festival of Making, Blackburn
This is Nelson
This partnership programme between In-Situ, Building Bridges and Super Slow Way is taking place over the next 3 years, bringing artists to help us re-imagine Nelson, open up underused spaces, think sustainably and support ground-up community activism in the town. Part of the Nelson Town Deal.
Stories We Tell: Nelson
We are working with theatre company Breaking Barriers to develop an immersive walk through Nelson. Audiences will listen through headphones to the memories of local people.
This project will bring the town to life with sound, music, visuals and the real voices of those who live there. The experience has been created through conversations with people who live here.
Find out more
Artist residencies exploring potential for sustainable ways of living and working in Nelson.
This year, four artists, Dana Olarescu, Michael Powell, Kristina Borg and Samantha Jones, spent time researching with the community in Nelson. Find out more about their findings and approach here.
A second round of research residencies will start in 2024, working again with This is Nelson lead artist Andy Abbott.
Thinking Out Loud
A space for exploring what art means to us in everyday life here in Pendle. This year, we've been asking the question 'Where is the art?'
This is something we're often asked, where our work is sometimes invisible or hard to see - because our process and relationships, the conversations we have and the time we spend in local places with people all counts as the work. Sometimes we just wanted to see 'The art work'.
We're also thinking about different locations, focusing on art and landscape. Might this give us new ways to think about our relationship to art and what it means to us in our everyday lives? When we think about when and where we encounter it?
"I wonder if In-Situ has found a way to find the art in people. That's why you don't know what the end is. Who knows what is inside someone?
"There is so many art around us which we don't realise."
"I think differently about art to what I did before"
Quotes from participants of Thinking Out Loud