people look at the work while i work, they smile and wave and watched me work and come to talk. It is where art belongs on the street, in the community.
Me working in the space... with a little sign explaining who I am, what I am doing and welcoming questions.
So what did I get up to in Bradford? Well I expanded the city by responding to changes I saw and people I met including The Peel Park Pub in Undercliffe that has closed down since my last visit. The clients protest by using the back yard as their pub now. Ruth is currently making some characters to occupy the pub in the city. I also met Dave (the local street cleaner) and Richard (local window cleaner who runs Shiny Clean) both made a massive impression on me and were an important part of my time in Bradford and now they live in the city we made.
People have responded so well!! I only wish I had twitter or could record this but I find such things a distraction to me you'll have to look for it yourself! I have never worked in such a responsive place.
Here's a man I met in Undercliffe who came to see exhibition who is outside talking to other artist Ruth Fettis.
But I didn't just expand the city we built while I was in Bradford. I also responded to other things I saw in the city. In a city that is struggling in so many ways I was astounded to see so many betting shops, cash converters and claim companies thriving. I spent time in the betting shops and they are like the new community centres bringing men together. They are like places of worship people blindly giving their faith. I photographed these places and built shrines for them firstly it was to comment on the religious aspect but then these shrines became a place for the men to mourn their lost money. It was then my aim to get these shrines in the betting shops, I told the attendants of the betting shop this was an art project for college all but one gladly accepted them and I left the shrine in the window of that one anyway!
The saddest thing I noticed in Bradford was the library. There is a new library in the centre of town everyone is so happy because after the old one being closed so long they finally have a new one. But the new library is tiny compared to the old 8 floor one they used to have. My friend went in to get a book and it had been sold, it seems lots of the old books have been sold. So what are people meant to do ow without these books? I made some booklets that I put inside the books in the library questioning where they had gone...
I wrote a poem that was inside it...
"Reading a book can change your life,
access to information is everybody's right,
most books sold now few remain,
Without them we can't expand our brains,
Your power can't dictate our knowledge,
through empty shelves we cannot forage"
since leaving I have been sent this petition
it seems more libraries are closing! WE NEED TO SAVE THEM!!
and thats me now I'm back in Liverpool plotting my next art attack!! watch this space!!