These are what I’ve been working on over the last week or two – they’re made entirely of paper & glue, painted & varnished. The handmade original (below) was sitting around for a few months, while I kept picking it up and thinking “must do an improved version of this”, and then shortly after that I got access to a working laser cutter again. This is ten teardrop-shaped petals, a small central circle, and a more or less key-shaped back piece – the loop is integral, bent back on itself & glued in place.
Here’s another version, in malachite because I’m still not quite up to tackling proper York, Lancaster, or Tudor roses. The design still needs more work – something about the shape of the petals, mostly – and I’m still trying to sort out an efficient way to deal with the assembly process.
I went to this conference on Saturday, at Firstsite in Colchester – it was a really good, inspiring day.
Since a lot of you won’t be familiar with the empty shops movement, here’s a short executive summary. There are a lot of disused commercial & retail spaces in the UK, and that’s only set to increase. There are also a great many creative people who don’t have, and can’t get, the capital & guaranteed income stream to make use of them at market rents. (Not to mention: the requirement for that sort of income stream rules out a lot of really good & innovative uses for these sites which just wouldn’t generate enough to pay a market rent, business rates, and running costs.) There are some legal & organisational tools which remove a lot of the barriers, both for landlords and for tenants.
The day opened, of course, with a bit of coffee & networking. As Eva said, artists hate that word but can’t stop doing it. When you reframe it as just chatting to each other about your practice & experiences, swapping useful contacts & tips for getting things done, artists look at you oddly and start wondering whether there are really people who don’t do that instinctively.