6 days left to help support Fighting For Crumbs (Art in The Shadow of Neoliberal Britain)! Once the crowdfunder is complete, we will begin to promote the event, that will be held in both Sheffield and Wakefield, including an exhibition our the artists’ works, the showing of our video documentary, talks, films and much more. Ta.
So this year has begun with me working with a group of artists on anexciting project which, at least in my life, promises to be something quite special.
Fighting For Crumbs (Art in Shadow of Neoliberal Britain)will be taking place at the Wakefield Redshed, and the Sheffield-based Gage gallery between 8-14 August 2016. A event centering around a film and an exhibition, it will also include talks and performances at both venues.
We need all the support you have to make this project be as special as it promises to be!
Please find the Crowdfunder located below.
Here’s a little about what Fighting For Crumbs is all about…
In November of 2015, the group the Sleaford Mods starred in an independent film examining the lives and homes of the majority that were being systemically ignored in this brutally austere but paradoxically aspirational age of David Cameron. ‘Invisible Britain’ was screened nationally, yet it seemed to focus much of its energy on towns once at the centre of the Yorkshire mining heartlands.
2016 marks the 50th birthday of The Redshed, also known as The Labour club. Situated in the heart of the Yorkshire city of Wakefield, the place is somewhat unique, and has defiantly resisted the capitalist forces that have penetrated nearly everything else around it. A year-long line-up of events are now marking this anniversary.
Sandra Hutchinson, a lifelong supporter of the club, spoke of how The Redshed began at the height of the social and political changes happening in the 1960’s. In-spite of the seismic troubles around the world, it was an age of political optimism, and there was a strong belief that things could be and would be changed.
“THERE IS A PREVAILING SENSE OF PARALYSIS AND DEFEAT ALL ACROSS EX-INDUSTRIAL BRITAIN. AND THIS PARTICULARLY EFFECTS THE YOUNG WHO HAVE NOT KNOWN ANYTHING ELSE” JD TAYLOR
The Invisible Britain documentary addresses this political climate; an age of deep political pessimism. A sense of defeat clings to the streets of our congealed conurbations. A depressed, and broken spirit hangs over us, instructing us to abandon the world we live in and find happiness in loneliness.
The huge support that propelled Jeremy Corbyn from relative obscurity to leader of the Labour Party, seemed to be more a WILLING for a return of a political optimism. Wanting it, because it’s not here.
Fighting for Crumbs (Art in the Shadow of Neoliberal Britain) is the stories of artists who are striving for nothing but raw artistic expression at a time when we’re all being forced to strive for ‘crumbs, where wages are low, and the market dictates creativity.
It’s not so much stories of poverty-stricken artists. It’s about artists working within the crumbling remains of the Britain’s post-settlement optimism.
Under the “keep calm and carry on” mantra of Tory rule, more and more artists are feeling pressured to head into more craft-based activities.
Although this is not a critique of the crafts itself, how can an art SAY when it’s trying so hard to SELL?
What value does the truth of artistic expression have in such times? Have we been reduced to fighting for crumbs?
The World Wide One Upmanship (2016, 8x4FT mixed media on paper and card)
This is a piece I made in response to being asked to make a site specific piece when in the initial stages of planning my current show at Bowery Gallery. The work is called The World Wide One Upmanship, and brings together a lot of thoughts and visual ideas I’ve been playing with for the past half year. I worked these ideas into the shape of the building, by making the ‘epic fail’ detritus, the fallen, surplus-to-requirements, pile of cruel type of society, fit the shape of a fire place, with the wall being part of an old chimney.
A few of the Fighting For Crumbs artists were involved in projects with Driftmine last year. In fact, the reflections on those projects were very influential towards the plans to do this project.
Driftmine helped us transcribe our audio recording a few of us had in a bar in Barnsley, in which we put together the reasons for this show. The link to the transcription is below:
It’s pretty unlikely I’ll get anything else done this year now, as I’ve hit my New Year-period wall prematurely, from which I can never imagine the possibility of making anything new again – until I make something new again. Perhaps I do my own yearly roundups because I somehow feel that I’m unjustifiably forgotten about. When I regain my bearings from the egotistical gravel pit, I recognise that it’s likely over 90% of us feel this way. But all the same, no choice but to play The Game.
So here’s a list, in a more or chronological order, of the best bits of what I have done in 2015; and believe me, there’s a lot of bits I’d rather regret. Regarding the visual works, I feel THE LONG NIGHT OF A NEEDLESS STORM is my strongest piece, both in visuals and title, it’s the best attempt I’ve made all year of interlinking all the problems of today indirectly back to the dominant political agenda.
Not Humanly Possible (A4, ink on paper)
A Cognitive Austerity (A4, ink on paper)
Five MORE Years… (A4, ink on paper)
“Hardworking Tax-payers, Inconvenienced” (A4, ink on paper)
Pain is Barred an Outlet (A4, ink on paper)
“Sad, LONELY, Frightened” (A4, ink on paper)
Everybody’s Fracking (95X130cm, mixed media on paper)
The Self [ie] Under Siege (A4, mixed media on paper)
“Can We Stop Now, Please?” (A4, mixed media on paper)
Debtland (2015, 110X77cm, mixed media on paper)
Artwork for Wear Your Band T-shirt to Work Day (explanation here)
Sounds that made up my year…
“the rotten soil of nowhere land”
Zomby – Where Were U in 92′
Real McCoy – Runaway (Tory election victory-sting-soother)
The Fall – Frightened
New Order – The Village
Goat – Let it Bleed/Gathering of Ancient Tribes
Sleaford Mods – Double Diamond
Wu Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M
Sleaford Mods – Mcflurry
Sleaford Mods – Jobseeker
Sleaford Mods – Tied up in Notts
DMS – vengeance
Sleaford Mods – Teacher Faces Porn Charges
Rufige Kru – Menace
Congress – 40 Miles
Chumbawumba – Tubthumping
Sonz of a Loop Da Loop Era – Far Out
The Chameleons – Don’t Fall/Second Skin – (again)
I’ve been on and off with the idea for this piece of work for almost 2 years now, with the initial idea for a work called Debtland coming to mind traveling to Leeds via train on a cold February night I 2014. So I’m glad I finally got around to putting it all together. Sometimes the ideas for my drawings are instantaneously in the right place, and I get on with making them straight away. Pieces such as Debtland sort of grow into so etching worthwhile in the background for a year or so.
Debtland (2015, 110X77cm, mixed media on paper)