Saturday, 3 November 2012

The Big Draw Workshops

We held two, very successful workshops last month at The University of Northampton and would like to say a big thank you to everyone who participated and assisted us. 

Our first workshop was attended by 17 children from All Saints Primary School in Northampton. With them was their Headmaster and Art Teacher. Here are some photos from the session.

During the workshop the children created their own soles. From these we produced prints. the results were wonderful!

Our second workshop was attended by a group of 6 Girl Guides. They produced some beautiful drawings and very imaginative shoes.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Preparations for The Big Draw workshops

                 'The viewer is as much a part of the art as the 
                 artist is - it grows in meaning, importance and           
                 joy when it stops being the precious object by
                 one person and becomes something available  
                 to and created by everyone' (1)           

(1)  Davidson, M. Contemporary Drawing - Key Concepts and TechniquesBig Drawings (2011) New York:  
Watson-Guptill Publications. p. 124.
(Quote refers to the artist Sol Le Witt).

Edge Arts Projects are running a series of workshops for young people in October for The Big Draw, and they are taking place at the Institute for Creative Leather Technologies at The University of Northampton. 

Our workshops are a mixture of experimental drawing and shoe making using recycled materials. As part of the workshops we are also including a tour of the Institutes Tannery and a talk from a member of the Northampton shoe industry. 

We have been busy preparing for the workshops and wanted to share some photos of what we've been up to! 

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Godiva Awakes 2012

28/29 July 2012

Edge artist Hazel attended the Godiva Awakes event in Coventry prior the journey to London 2012 Olympic Games.

Wow!  What a spectacular event illustrating genuine community spirit throughout the city and beyond Coventry; highly inspirational, joyous and so exciting.  The design was superb and the puppet was specially crafted by Imagineer Productions who are based in Coventry. Godiva appeared like a real life person; moving and greeting onlookers towering above them.  She wore in the first instance an amazing under-garment then her coat was applied and to be seated on a crafted horse and transported by the leg power of 100 cyclists.  She was extremely well received by people welcoming her on route to London.

All photographs taken by Hazel Walker BA Hons, ARPS. 
Copyright Hazel Walker photography: any reproduction prohibited, permission required.

It could not have happened if it were not for Imagineer Productions and the first class skills of the region, nationwide and global reaching across many sectors such as mechanics, theatre and artists, together with sponsorships by local companies.
One of these being where Hazel works - Cranfield Business Recovery, based in the City Centre of Coventry who were extremely proud to be the 1st Gold Patron of the Godiva.

notable websites:

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Art and Culture in Milton Keynes

If you thought Milton Keynes is just about shopping and concrete Cows think again. There is a wealth of art and culture events happening all around the city.

Milton Keynes played a major part in the Cultural Olympiad South East and has hosted events such as the Milton Keynes Festival Fringe and IF:2012 - The Milton Keynes International Festival. The programmes of both of these events were diverse and included live music, theatre, dance, storytelling and visual art projects. Two of these were Collective Spirit - the Lone Twin project and Godiva Awakes by Imagineer Productions, a 10 metre high puppet who journeyed through MK at the beginning of August on its way to London.

Part of the International Festival is an exhibition at MK Gallery of Hariton Pushwagner, a Norwegian artist whose work portrays a dark picture of modern life. Through his Graphic Novel, animation, drawings and prints Pushwagner’s vision reveals an unsettlingly recognisable place of greed, materialism and excess and juxtaposes this with destruction and chaos.

Hariton Pushwagner, Self-portrait, 2002. Screenprint. Pushwagner Collection, Oslo.

For forty years Pushwagner has drawn inspiration from his observations of post-war Norway and from Beat Poets such as William Burrough’s whose work he particularly identifies with. It is clear from his work that he’s concerned by the acute materialism that that sprung up after the war and the hold this has had on the people around him. He’s also interested in the physical mechanics of war, heavy industry and mass production. In the Long Gallery his monumental work The Apocalypse Frieze has the same effect Picasso’s Guernica or Bosch’s triptychs in that it stops you dead in your tracks. These giant works are astonishing in their obsessive detail and show armies of suited men engaged in acts of war, scores of black smoking factories, and depictions of death and destruction.

Hariton Pushwagner, Almost There. From A Day in the Life of Family Man, 1980.  

The exhibition was expertly curated to emulate the sense of mass production and repetition shown in his work. The presence of Pushwagner’s film Soft City playing in a loop within the space with its mechanical sounds of commerce and industry completed the experience.

The exhibition runs until the 2nd September and then travels to Norway and the Netherlands.



Collective Spirit, the Boat Project by artists Lone Twin is part of Artists Taking the Lead, a series of 12 public art commissions across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. The Boat Project is the winning commission for the South-East region and is funded by the Arts Council England.

This post by Edge Artist Ann Crearie describes the project and connects it with her own art practice.

Collective Spirit is a seafaring 30 foot living archive, crafted by an adventurous team of boat builders from wooden objects donated by members of the public. The project combines contemporary art and design with engineering and craft, exploring diverse areas of expertise and conceptions of art and modes of creativity and collaboration. Milton Keynes is one of the furthest points from the sea so it was apt that the town should be included in the boat’s maiden voyage. 

Lone Twin Artistic Directors Gregg Whelan & Gary Winters

The items have been placed marquetry-style in the ‘topsides’ - the port and starboard elevations of the hull visible above the water. 

There is a book that records the project with photographs of all the wooden donations and the people with their stories. The book costs £25.00 and is only available at the event or for the website  It lists every item with a photograph of the person and a brief story. Item 1048 is from Elizabeth Salmon reads:

My grandmother had a son, Roland John Walker, who drowned at sea during the second world war, aged 21. When we were cleaning out my grandmother’s house we came across this coat hanger with the initials R.W. Roland Walker’s the only person in our family with those initials, so we hope it is his. It’s so appropriate to go on a boat, but it was never really talked about. We have a grave for him, but I’d like to know a bit more, I never knew him.

The accompanying bookmark ‘I am a boat’ (costs £1) and is made from sawdust and is the remains of the 1,221 wooden objects donated by people in South East England. As you hold it in your hands you are touching wood dating back to 1166, remnants of the floor of a royal palace and heirlooms of treasured items and collected memories.



My practice investigates collections and memories and so I was delighted to explore every nook and cranny of this nationally significant boat project. The visit was research for a new project that Edge Arts Collective are working on connected with the Shoe Industry.

Collective Spirit left Queens Court in Milton Keynes Shopping Centre later that day on its journey to Weymouth for the Olympics where you can see it until 11 August 2012. It is most definitely worth the visit.


Things outlast us, they know more about us than we know about them. They carry the experiences they have had with us inside them and are- in fact - the book of our history opened before us.[1]

[1] W.G. Sebald, in Sebald and Jan Peter Tripp, Unrecounted. London: Hamish Hamilton, 2004, pp. 79-80

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Queen's Jubilee Art Workshop

Many thanks to everyone who attended the Queen's Jubilee Art Workshop held at the Lutterworth Family Fun Day in Leicestershire. We were kept very busy and had lots of fun helping children make their own stamps and Union Flag Badges. It was the first Edge Arts workshop but after the success of this one we hope to do more in the future. Watch this space!

Here are some photos from the day.