‘Utopian Realism’ is an exploration of rural utopianism, idealism and industrialism in the North East of England and Mid Wales by the artists Mair Hughes and Bridget Kennedy.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

A keen player

Last week I spent some time with Phil Ogg (a friend and collaborator) recording the Glass Alphabet.

This is me with Max (Phil's son), Phil told me that the Glass Alphabet had certainly made an impression on him because the other night Max brought out some wine glasses and initiated a glass jamming session.

I'm hoping to use the sounds of the glasses as a sound track for another version of the animation I made for the Blacksmith's Shop.

Mair and I are in full swing getting ready for the show at CAT at the end of October. It will be part of Powys Art Month, check out the link at the side if you want to know more about it. Our work will be opening in the WISE building at CAT on Sun October 23rd, preview: 5-7pm, usual opening hours 10am - 5:30pm.

We will also be showing some work at the Museum of Modern Art Wales (MOMA Wales) between the 26th October and the 19th November.

So back to work.....

Friday, 16 September 2011

Heritage Open Days exhibition

Our exhibition "Scientific Stranger" took place over four days in September (8th/9th/10th/11th) as part of Heritage Open Days.

We installed two projection works in the Blacksmith's Shop in Allenheads and received 57 visitors over the four day period.

It was the first public showing of the first works we have produced for exhibition in this project. We spent the four days discussing the works amongst ourselves and with visitors. The more time we spent in it, the more the Blacksmith's Shop seemed to be a very fitting place to site the works as themes of making, construction and planning emerged from these discussions.

Bridget's work

Bridget's work was downstairs in The Blacksmith's, her work was inspired by the systems of crystal formation of minerals in the region, a piece of text by Robert Owen and an extract from Thomas Sopwith's diary. Bridget has used a computer modeling programme to create a virtual sculpture that explores these sources of inspiration.

Mair's installation

Mair installed her work up stairs in the Blacksmith's Shop.This work was inspired by the Appropriate Building Materials course that she observed at the Centre for Alternative Technology. In it Mair explores the visual drama and the intimate communication that occurs when constructing something together, as well as the continued appeal of primitive hand-built forms as models for future living

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Play a word?

A variety of different sized and shaped glasses, one for each letter of the alphabet.

This relates to the animation Bridget made from a text by Robert Owen, in the animation each letter of the alphabet which forms the text "General Arrangements for the Population" takes shape as a column that has specific colour and height. By using this system a three dimensional structure is created.

The glass alphabet will be used to create an accompanying sound track for the animation.

The Glass Alphabet in action

Bridget and Hazel try their hand at making the glasses sing.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Our Stall at The High Forest Show

Mair modeling one of the prizes from the Silent Monitor Tombola.

Last weekend (Sept 3rd) we took part in The High Forest Show at Allenheads. It is a traditional village show meaning people living in the area partake in good humored battles over who has grown the biggest and best leeks or baked the best scones etc.

There are also a variety of stalls in the village square, this year Mair and I took a stall to join in the fun and give people a little taster of what we have been up to in this project so far.

We were busy with eager customers from start to finish, kids and adults were keen to try their luck on the Silent Monitor Tombola to see if they could win some colour co ordinated sweets and have their state of moral well being assessed. Many people were fascinated by and ,with a little training, enjoyed spelling out words on the Glass Alphabet.

We are now busy preparing for the next event in Allenheads which is a Heritage Open Day exhibition in the Blacksmith's Shop.

The exhibition will be open on the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th of September between 11 am and 4 pm.

There's more info about it if you follow the Heritage Open link to the right.