A sad time for England’s’ high street – BHS’s closure takes with it many jobs, a brand identity and an archive of a British retail business dating back to 1928. When I was little, I remember being taken on shopping trips on the bus along the sea front into Worthing with my Nan, ‘Nanny Brown’ (my Dads Mum). We would go into BHS and my Nanny Brown would buy me matching vest and knickers which would have an animal on the front…. the kitten ones seem to have stuck in my head.
I have quite a few pieces of second hand BHS clothing in my own archives of raw materials. Some of these clothes I have used in past works and some I may keep as part of my own archive collection.
The work ‘S-t-r-e-t-c-h’ which I made in 1999 was woven from a size 12 British Home Stores (BHS) Polyester full petticoat, which I bought in a Brighton charity shop and had been hand dyed. Acting as a vertebra, the black lace running the full length of the petticoat became the focus of the work.
‘S-t-r-e-t-c-h’ was exhibited in group and solo exhibitions including ‘Out of the Closet’ 2000 Sothebys London and ‘Intimate Foundations’, 2000-01, first touring solo exhibition. The work was purchased back in 2001 by the former South East Art Collection, now Brighton & Hove Museums Collection.
I am really so pleased to announce that ‘the secrets we keep from ourselves…’ (tswkfo) is now all safely in the store of Nottingham City Museums Art Textile Collection. This is to be the works’ new home. It has taken me a while to stabilize and prepare the work ready for its departure and to complete a 200 plus page document of installment guidelines and image library to support future installs of the work.
‘the secrets we keep from ourselves’ joins The Brides Clothes, The Brides Clothes Underwear, The Brides Clothes Wedding Album (2000-01), Squeeze (1999), Petti-fur-coat (1999) and Odd one out (2000), all part of Nottingham City Museums Contemporary Art Textile Collection.
My thanks to the team at Nottingham Museums for all their continued support, patience and assistance getting the tswkfo to it new home.
The Towner Art Gallery’s East Sussex Open Exhibition 2016 opens today. My work ‘All at Sea’ is part of this exhibition and I attended the private view summer party event last night. What a great evening – Thank you Towner Art Gallery for another splendid opening.
This year ‘East Sussex Open’ brings together a diverse range of works by 70 East Sussex Artists, which were selected by a judging panel consisting of by Jenni Lomax, Director, Camden Arts Centre, Brian Cass, Towners’ Head of Exhibitions and Melanie Manchot, Artist. For the first time the Exhibition is presented the Towners’ Second Floor Galleries. On the ground and first for galleries there are two other major exhibitions; ‘Some Are Nights Others Stars’ an international group show, in full Towner Art Gallery style and ‘David Bomberg: A Sense of Place’. All three Exhibitions are free entry. ‘David Bomberg: A Sense of Place continues until 11th September. ‘Some Are Nights Others Stars’ and East Sussex Open 2016 continue until 25th September.
For full details for a great day out at one of the South Easts’ most prestigious and inclusive art venues please visit http://townereastbourne.org.uk it is well worth the visit!
‘All at Sea’ is a site Specific work originally made for and exhibited on the Ross Tiger fishing Trawler, Grimsby in 2014 for The 62 Group of Textile Artists Exhibition ‘Ebb & Flow’. Being selected for the Towner’s Art Gallery’s ‘East Sussex Open’ 2016 gives the work its debut in a Gallery Context. Further information about this work is on this blog and at http://www.axisweb.org/artist/lucybrown
Above – ‘All at Sea’ Detail. by Lucy Brown. Photographer credit; David Ramakalawon
On Wednesday 13th July (2016), my works ‘Disembodied’ and ‘Bodiless’ were re-untied after 16 years! Both works were selected and first shown together in ‘The Border Land of Tapestry’, a three venue exhibition which toured Poland 1998-99. The exhibition was organised and opened at Biuro Wystaw Aetyscznych, Jeleniej Gorze, Poland in October 1998.
After their debut in ‘The Border Land of Tapestry’ Disembodied’ and ‘Bodiless’ went on to be part of ‘Craftscape; Contemporary British Crafts; Alive and kicking’ in 2000. This was the Launch and European Touring Exhibition of the then new Yorkshire Craft Centre (now renamed The Dye House Galley) at Bradford College. Disembodied was purchase by the ‘Yorkshire Craft Centre Collection’. Bodiless went on to be exhibited in many other exhibitions.
Bodiless is now also part of the ‘Yorkshire Craft Centre Collection’ and therefore re-untied with Disembodied. Two framed works on paper; ‘Scaling’ and ‘Shall we dance’ have also been added into the collection. These works on paper indicate future installations using Bodiless and Disembodied.
Top left; Disembodied Date made: 1998. Materials used; Polyester size 18 ‘C & A’ nightdress. Polyester boning. Wire. Polyester ribbon. Cotton. Covered Clothes hanger. 80 x 40 x 26cm – main body area: Installed height: 178cm, depending on installation
top right; Bodiless Date made: 1998 Materials used; St Michael Size 18 100% Nylon/Polyamide nightdress.Polyester boning. Wire. Polyester ribbon. Cotton. Covered Clothes hanger. 72 x 40 x 18cm – main body area: Installed height: 178cm, depending on installation.
bottom left; Scaling Date; 1999 Works on paper. Framed: 32 W x 71 L x 2 D cm
bottom right; Shall We Dance Date; 1999 Works on paper. Framed: 63W x 37L x 2Dcm
A few photos of the final work in situ…Working live in a gallery is always full of surprises. I had some lovely unexpected conversations with gallery visitors during my two day shed space residency. These exchanges and visitors re-actions to an artist working in the gallery all at some level inform the work made in situ. Thank you to those of you who visited.
Working with a knicker elastic warp stretched around the gallery architecture steel post and attached to the ‘shed space’ shed, I have been free fall weaving and un- weaving with a mix of nylon undergarments and stockings… starting with the basement foundations of the Former Lucas Underwear Factory building in George Street Oxford…
Above; Shed Space Exhibition. Old Fire Station Gallery Oxford. Left ‘Total Support’ by Lucy Brown
above; Warp in Progress. Lucy Brown. Gallery Residency. Shed Space Exhibition Old Fire Station Gallery Oxford
above left; Lucy Brown weaving in situ. Gallery Residency. Shed Space Exhibition Old Fire Station Gallery Oxford
above right; Back of the former Lucas Underwear factory building. Back of George Street Oxford. Lucy Brown. Research
Just thinking through my forthcoming 2-day Gallery Residency as part of the Shed Space Exhibition at The Old Fire Station, Oxford. My current research has brought me to the former Lucas Underwear factory and its fire of 1965…. In 1965 The Old Fire Station would of still been active as a fire station… The Former Lucas Underwear Factory building still stands opposite the Old Fire Station in George Street, Oxford….. some thing to mull over….
I will be weaving in response to my research findings somewhere in the gallery at The Old fire Station on Friday 24 June & Saturday 25 June, 11am – 6pm. I am also leading a two hour workshop session on Saturday 25 June, 1pm – 3pm.
Shed Space continues until 2nd July 2016 at The Gallery, Arts at the Old Fire Station (AOFS). 40 George Street, Oxford, OX1 2AQ. Tel 01865 263990