Artists for Gloucestershire Archives
This week we’ve been celebrating the national #ExploreArchives campaign, so it seemed appropriate to demonstrate just how many ways there are of exploring the collections.
If you have visited the Archives’ garden lately you will have noticed that there is a very large oak tree trunk lying on the ground. This is the raw material for our new vertical sculpture to be carved by Cheltenham based sculptor Natasha Houseago. The tree trunk is two and a half metres long and has a diameter of about half a metre. Or if you still hanker for the olden days, 15 feet long and about 20 inches across.
Natasha is one of five artists, funded by Arts Council England and working with Gloucestershire Archives to produce original artwork for the new public spaces. Once the builders are off site Natasha will move in and carve her sculpture. She will be on site for about 12 weeks in the summer and during that time visitors to the Heritage Hub will be able to watch her carve and talk to her about the emerging sculpture and her process.
Our other artists – Julia O’Connell, textile artist, Lynda Knott and Angela Williams, mosaic artists (TomatoJack Arts) and Imogen Harvey-Lewis, illustrator, have been busy gathering information for their new pieces of work all of which will be inspired by Gloucestershire, its people, heritage and geography. They have visited care homes in Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire and talked to our partners including the Friends of Gloucestershire Archives, Gloucestershire Family History Society, Gloucestershire Constabulary and Gloucestershire Local History Association members.
The artists have also visited Gloucestershire Archives taking time to talk to staff and look at some of the wonderful documents, maps and photographs deposited here.
TomatoJack – mosaic artists Lynda Knott and Angela Williams, worked with residents to produce a beautiful wall plaque.
Imogen Harvey-Lewis, our illustrator presenting her ideas to the Friends of Gloucestershire Archives.
The artists have had a wonderful time hearing stories, collecting memories, looking at photographs and seeing some of the amazing documents, maps and archived material kept at Gloucestershire Archives. Next year as the artists create their artwork visitors will be able to help with making some of the artwork during drop in sessions here at the nearly refurbished Heritage Hub building.
Kim Kenny – For the Record Project Officer