ECB Site Visit 20.7.11

Great day on site – the build is beginning to take shape now and what was just a myriad of concreted areas are now resembling rooms, walls and open spaces. As well as taking photos I also took a mini sewing kit with me and decided to set a rule and find bits on site to stitch…I was in a space and looked on the floor and saw all these painted flakes that had come off a temporary roofing panel…so I sat quietly for a few minutes and stitched through a flake – it was so delicate to stitch through as it disintegrated really easily. I also found a little blue baby bow in my sewing kit – it is a really tiny bow that I got from my Nannar’s sewing ephemera when she passed away and I’ve always kept it with me thinking I will use it on some work…well I decided that the site could do with a little ‘softening’ up so went bow-bombing! The colours and textures on site are amazing so it was great to offset the bow on some of the works. I toyed with the idea of leaving the bow onsite as a little treasure but I actually couldn’t part with it so it came back home with me in the tin – packed away ready for its next guerilla bow bombing...

Work Update

Been neglecting my blog so chance to catch up and post a lot of photos (evidence of busy-ness). My current commissions for Godiva Awakes and ECB are really hotting up now hence the absence from my blog. Been busy meeting other members of the huge team of makers and engineers for Godiva including Nick and Frank and the fabulous people at Artem who are charged with making the huge 6 metre Godiva marionette – it was a real privilege spending time with them in their studios and workrooms – traditional crafts and new technologies working side by side and lovely people to boot. I have now screen printed all 36 mtrs of the top coat (silk dupion) with prints that feature images and text from the West Midlands industries both past and present – we had 17 screens in total and then I repeated the process in other colours for the lining fabric which I will be specifically working on – I actually just can’t wait to get sewing, BUT I have decided to be cautious and make a full size toile of the coat so will begin to cut the pattern and sew up the calico toile in next week or so. At the end of July we get chance to try the toile on Godiva – can’t wait (best take my bodger tool kit just in case of mishaps!) Thanks to Coat Team for help and inspiration: Rachel Grant, Julie Johannides, Debbie Squires, Maggie Dunne and Adam Hussain. ECB is my other commission – the new and fabulous Engineering and Computing Building for Coventry University – as...

ECB site update

Its a cold first morning of December on site, everything is frozen and flakes are beginning to fall. Still an amazing place to be when its a new experience. The structure is now to the upper ground floor and some areas are beginning to resemble the CAD drawings from ARUP. I learnt about the 'rubbing down man' today – he smoothes the exposed concrete with a hessian glove – true hand finishing! I couldn't help but look at his hands when I met him – I expected big Peter Shilton goalies hands out of proportion to the rest of his body…but they weren't…they were just normal size. I found a 'flupp' – its like a rubber thimble that is secreted upside down into bore holes to fill them and then they are subsequently filled with bitumen and this simple procedure keeps the rainwater out…the concrete can't be poured into the pillar shutters as it needs a temp of plus 4 (and its at least – 2 this morning) The pillars that have been poured are snug and warm in a 'frost blanket'…thanks to Andy for showing me around and Anton for letting us into his...

artist in residence work

Since May 2009 I have been working as artist in residence for Coventry University on their new Engineering and Computer building which is due for completion in 2012. The building is designed by ARUP and the construction company is VINCI. It’s been a fascinating few months, working closely with the archaeologists after the demolition of the Gulson Hospital and being able to witness their finds. The most poignant being a medieval button with a Pelican beating her breast with the latin words Crede Michi which is translated to ‘I believe’. The site was also a poor house and in the very early days a brick making site for Whitefriars nearby. It was amazing to touch a piece of pot or a clay pipe thinking that prior to myself and the archaeologist it was probably the original owner who had last touched or used the objects so many years ago. I am collating stories on the site and the construction team are saving their doodles and drawings for use in my installation. Its a unique experience and I hope to post a few photographs as the site progresses. Anyone with stories from the hospital or its previous uses do contact me...