Friday, 18 September 2009

Another test...

To see if a larger image works

Test mail

A test mail to see if emailing to blogger works!

Friday, 21 November 2008

This Little Piggy...

While researching and contacting people during her residency, Jess Wilkins was offered part of a 'pig' collection to redistribute. During Multitude visitors have been putting forward their reason to take ownership of one of these pigs. Those claimed at present are HERE

The letter received with the collection:

The piggy collection belongs to my partner, Michael Bellhouse. It was his late-wife's collection - Margaret died in 2000. In the 25 years they were together, he used to buy her something piggy wherever he went. Soon, everyone else did too. She had over 1000 items all round their house when she died - and it's only a small semi! Mike packed everything away in the loft, wrapped each individual item and put them in boxes. When I met Mike 4 years ago, he wanted to clear the house so that he had more space, and also to move forward with his life, so I helped him to unwrap everything. There were hundreds of ornaments of all sizes, plus kitchen ware, clothes, jewellery, cards, pictures, stationery, books, toys, video's, bedding, etc.

We rented a permanent stall at Botany Bay in Lancashire calling it "Pig and Mix". Mike works as a sign-maker so he made signs with our name and a piggy logo. We have sold about 500 items there, taken about 200 items to Charity shops, and still have some left, even after giving you a boxful.

Mike is happy with his less cluttered home, and would never start another "collection", but he is still a bit of a hoarder, and is slowly learning to be more ruthless in getting rid of anything he doesn't use, rather than keep it just in case he needs it later. Up until his wife died, he had been an active fisherman since his teens and he still has a small outhouse full of fishing gear. He says he is not interested in keeping up with fishing, but he still can't bring himself to part with any of it! Also, his mother, father, step-father and various aunts have left him household stuff (including china tea cups etc) in their wills over the past 10 years or so, which he had kept packed away. Apart from a few personal items for each, he has decided to pass on the rest "to new owners". After we had a succesful carboot sale at Rufforth last Sunday, he has now found a new outlet for all his unwanted stuff.

Anne Jackson, Leeds

Another happy customer!

Some fantastic feedback on Multitude from Alan Firth:

Hi ho, hi ho, 'twas off to see we goed (sic) ! What a day, what an adventure, what an eyeopener. We surveyed lots and lots of this and that ... and much much more. Just how much more there was tucked away is anyones guess. The brain is muffled and the mind meanders... treats and treasures, compacted into intense and dense environments, personal and hand-picked...hi-de-hi, ho ho ho. The trail led through shoved-aside silencers, skulls and cards counted by the dozen, bric-a-brac and bird nests, to biros and a bar, beer and bloody Marys with Tretchicof and Elvis looking on... more cards and catalogues via 'chair'man Ben bravura-ing over booklets and biblio-stuff, white suit to hand, and coffee and Amaretto to ours... Oh my, Karen, didn't time fly; no time to pick 'n' and ponder. We all needed that recovery phase at Patricks... then for us it was an early departure for a seemingly e m p t y home a l o n e ! ! ! So many thanks to ESA for creating the opportunity for such a rich experience Karen. I would have liked to have stayed on and to have chatted and nattered over a glass or two... hi ho. Pat had a delightful time though she had started to wilt... life doesn't do her too many favours.

With love Alan and Pat

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Artists Texts 2

Second of artists texts is by Emma Bolland, who has also been selected for AXIS's 'Future 50'


The accretion of objects implies a longing, a wish, a desire for reminders and punctuation’s of life. A collector, looking through their hoard, will allow their eyes to rest on this object or that, and recall the moment and place of its finding, the pleasures and difficulties of its acquisition. In this way each object, no matter how precious or rarified its status, becomes a souvenir.
A souvenir is an object that recalls a certain place, occasion or person. It is a memento. The word is French and is the verb ‘to remember’, from the Latin ‘subvenire’ – to come to mind. Broken down still further, from ‘sub’ – up to, and ‘venire’ – to come. This latter evocation: to come, to come up, to come again has an overt sexual overtone which is masculine in its themes of rising and taking, and of the pleasures and excitements inherent therein. It is no accident that the greatest pleasure in the recalling and retaking of the acquisitory act takes place before a witness, an audience, another. A collection must be shown and shared and known about for its potential to be fulfilled.
I do not collect – I discard. For me, collecting evokes the twofold terror of attachment and storage, both of a physical and psychic kind. I fear the accretion of and the attachment to objects and evocations that may clutter and complicate my life. And yet I am jealous of those who can acquire, who can ‘come up’ and take and take again. Is this a form of Penis Envy? Perhaps one day I will start a collection of my own. A set of good objects to take and keep, to take my pleasures with them over and over again. I will caress and fondle, order and display, catalogue and build until my well of pleasures is running over.
Emma Bolland 2008

Monday, 10 November 2008

Multitude Launch

The opening of Multitude was a roaring success! With over 250 people attending during the evening. Social Club Salon 2008 went really well with a great response to the overall 'feel' and atmosphere, and yes it was a really good space to be in during the evening.

All the works can be seen here at the Flickr Salon!
They are also for sale, a catalogue price list will be linked soon, but in the meantime why not select your 'Peoples Choice' or have a read of what the Salon 2008 was all about:

An enterprising exhibition of artists’ work
Forming part of East Street Arts’ third Social Club project Multitude
Autumn 2008

The history and context for the original Parisian Salon exhibition is fascinating in that at the heart of its concern was the need to create opportunities for young artists to show new work and to develop the audiences for ‘contemporary’ art.

‘All those with a vested interest in the Salon exhibitions were thus faced with the task of defining what sort of public it had brought into being. The Salon exhibition presented them with a collective space that was markedly different from those in which painting and sculpture had served a public function in the past.’1

Around the 1730’s the Salon exhibition became a regular event and its effect on the artistic life of Paris was immediate and dramatic. It was the first regularly repeated, open and free display of ‘contemporary’ art in Europe to be shown in a completely secular setting and for ‘the purpose of encouraging a primary aesthetic response in large numbers of people.’

The first Salon d’Automne (Autumn Salon) was organised by Georges Rouault, AndrĂ© Derain, Henri Matisse and Albert Marquet in 1903. It was as a reaction to the conservative policies of the official Paris Salon. The exhibition almost immediately became the showpiece of developments and innovations in 20th century painting and sculpture.

To mirror this seminal exhibition, during the autumn of 2008 ESA is presenting the organisation’s first Salon event in Leeds. It represents not so much a reaction to the ‘official’, but a continuing exploration into the presentation of practitioners’ work to an engaged and developing audience.

ESA invited practitioners from all walks of life to show their work for the Salon, with the ethos of the exhibition being: ‘no Judge, Jury nor Prize! You are all winners’.

Salon 08 has over 180 pieces of work by practitioners that have found inspiration, passion, and a need to express their ideas, thoughts and feelings. All work therefore is unique and stands as a testimony to a particular time and environment. The browser, buyer, and collector will be the judge.

To view the artworks please visit There you can see every piece and vote for it by leaving a comment and the winner will receive the mystery prize.

1. Tomas E. Crow (1985) Painters Public Life in Eighteenth Century Paris. New Haven and London, Yale University Press.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Artists Texts

As part of Multitude we asked some of the artists involved to give us their view on collecting. Matthew Shelton, a studio holder at Patrick Studios and taking part in the Studio Programme element of Multitude, has from time to time been somewhat of a 'hoarder' so has first hand experience on the subject...


All this useless beauty
By a former steel mill on the outskirts of Rotherham I find lumps and blobs of slag and scrap steel, crusty with rust and lime.
The shapes assumed by the slag fragments amuse me. I start to collect them, and carry them home. I not only collect scrap steel and slag, but paper, wood and coal. Useless, abandoned things; bereft of purpose and stripped of value. To place this into context, I go prospecting in public spaces where I have no personal rights of ownership, I gather booty and remove it from public circulation; then, returning to my private space, I unpack my acquisitions, of which I am now the undisputed owner. So far, so good; I am engaged in an essentially harmless activity, creative and stimulating, with defined outputs and a sense of breaking new ground.
The lumps of scrap steel resemble beasts, punctuation marks, fossils, birds, wild flowers, turds. They have a curious mottled, russet appearance, stippled with umber and ochre.
Often, a piece of the steel will closely resemble a splash of viscous liquid; soap, sauce or syrup. These are the ones I cherish; these are the ones I value most in my new collection.
I blast clean the pieces of steel and slag. Each lump of raw, discarded matter has been subjected to a sustained, high pressure stream of ceramic beads: the rust and dirt has gone.
I have precisely one hundred in my collection: a ‘wunderkammer’ of useless things. I would like to show them on plain white simply supported shelves, evenly lit and very, very clean; blasted dross shining like fresh new steel; the object divested of its function, silent as to its origin and making.
To collect, according to Roger Cardinal, is to ‘launch individual desire across the intertext of environment and history. Every acquisition, whether crucial or trivial, marks an unrepeatable conjecture of subject, found object, place and moment.......the continuous thread through which selfhood is sewn into the unfolding fabric of a lifetime’s experience’.
All well and good? Not according to Jean Baudrillard, who tells us that the collector ‘can never shake off an air of impoverishment and depleted humanity’. Perhaps they’re both right; the collection and the act of collecting is a valid socio-cultural statement while the collector is somehow diminished by the act and must act on the fringes of respectability; infantile, indigent, acquisitive.
Let the collections themselves decide.
Matthew Shelton 2008