Posts in DAY01

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January 12th, 2016 Posted by BLOG, DAY01 No Comment yet



Considering that the Crash residency began yesterday in a car, driving from London to Trawden, activating the route through sensation, sounds and passing scenery,

Considering that our lives are managed by rules, that we follow them without noticing them,

Considering that ethics is an everyday issue, from Earth to Human ethics, from individual work to collaborative action,

Considering that life will always goes on, especially in an abandoned Mill,


This Crash-week will have a butterfly effect on each of us, so then what will we do ?


“Every rejection you get, is a first step closer to acceptance.”

Kerry Morrison

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January 12th, 2016 Posted by BLOG, DAY01 No Comment yet

Brierfield Mill / Talk with Kerry


Interesting talk given by Kerry this morning; talking us through her artwork— Ethics, A TAZ, Socially engaging, interesting & surprising to realise the impact that artists can have as an impact both negative & positive way in the environment that they choose to enter—

 Moved into the mill in which In-Situ are based— absolutely huge mill— completely stripped leaving building materials and remnants of what the mill once was (a bandage-making place).


Walking around was an overwhelming experience, the site especially.  The amount of things that could be done in there but not knowing what was, I felt, quite overwhelmed.


On the way round I saw small yellow ball, which was near to a hole going to the floor below.  Yellow ball fit perfectly in hole.  Plan on making something to do with it just a small playful thing, concerned as always that it may be too minimal, would like a bit of audience participation maybe that they put the ball back through the ceiling.  Still not sure.  Lots of hanging opportunities to hang fabric would like to give something else a try, working on a smaller, mere thought-out piece, maybe.  I’m not sure ‘thought out’ is the right phrase.  Like the yellow ball.  Might try out a sequence of events.  Found a couple of pieces that have the exact ball size in the centre of a slap of wood— seems like a cross section from a tree trunk.  Would like to find some piping that would fit down the hole between the two ceiling/ floor panels.  Think about the rope.  Putting a large ring on the bottom floor to collect ball into when it drops.


Also different floor train tracks. Running rope that fits nicely into the small gaps that run between the tracks— again only if rope fits!


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January 12th, 2016 Posted by BLOG, DAY01 No Comment yet


Sat in Trawden camping barn with my face burning slightly from finally being warm for the first in what feels like weeks. Everyone is quiet and there is music playing from one corner of the room. Typing away.

On Saturday, before this week started, I felt pretty nervous…. Waiting to find out what was going to go wrong, what I’d have missed, how many people were going to injure themselves or get lost. Now… I think I’m settling into it a bit more. Plenty of things have gone wrong so far- the generator ran out of fuel and I nearly gassed everyone to death with the heater, we emergency relocated to the library, the door came off its hinges, I massively underestimated the necessity of tea and coffee- but… I’m learning, and, if I survive the week, would probably do it again- so far. The group are great. Everyone seems to be finding their place, finding a way of working, or just a way of coping (it has been pretty extreme so far). Some fantastic ideas have been coming out and everyone seems really enthused by Kerry’s ethical practice talk earlier. Over dinner last night it kind of sounded like some people might continue Crash afterwards- either by forming their own collectives, or running the programme again elsewhere… I still feel in a pretty hyper-state, but I’m enjoying it so far.



January 6th, 2016 Posted by BLOG, DAY01 No Comment yet

Day 1 Jan 4th Crash- Shitting hell it’s good


First day of crash 2016, the derelict mill is amazing and will suit my practice perfectly!

To start the day an introductory talk on ethics from Kerry from in situ introduces us to ethical principles that insitu execute. It struck me how practical and down to earth the principles  actually were; after hearing about Kerry’s practice I was very satisfied with  how humour was delivered In her lecture.


Simple day to day things such as shitting, I have discovered can really change the course of an environment, this reminded me of a humorous project I wanted to exhibit as a student in Norwich. I wanted to create what seemed to be a sophisticated constructivist composition, but would actually be a very vague image of a man taking a shit on the floor this idea came about from my degree piece where I portrayed a constructivist image of a man simply hoovering. I feel this idea of shitting could be an interesting development in the Dada aspect of my work.


Interestingly Kerry mentioned that Christian members of her audience found the work to be Vulgar, yet Buddhist members of the audience found it to be a very beautiful practice.


This could relate strongly to the eastern philosophic aspects of my own practise which incorporates the Tantric square, however a lot of research will be needed!




January 6th, 2016 Posted by BLOG, DAY01 No Comment yet

Day one at the Mill and ethics in art.

Key words from the lecture:

Ethical framework

Social sciences have to full out an ethical framework but artists do not. Thought that this was important to think about because if there was something like this is wouldn’t necessarily restrict the work of artists but would artist as a career within society would be taken more seriously.

Human Ethics

Environmental Ethics

Ethical Art Practice : engaged persons or participants

Brought and helped by humans : introduced plants

Seeds : a future in your hands

Eco terrorist

False Narrative

“Because we are”

“How to shit in the woods”

“Burnt before flowering”

“Body garden”

“Harmonious work” Buddist

Housing Market Renewal

“Social Cleansing”


In the landscape

In the community

For humans

Brierfield Mill:

Primary employment

Brownfield sites

Mothball buildings


A temporary autonomous zone

Keep those roots activated




Artists: part of the bigger picture

Key thoughts from exploring the Mill


Northern history and character


12,000 employers left over night. Abandoned all possessions and equipment, keys

Broken glass

Space, structure, mirror, place

Green, blue

Brick, stone

Insects, spider, bee, moth, butterfly: death, trauma, trapped in glass windows

Anatomy: boob looking shape in curved pace in wall

Perfect gallery and corridor spaces


Collected old medical fabrics that were made in the factory

All local population has connection with factory

Warmth, wet, cold, dry



Looking glass






Grass, hay

None useful exits and entrances

These keys words show the beginning of what I witnessed or felt in the Mill but the life of the building and its recent ghosts feel instinctively familiar and at the end or today I began to make a dry brick wall around a pile of bricks in the outside of the building and took away with me two bandages, still in the pack, made 10 years ago in the Mill. The materials in and around the building are extensive and beautiful when taking care to look.




January 6th, 2016 Posted by BLOG, DAY01 No Comment yet

Impressions of today:

Lots of people – in their twenties, mainly. Interesting mix of practices – textiles, movement, dance, scenography. Only one painter.


Great talk from Kerry, as ever, on ethics; she always has new and interesting things to say. Good to know that the Buddhists were into the poo piece.


Had a full tour of the mill for the first time – it is more amazing than I had realised. We saw the cinema, constructed out of black plastic sheeting, the main reception with lots of beautiful wood, the dark downstairs with intriguing machines, the beautiful corridor, lots of interesting marks on the walls which would make great paintings, the giant warehouse space…too much to remember. Colours a range of pale pinks, aqua, light blue, pale green, some red.  Lots of substances I could make tempera out of, if I were willing to brave the dust.


Lots of big floor spaces that I can pour ink over – what happens if I don’t clear the dust away first? What happens if I pour floor paint onto the dust? Though I think it will look better cleaned. What happens if I pour paint into the puddles – any chance that it will dry by Saturday? Even if I pour the paint onto dry floor, will that give time for the ink to dry by Saturday? Thinking how long it took at Blank Space – but I did pour lots of water on then. I would like to revisit this work.


I have named the cat Elsie, although Bella would also suit her. If she is a he, Norman, maybe.


Other ideas – I would like to get my head round the structure of the mill and its processes – what took place in what building. I would want to do this before taking colour samples.


It turns out there is a charity shop in Brierfield – how did I not know this?


Elly reminded us that there is no need for outcomes this week. This is liberating.


I would really like to get a decent night’s sleep. Am not sure what I will do if this isn’t possible.




January 6th, 2016 Posted by BLOG, DAY01 No Comment yet

My name is Jamie Gordon; I’m from Shrewsbury in Shropshire. I studied Scenography and Theatre Design with Performance Studies at Aberystwyth University. Once graduated, I found it difficult to find my way into the world of theatre, but through visiting in-situ and seeing how their practice was socially engaged with the public I decided that the this way of working and being was something I wanted to explore. I wanted to see to what extent my practice in Theatre Design could be socially engaging and hopefully help people. My first experience of crash 2016 was a talk from in-situ leader Kerry Morrison, who talked about how to practice ethically as an artist as well as giving a few nuggets of wisdom of how to survive as an artist within the world.

Shortly after this we were taken on a tour of the mill by site manager Paul Fyles, who told us of the heritage of Brierfield mill and its closure in 2008. We then split into groups of three and talked about our practice and were given some questions to answer; one of which was “what do you want to achieve through your practice?” This is the question I hope to answer during the event.

We then were given the opportunity to explore the mill individually. During this time I looked into what I could bring to the site/ what the site can offer the community. My main aim is to take people into a quiet room and ‘Take 5’.

This will be a continuing theme throughout the process. My aim is to collaborate with a few of my peers who share the idea of immersing people in the same experience thus creating the shared platform for people to talk on the same level.


January 6th, 2016 Posted by BLOG, DAY01 No Comment yet

What I like the most is sharing the same space with other 20 people. As I do when I work by myself, this shared survival pushes me beyond my comfortable zone. Sometimes I like being active part of conversations, sometimes I become an observer, amazed by the brilliance and the talent of the 19 artists who are in this adventure. The living conditions are a bit extreme but it’s good to reveal the real essence of souls. Everyone brought only what is necessary. There are no commodities. We have a cat. We don’t have hot water.


This morning Kerrie talked about bodily fluids moving around the world, body gardens and temporary autonomous zones. I like the way she underlines that humans are made of chemical substances. Sometimes we forget about, we’re anthropocentric. Then she talked about IN SITU and about the mill. I liked when she said that masterplans are detached from the social reality of places and people can’t recognise themselves in them. This inspired my work here.


This place reminded me of the military testing base where I worked in Sardinia, especially the fact that for some extent the mill is unaccessible.


After the talk I went for a walk in town. I found some people I can interview tomorrow but I would like to spend some time with Paul, the man who took us today on a tour inside the mill. He used to work there and I think he’s a human conduit between the inside and the outside. I want to bring what is inside outside and what is outside inside the mill. I’m interested in what Brierfiled’s inhabitants think about art.



January 6th, 2016 Posted by BLOG, DAY01 No Comment yet

Today we had a talk by Kerry Morrison where she talked about ethics in art and her practice. I learnt more about the difference between “participating” and “engaging” with art, the former relating to artists actively getting involved in a particular project, whereas the latter could be as simple as a fleeting conversation with someone about your practice.

We then went on a tour of the mill, which is absolutely huge! I will definitely need to get my bearings through another visit as there are many fascinating and inspiring spots to explore, including a pitch black basement with a n ancient safe (plus the sorry remains of many a dead pigeon adding to the haunted abandoned house vibe of the building), as well as a shop space with an open till, a lobby area, and of course the vast expanse of empty space full of pillars.

I started experimenting through photography, using a digital SLR for shots I can look back on whilst I’m here, as well as 2 film cameras I will get developed after the residency and (hopefully) use to build up a body of work/continue with what progresses this week. As a collage artist who works with paper I am interested in where the wallpaper and ceiling paint are peeling away. I’m not sure if I will look into assemblage this week as there are so many fragments of materials I could use to build a sculptural or 3 dimensional drawing. I would like to bring some postcards of the area into the space and alter them, although I haven’t worked with postcard imagery in a long time (this could be quite exciting). I spoke with lots of people about their practice and initial ideas, which has definitely taught me a lot already, and I’m rally excited to work with them over the week. So far my ideas are quite flat/narrow and involve a drawing of some kind but I’m interested in creating something socially engaging, rather than personal.

  • Drawing on floors, leading up to the wall.
  • Using diagonals, circles, triangles and straight lines.
  • Altering postcards; cutting them up, painting over them, merging them together, attaching them to building.
  • Collaborating with others, thinking of the wider context of the mill and the local area.
  • Taking photographs of everything I make.
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January 6th, 2016 Posted by BLOG, DAY01 No Comment yet

4/1/2016     At the heart of this project appears to be a deeply running social concern. With the backdrop of the highly controversial ‘path finders’ property development, the mill seems to have become a sort of symbol of a community’s right to its own environment. The access in-situ has managed to gain (albeit only until February when demolition commences) is a small victory for a community that is witnessing its own dissolution. This destruction takes the form of a social regeneration project benefiting everyone except the current residents of Brierfield.*


First impressions of the space were hard to pin down since the mill itself is a seemingly endless expanse of passages, enormous warehouses and gallery spaces. Currently, I’m confident a work that aims to emphasise a general awareness of place/being can also extend into a celebration of ‘access’.


Speaking with the other residents about their practice has been a great experience so far. I realise I’m still a little nervous moving around as a ‘single entity’. Although I’m developing ideas privately, I’m still tentative when expressing these to others. It feels good though and I realise this sort of engagement is something I’ve lacked until now. It is a positive break from comfort zones.



  • Context here: the mill closed down around the same time the property market crashed in 2007/8. Consequently, the effects of the recession were twofold for the area. Unemployment combined with the quasi-eviction of a number of longstanding residents through the government’s ‘Path Finder’s Area’ initiative. Properties deemed ‘structurally unsound’ were forcibly purchased from residents for a price below market value. These streets were then demolished and left as sites for potential development, gated so as to prevent public access until these new developments were completed.

The old cotton mill is due to be redeveloped as a large business/leisure/residential complex. This development includes new road access, avoiding the old centre of Brierfield.