Friday, 4 July 2014

York Curiouser - Walking Tour

York Curiouser: The city explored through contemporary art interventions

York Curiouser is an arts project running from 14 June to 7 July, comprising new works from leading artists from around the UK who have been inspired by the rich history of York. The project encourages residents and visitors alike to discover exciting contemporary art in hidden and sometimes surprising parts of York.


I have been helping out by taking some of the promotional photographs earlier in the year and photographing some of the installations during the exhibition period. It has been a great pleasure exploring new corners of the city and seeing the artwork come to life. 
As we are now into the final week of the project, I thought I would write a new post each day showcasing and reflecting on what I've seen.

Walking Tour

I’m rounding off this short series of posts with a review of the York Curiouser walking tour from Sunday 22nd June.

It was a whistle-stop whip round the sights and sounds of the project, which really served to emphasise the scale and variety of the artistic contributions. I was notionally there as a punter, rather than a photographer, but I took my camera with me and, well, just couldn’t help myself…

We started in King’s Manor to the sounds of Damian Murphy’s In Between soundtrack, with the sounds of the city serenading narrations of John Wedgewood Clarke’s poetry. Also dotted around were a couple of Karen Thompson's delightful ceramic sandwiches.


We then headed out to explore more of JWC’s poems, in situ at Precentor’s Court and Mad Alice Lane, via the Minster. This proved to be something of a logistical challenge as the party of 60-odd people squeezed in and out of York’s tiny snickleways. Curators Hazel and Lara did an admiral job leading us all round, if anything gaining followers along the way rather than losing them!

From there we headed to St Anthony's Gardens, and to Sally Greaves-Lord's bold and colourful textile banners inspired by Mediaeval Guilds, and a real delight in the peaceful gardens of York's new quilt museum. Our next stop continued the colourful theme with Susanne Davies’ installation at Merchant Adventurers' Hall, where the open garden afforded people the time to explore the artwork, and the dappled shade played over the artwork as it provided us with some welcome relief from the strength of the hot June sun.









We split up at this point with the two halves going round Fishergate Postern Tower, the Red Tower and the Early Music Centre in opposite order. Even with the reduced numbers, however, Fishergate Postern still proved to be a squeeze with a strict one-way system enforced for the Tower’s tiny spiral staircase, as the group were shepherded up and down each floor of the four-storey installation. Despite the somewhat rushed visit, Janet Hodgson’s installation was the highlight of the day for me and I went back later in the week for a longer look.

A brisk walk along the city walls took us to the Red Tower where Heinrich and Palmer’s elaborate installation was a much anticipated and enjoyed occasion…just what was behind that red door?...I’ll leave that for you to find out for yourself while you still can...

We ended up at the Early Music Centre to explore the gardens and Jaques Nimki’s wonderful exhibition of donated bags, planted up with wild flowers and complete with a little history from the previous owner. The bags seem to reveal themselves when they chose to do so, rather than when you found them, with more and more appearing the more you looked. It seemed such a simple idea, yet so effective and personal, and often quite emotional.




I really enjoyed the walking tour, learning about the artists and enjoying their artwork. We skipped through quite a lot of it, but it could have been twice as long and we’d still have struggled to see everything fully. The project comes to an end on July 7, and I heartily recommend you download the map and explore for yourself – let your curiosity be your guide.

Friday, 4 July 2014

York Curiouser - Walking Tour

York Curiouser: The city explored through contemporary art interventions

York Curiouser is an arts project running from 14 June to 7 July, comprising new works from leading artists from around the UK who have been inspired by the rich history of York. The project encourages residents and visitors alike to discover exciting contemporary art in hidden and sometimes surprising parts of York.


I have been helping out by taking some of the promotional photographs earlier in the year and photographing some of the installations during the exhibition period. It has been a great pleasure exploring new corners of the city and seeing the artwork come to life. 
As we are now into the final week of the project, I thought I would write a new post each day showcasing and reflecting on what I've seen.

Walking Tour

I’m rounding off this short series of posts with a review of the York Curiouser walking tour from Sunday 22nd June.

It was a whistle-stop whip round the sights and sounds of the project, which really served to emphasise the scale and variety of the artistic contributions. I was notionally there as a punter, rather than a photographer, but I took my camera with me and, well, just couldn’t help myself…

We started in King’s Manor to the sounds of Damian Murphy’s In Between soundtrack, with the sounds of the city serenading narrations of John Wedgewood Clarke’s poetry. Also dotted around were a couple of Karen Thompson's delightful ceramic sandwiches.


We then headed out to explore more of JWC’s poems, in situ at Precentor’s Court and Mad Alice Lane, via the Minster. This proved to be something of a logistical challenge as the party of 60-odd people squeezed in and out of York’s tiny snickleways. Curators Hazel and Lara did an admiral job leading us all round, if anything gaining followers along the way rather than losing them!

From there we headed to St Anthony's Gardens, and to Sally Greaves-Lord's bold and colourful textile banners inspired by Mediaeval Guilds, and a real delight in the peaceful gardens of York's new quilt museum. Our next stop continued the colourful theme with Susanne Davies’ installation at Merchant Adventurers' Hall, where the open garden afforded people the time to explore the artwork, and the dappled shade played over the artwork as it provided us with some welcome relief from the strength of the hot June sun.









We split up at this point with the two halves going round Fishergate Postern Tower, the Red Tower and the Early Music Centre in opposite order. Even with the reduced numbers, however, Fishergate Postern still proved to be a squeeze with a strict one-way system enforced for the Tower’s tiny spiral staircase, as the group were shepherded up and down each floor of the four-storey installation. Despite the somewhat rushed visit, Janet Hodgson’s installation was the highlight of the day for me and I went back later in the week for a longer look.

A brisk walk along the city walls took us to the Red Tower where Heinrich and Palmer’s elaborate installation was a much anticipated and enjoyed occasion…just what was behind that red door?...I’ll leave that for you to find out for yourself while you still can...

We ended up at the Early Music Centre to explore the gardens and Jaques Nimki’s wonderful exhibition of donated bags, planted up with wild flowers and complete with a little history from the previous owner. The bags seem to reveal themselves when they chose to do so, rather than when you found them, with more and more appearing the more you looked. It seemed such a simple idea, yet so effective and personal, and often quite emotional.




I really enjoyed the walking tour, learning about the artists and enjoying their artwork. We skipped through quite a lot of it, but it could have been twice as long and we’d still have struggled to see everything fully. The project comes to an end on July 7, and I heartily recommend you download the map and explore for yourself – let your curiosity be your guide.