WAIR (Waterworks Artists in Residence) Exhibition | 19th -28th Oct | Fri – Sun | 12-4pm |

WAIR Exhibition Text

Our WAIR (Waterworks Artist in Residence) Exhibition will show a series of site-specific artworks produced by Alex Tobin, Leah Lovett, Lizzy Jordan, Jonathan Orlek and members of the local community.

Each work reflects upon different aspects of the Waterworks Estate; the heritage of the area, the notion of ‘folly’ or the relationship between place and people.  Two local landmarks provided an anchor for artists’ work; Perrott’s Folly and the Edgbaston Reservoir.

A central component of WAIR was to open our individual practice as artists and Re.Future’s collective practice and share it with the local community.  We ran 14 artist workshops or ‘Test-Bed Sessions’ in which we shared our skills and approach.  Beginning with skills sharing, we shifted to curation, independent research and concept.  Two of our community members undertook independent beach-combing on the reservoir at low-tide, finding remnants of Staffordshire Blue pottery, discarded by our ancestors walking the same shore nearly 200 years ago. We collectively worked to produce ceramics in response to Staffordshire Blue, the results of which can be seen in this show.

Alex Tobin has created two animations; Above the Reservoir and Below the Reservoir, which will be shown at the highest and lowest accessible points of Perrott’s Folly.  This quirky and experimental film transforms the reservoir into a surreal dream-scape, ready for the viewer to dive-in.

Leah Lovett will be showing works focusing on the idea of ‘domestic folly’.  Leah began with a series of short films which capture and play with the absurd soundscapes of ‘chores’; The piercing ‘be-eeps’ of a washing machine cycle, the hiss of an iron. In one video she pushes ‘domestic folly’ to its limits by inverting and stacking wine-glasses into a Perrott’s Folly-esque sculpture, before inviting her domestic colleague (cat) into the scene. Emerging from the videos are works that consider the sexual politics of domesticity and the sense of hiding in plain sight.

Lizzy Jordan was drawn to the play of light across both Perrott’s Folly and Edgbaston Reservoir.  Initially focusing on creating micro-landscapes, she experimented with placing and photographing dichroic glass within the Estate to draw upon it’s heritage; in the crevice of a felled tree, upon the foundations of the Tower Ballroom.  Lizzy was equally interested by the work of Abraham Follett Osler and his life as Birmingham’s premier manufacture of glass in the 19th Century.  Her exhibited work will combine these interests through a series of light installations that play with prisms.

Jon Orlek has responded to how the people use space at the Edgbaston Reservoir, which although listed as a ‘green space’ is predominantly water.  Pitching his first workshop on the usually submerged beach, his work frames and explores the reservoir as an activity tunnel.

We look forward to seeing you at the exhibition.

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Perrott’s Folly offers a spectacular space in which to show our work, but please bear in mind that it is an unheated 18th c. Folly Tower. Please bring warm clothes, flat shoes and contact us in advance if you have any access needs on mail@refuturecollective.com.