Today was back to Tullie House and our enthusiastic art group. Having been inspired last time with gallery and a site visit to Birdoswald, today it was down to the art with two more half-day workshops.
We began chatting about the Birdoswald visit and talked about the other Frontier Voices art projects and borders more generally. I introduced the idea and some basic techniques for embossing onto metal foil and everyone made a leaf for the Sill installation. Tina and Irene were so inspired that they made a number of ivy leaves for our artwork and the promise for more to follow as homework!
We discussed if we should have a timber wall or should we think ‘stone’ as we discovered that Carlisle would have had a turf wall with a wooden fence above. This was news to everyone! However we discovered that the milecastles were probably stone and everyone voted to make our section stone and we would make it a piece of milecastle with stone detailing round the openings, where you see through into the gallery beyond and round the screen. The screen will show images from the project.
Then we were off in the Frontier Gallery, cutting and piecing together a mesh armature for our work that fits into our installation space accurately. The armature then went to the community room so we could see the geometry of the wall we were building and start to create a fabric skin. We all took thin calico and fabric dye pastel sticks and went round the museum rubbing what we could from casts and handling artefacts making prints of the textures (art word - frottage). We also used mosaic and tile work from the building. These are going to form ‘stones’ on our Wall. Karen and Irene continued with this until all the fabric was used. Rob, Sue and Catherine had an amazing painting session - giving our fabric base an overall wash of stone coloured paint. The day had brightened up so we were even able to dry it outside!
We thought a lot about words - the Birdoswald poetry - and in particular how that you could often think about opposites in relation to walls. Rob really got into this and soon he had a list, some of which we will incorporate into our Wall.