Friday, 28 October 2011

Time for more tea

With only one day a week to dedicate to in-situ at the moment, time for tea is rare.
We’ve a school project to sort out – starting next week - as well as the R&D, “explore and exchange”, trip to Project Row Houses, Houston, Texas; where ten representatives from Brierfield and Nelson - including artists, youth workers, teachers, and residents - will spend a week, as guests of Project Row Houses, with artist and founder, Rick Lowe, and the Project Row Team.
That said: William and I did find time for tea.
We went to Ivy St picnic bench
Took out our tea making equipment: kettle, camping stove, tea pot, mugs, tea, milk, sugar cubes, and of course water and prepared for a brew

Temperamental – the camping stove refused to give us a flame
So to plan B
William’s camper van stove
Resulting in a perfect brew n cuppa for two

We sat, drinking tea, hoping that we would encounter Raj and Kaseem and be able to offer them a brew
But our time was too short
And our timing wrong
No one but us at the bench today
But many a passer by doffed their caps, said hello, and commented on the amazing sunshine for this time of year

We finished our brews
packed up
and went to Brierfield Library - In-situ’s new base camp
A meeting with in-support: our steering group…

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Establishing a presence

We started to make our presence felt in our temporary base in Brierfield Library by creating a visual map of our activities. This will help us to monitor our progress and to identify areas for development. Thanks must go to David and the other library staff for accomodating us each time we drop in.
Viv from 'Business in the arts' (Liverpool) kindly met with us to discuss ways in which to establish 'In-Situ' as a proper functioning and legal business enterprise.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Man on bench in shade with ice lolly

pen on paper

in-situ is in situ in Brierfield

We are artists who have a lot of ideas and are always inspired by our environment; but what inspires us is not necessarily of any interest or concern to anyone else. As an artist working in a studio this is a not an issue; as an artist working in environment it is.

For reasons that will become clearer as this blog progresses, in-situ is in situ in Brierfield.
Brierfield is a small town nestled between Burnley and Nelson in Pendle, Lancashire.
The surrounding Pennine landscape is spectacular, with Pendle Hill less than 4km north east of the town

The resident population of Brierfield, as measured in the 2001 Census, was 5,232. Of those 5,232:
·      Nearly a quarter of residents were under 16.
·      Over 55% of the adult population were married.
·      34% of the population were Pakistani, 64% White, and 2% other.
·      A third of the population were Muslim in religion.
·      Just under half of the population were in work and 57% were economically active.
Additional key facts based on 2001 Census
·      A third of households contained children.
·      75% of households were owner occupied with 15% privately rented.
·      Nearly 30% had no central heating.  
·      Over 35% of households had no access to a car.

In 2007 the population is recorded as 8,1099 (,_Lancashire)
In 2010, Brierfield population was 10,271 according to the GeoNames geographical database.
The 2011 census record has not yet been made public.

As this blog evolves, more information about: the place and the people; why we are here in this particular place; and what we are up to with the community, will be posted. 

In-situ is stepping out in Brierfield
starting with
bench hopping
open minded
open to conversation
open sketch books
and cameras – 1 macro and 1 wide angle

our first day out was a hot day

we sat on 4 out of the 9 benches positioned along our short stroll 

And this is what we saw and drew:

men on a bench

people walking

lots of people walking

shalwar kameez  blowing in the breeze

some ladies wrapped up

traffic – lots of traffic
a busy thoroughfare
the main route to /from the motorway (M65)
windows wound down
music blaring
base thumping

We wandered off the high street
dilapidated and inhabited side by side

His view – washing, boarded up properties, and minarets

He remembered me
and the dog poo highlighting project I did along the canal more than two years ago

it’s still an issue on the streets

at what I called dog poo triangle
down by the canal
fouling is much reduced
from 56 incidents to 3
2 bit from dogs
1 bit from a fox

Thursday, 6 October 2011

the first cup of tea

over bridges

camera clicking
our views

And then we met Raj
whilst sat on a bench

He offered us tea
Pakistani tea
we accepted
half an hour later our tea arrived

hot, milky, sweet
not to be rushed
in making
or consumption

there is a Balti/Pakistani proverb
The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family...
You must take the time to share tea

Raj shared with us, not only his tea, but also, how to make a good cup of Pakistani tea, stressing: it’s an art and not everyone can make it.

We drank his tea
We are no longer strangers
We will go back to this bench with our English tea making equipment
And we will make tea for him, his friends, and uncles

As we drank, two beautifully attired women walked up the street
their shalwar kameez vibrant, cerise and orange, and softly billowing
I went to them
You look so beautiful; can I take your photograph?
They stared back at me – blankly
Upon repeating my question, Kasim, who was also drinking tea with us, shouted across to the ladies in Punjabi. 
They replied – in Punjabi. He then shouted to me
Sorry, they said no.