Sunday, 29 September 2013

Day 1 in the BCB Laboratory: Helping Hands for the Spode works

As part of the British Ceramics Biennial 2013 programme , I have been situated in The Laboratory for the first ‘Weekender’ event.

For the weekend of 28th & 29th September only, visitors to the exhibition at the Spode Works can leave their mark by  placing a ‘Helping Hand’ on any of the three walls situated between ‘The Pavilions’ in the China Hall. These ‘Helping Hands’ are carrying out ceramic-based activities to repair the walls and suggest the collective rebuilding and repairing of an industry and reveal the architectural potential of clay.

The Laboratory

Transferring skills, processes and materials associated with the original Spode factory, ceramic worker’s hands have now turned to the walls; writing, decorating, painting, cleaning, and filling with coloured clay slips. 

Day 1 received a steady flow of participants and the hands began to adorn the walls and re-activate the space with ceramic- based activity, encouraging visitor’s to look beyond the exhibition space and explore the building. The project is intended to get people looking at the walls and considering the future of the factory and industry.

Finding areas in need of repair
Some favorite interventions by the public so far

I have been working to fill and paint areas pinpointed for repair, for the duration of the weekend.
13 Ceramic plaques in the form of life-sized ceramic worker’s hands will remain on the walls of the China Hall to highlight repaired surfaces, or those in need of repair.

The images of the ‘Helping hands’ have been printed as paper multiples on a series of 30 limited edition cards to promote ceramic activity beyond the BCB venue. A limited number of ‘Porcelain Pins’ have also been made from offcuts from the ‘Helping Hands’ project - both are available in the BCB shop situated within the China Hall. ‘Porcelain Pins’ will be a continuing project for me from this point forward, so watch this space for more limited edition designs.

Porcelain Pins, and info

BCB shop space, China Hall

Also situated in the Laboratory was   and the Burslem China Painters showcasing traditional china painting techniques. Kay and Diane were really drawn to the hands, as some of them were carrying out the techniques and methods they use. The ‘Helping Hands’ promote the handmade and keeping skills alive, which the Burslem China Painters are all about. It was really nice to see skilled workers hands at work in the space, and handling the paper ‘Helping Hands’. In one of the pictures above, Kay’s hand can be seen placing a decorator’s hand on the wall.

Diane in particular was drawn to the images and chose some of the hands relating to her own skills to copy onto one of her plates and spent the day transferring and painting the outlines in sepia. She intends to paint two plates in two colours using the images. I can’t wait to see the results of a collaboration that came about in the Laboratory. The Burslem China painter’s plates will be on view in the Laboratory for the remainder of the BCB.

Diane designing and painting her 'Helping Hands' plate

I am now all set for day 2 (12pm onwards today) where I will be filling and painting the walls highlighted yesterday, introducing today’s visitors to the project and completing the designs on the porcelain plaques which will remain in-situ for the remainder of the BCB.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Some thoughts on Books : William Morris & the Kelmscott Press

The writings and work ethic of William Morris influence my own Artwork & Lifestyle. Whilst continuing artwork and process began during my AA2A residency at Staffordshire University and also preparing for VOLUME Birmingham's Art, Book and Print fair  I came across this extract from 'William Morris and the Art of the Book' (Oxford University Press) and this brilliant extract showing a simple binding method- both are relevant to my current research and processes.

Back in March 2013, I visited 'William Morris and the Kelmscott Press',  Muirhead Tower Atrium, as part of Birmingham University's Arts & Science Festival. The exhibition of works from the Cadbury Research Library showcased fine examples of books from the Kelmscott Press, founded by William Morris in 1891.

The exhibition examined Morris's inspiration behind the founding of the press, through early manuscripts and 15th century printed books. The exhibition also touched on the Morris legacy and the influence of the Kelmscott Press on later book arts. I was able to see some of the books and pieces which have influenced my practice for a number of years in the flesh, and got the rare opportunity to handle the Kelmscott Chaucer and view the immaculately hand-printed and hand-bound pages up close.

The Kelmscott Chaucer

Some of my recent work has used the  'Troy type' and 'Golden type' fonts by the Kelmscott press (digitalised and maipulated from originals) as text pieces on found fabric. I am continuing work on a series of Morris texts using found fabric and laser cut etching, as well as printed text pieces.

'As If Through Windows'  Kate Lynch, 2013
Laser-cut text on found Morris fabric (Golden Type)

'Knotting Stool' Silkscreen print and reclaimed stool
Natasha Kurth, 2013
Book Intervention by Kate Lynch (Page extract from Morris's Essay 'The Art Of the People')

Kate Lynch & Natasha Kurth Installation, 2013
AA2A Exhibition, Staffordshire University

Monday, 19 August 2013

The Wildflower Seed bomb Workshop at SUPERNORMAL 2013

On Sunday 11th August 2013, The Wildflower Seed Bomb Workshop made SUPERNORMAL seedbombs!

Seed bomb kit!

It was a great opportunity to deliver the Wildflower Seed bomb Workshop within the context of the SUPERNORMAL festival / experimental site where the focus remains ''firmly rooted in art, environment and pushing boundaries, and embracing difference whilst celebrating common cause.''
SUPERNORMAL is a three day, experimental arts and music festival at Braziers Park in Oxfordshire organised on a collective basis by artists and musicians and offering a platform for artists, performers and musicians to work collaboratively and creatively for a new kind of audience.

The workshop brought together young and old alike and we talked about our own gardens, wild spaces, allotments (and growing efforts) and wastelands and how we can improve them (using the SUPERNORMAL seedbomb as a starting point!) whilst mixing the seedbombs. 


The Braziers Park site and the areas surrounding the communal house had some inspiring growing sites with an organic kitchen garden and orchard. The Braziers’ estate is now being managed so the wide diversity of habitats can be preserved and enhanced. 
Braziers (Green)House

As part of the Government’s Countryside Stewardship Scheme hedge planting and maintenance, tree planting, both for landscape enhancement and to provide woodland for coppicing, and meadow management have all been happening on the site for 10 years, and much of the work involved so far has been undertaken by volunteers.

The site was teeming with Honey bees which was fantastic to see, although we hoped that the seedbombs may offer some wild flowers to attract them as an alternative to Cider!
Honey bees enjoying a festival pint (Image by 'Jonas Drummer')

The booklets which were produced for reference alongside the workshops were at hand to answer people’s questions about the non-invasive UK seed varieties in each mix, soil types and growing conditions, alongside a small library of books relating to wildflower species and urban growing.

Wild flower Seed Bomb Workshop Booklet


Kids and adults also had the chance to design a wrapper to take the seedbomb home in, which could include a message about where the seedbomb would be planted and why…
Printed wrappers

Designing and printing wrappers
Seed bombs drying out
An ad-hoc seed swap began when Rob, from the SUPERNORMAL team, brought along a collection of seeds to swap for wild flower seeds and seedbomb mix, which sparked conversation and an idea to bring a plant and seed swap to SUPERNORMAL next year- Watch this space…
Seed Swap

We would like to thank SUPERNORMAL for having us there and for all who came along to the workshop with enthusiasm to chat, make seedbombs and scatter wild flowers on-site or those who took theirs away with a specific location in mind. The Honey bees on site will appreciate the wildflowers we seedbombed the site with!!

Monday, 5 August 2013

The Wildflower Seed Bomb Workshop (Unstructured material) at SUPERNORMAL festival, 9-11th August 2013, Braziers Park, Oxfordshire

On Sunday 11th August 2013, The Wildflower Seed Bomb Workshop will be making SUPERNORMAL seedbombs!

Come along and get your hands dirty using natural clay and compost to mix, roll out and then cut your ‘SUPERNORMAL seedbomb’.

 Create your own slogan or message onto the surface of the seedbomb, and design your own wrapper using print blocks and art materials.

Make your mark on the landscape with non-invasive UK species of wild flowers:
Chuck place or plant your SUPERNORMAL seedbomb on the festival site, on wasteland in your local area, or in a back garden or pot and attract beneficial bees butterflies and insects to areas that need it most.

With kind permission from the team I have used this year’s  SUPERNORMAL logos as a starting point for the workshop- we will be making triangular seedbombs to match the illustrations!

A limited number of specially produced ‘SUPERNORMAL seedbomb’ wrappers, seedbomb mixture, wild flower seed packets, and artist’s multiples will be available on the day...


SUPERNORMAL is a three day, experimental arts and music festival at Braziers Park in Oxfordshire organised on a collective and entirely unpaid basis by a dedicated group of artists and musicians and offering a platform for artists, performers and musicians to work collaboratively and creatively for a new kind of audience.

“ It is determinedly small and intimate and has been born from a place that values the currency of ideas and imagination rather than commercialism and profit. The focus remains firmly rooted in art, environment and pushing boundaries, embracing difference whilst celebrating common cause.

SUPERNORMAL is intended to give the arts a far wider audience and artists a greater challenge than the usual artists’ residency or conventional Festival ‘with art attached’ ever can.”

For the first time, SUPERNORMAL has absolutely no external funding. They are 100% reliant on ticket sales to cover costs…

They are only a couple of hundred tickets away from a sell-out, but *have* to sell out to cover costs.

So, they need support and have issued this plea:

If you plan to come to Supernormal, please buy your ticket as soon as possible. This will make an enormous difference to us!

Whether you can make it this year or not, please help us spread the word at this crucial time. 

“Here’s to keeping something truly independent alive.

Here’s to breaking the mould.

Here’s to being SUPERNORMAL.”

Group Exhibition at Fallout Factory: Surface presents GAZE in liverpool

Fallout factory played host to the GAZE exhibition which was a fringe event for Liverpool's gay pride celebrations.

Fallout Factory, Dale Street, Liverpool is a community interest company that supports and promotes artists through exhibitions, commissions, residencies, and collaborative opportunities. 

The GAZE exhibition  that explored modern sexuality and LGBT identity through vibrant and fresh contemporary artwork produced by Artists from Stoke-on-Trent and the North West.

I displayed artwork in-keeping with the pride events  ‘superhero’ theme, displaying  original collages and screen print editions and multiples from the ‘Leave the city better than you found it’ series. These depict male and female characters carrying out DIY activity helping to improve daily experiences and the city environment . 

Famed prints, original collages and paintings with limited edition digital prints in the print rack

'leave the city better than you found it' Kate Lynch 2013
Signed and editioned screen printed postcard with natural pigment on 100% recycled card

'The old and the new', Kate Lynch 2013
Original collage with digital image, recycled paper & mono print

'Leave the city better than you found it', Kate Lynch 2013
Original collage with digital image, recycled paper and mono print (Sold)

‘Unconscious Unity’ layered print speaks of the individual, the ‘whole’, in relation to our culture, history, environment and interaction with others, and 'life as a Sainsbury's mushroom' paintings and collages on canvas are sensual and tactile.

'Unconscious Unity', Kate Lynch, 2012
Original layered digital print with laser-cut etch.
Also pictured: ceramics by Denise O'Sullivan

Life as a Sainsbury's mushroom', Kate Lynch, 2012
Collaged packaging & clay paint on canvas in a reclaimed frame.

Artists Russell Gregory, Marcus Wemyss, Denise O'Sullivan and Nicholas Franklin also displayed artworks that engaged with Liverpool's Gay community providing a visual dialogue around the city's gay pride event.

Russell Gregory & Denise O'Sullivan Ceramics

Kate Lynch & Marcus Wemyss
Kate Lynch shop products (editions & multiples)

Thanks to all who came along to support the exhibition and purchased work, and for those who showed great enthusiasm for both our involvement with the pride event and for the showcase of Stoke-on-Trent based artists in Liverpool.