Monday, 1 October 2012

AirSpace Studio Show - featured artist #7 - Anna Francis

Today's featured artist is Anna Francis, whose work "Brownfield Ikebana" explores the phenomena of the unplanned urban open spaces which appear following regeneration and demolition programmes. The work consisted of a short performance on the opening night where Anna made the Ikebana which is currently on show. There is also an Ikebana workshop taking place on October 6th, where Anna will lead a group around a local brownfield site, in search of the materials needed to create their own Ikebana, and then a making session. Places on the workshop are limited, and can be booked through the Gallery.

Brownfield Ikebana

In Brownfield Ikebana Anna presents a new series of works, which aim to draw attention to some of the Brownfield sites that can be found throughout the city; in the wake of various now defunct or collapsed regeneration programmes. The schemes saw the demolition of buildings and homes all over the city, but with the funding to rebuild seemingly swallowed up with the changing political climate, the interim period between demolition and development seems set to grow. Empty spaces are now populated by wildflowers and other wildlife, and in some places citizen activism has seen the local population scattering wildflower seeds, improving the environment in the intervening period. Brownfield Ikebana celebrates these impromptu wildlife havens, using the Japanese art of flower arranging, but replacing the vase with items of rubbish salvaged from 3 Brownfield sites close to the gallery and flowers replaced with 'weeds.' Perhaps Brownfield Ikebana can act as a call for the council to nurture these sites, and see their potential in the short-term, rather than allowing them to become fly-tipping zones.

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