Issued by City of York Council
The first interactive public arts event at City of York Council’s new West Offices will be setting out its stall with an exchange of creative ideas in a market run by artist John Newling with York St John University fine arts students, plus a public talk by the artist.
Councillor Sonja Crisp, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: “York is an innovative city with vibrant creative and education sectors. Just as the council’s new centre at West Offices has given a new lease of life to a historic building now embellished with vibrant works of public art, so we want to create a lasting legacy for artists and citizens alike.
“As well as commissionioning permanent public art at West Offices, the council has asked John Newling, an internationally-known artist acknowledged as a pioneer of public art with a social purpose, to devise ways of developing that legacy.
“Combining his own work with new research in York, he has inspired a Market Of Hidden Labours to which everyone is invited to barter ideas about the many routes to private and public creativity, and the value of that creativity to society and individuals.
“Students from York St John University have worked with John on this concept, which will add a new dimension to the customer experience. It’s an unpredicatable and exciting mix!”
The nine market stalls will be open on Thursday 2 and Friday 3 May from 10am to 4pm in the approach to West Offices’ new Customer Centre entrance off Toft Green. The market is a pilot project aimed at laying the foundations for similar events in the future, and complements the council’s citywide ideas internet platform GeniUS! which invites people to share ideas to improve life in York.
Also on 2 May at West Offices, from 11.45am to 1pm, John Newling will give an illustrated talk called Common Values. This major lecture will be a rare opportunity to hear the artist talk about his work over a period of 30 years, his more recent research in York and the ideas behind the Market Of Hidden Labours.
John Newling, Emeritus Professor of Installation Sculpture at The Nottingham Trent University, said: “The market is an attempt to make transactions between people and emerging artists from the City of York; a kind of ‘capital’ of ideas and expressions as a valued currency of exchange.
“People visiting the Market will see traditional stalls laid out in the entrance grounds of the new council building. They will see, hear and, occasionally receive expressions, objects and thoughts that are part of a rising creative ecology from the city.
“It’s an opportunity for creative individuals to talk with people about their work and ideas and for people visiting the market a chance to experience, contribute to and hear ideas from a largely hidden creative community within the city of York.
“It is a market occupied by a generation of young and emerging creative people making work outside a civic space; a market that demarks, in part, a bringing of a creative community to the core of an evolving city.”
Both the market and talk are funded by West Offices developers S Harrison and Buccleuch as part of their commitment to the artistic legacy of the building, and is co-ordinated by Yorkshire- based creative company, Beam.
Ann Scott, Managing Director of S Harrison Developments Ltd, said: “The West Offices is a landmark development which gives an important piece of York’s heritage a new 21st century lease of life and purpose.
“It is fitting that it should incorporate contemporary art produced by some of the city’s own artistic talent and we’re delighted that the initial launch programme for the public artwork within the development is so interactive and inclusive.”
There are a limited number of tickets for John Newling’s lecture Common Values at York West Offices on 2 May. Please book your space via the Eventbrite website or call Karen Boardman on 01904 554667.
The public has another opportunity to see further work by John Newling in York. Stall Of Gathered Things (No. 1), a new artwork that sits in parallel to The Market Of Hidden Labours, will be shown at the New School House Gallery in York from 1 – 10 May.
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