Splash – formally known as C for Coal, G for Glass.
This is an idea in progress and there are many things I’ve not worked out but, as with other projects, I don’t want impracticalities to get in the way of a good story.
It might get more complicated or it might get simpler.
I also reserve the right not to do this project. I might bottle it.
And yes…..there are power stations in it.
Bagley Glass was started in 1871 as a glass bottle factory in the town of Knottingley in West Yorkshire by cousins William Bagley and John W. Bagley. Bagley’s heyday was the period between the World wars (1918-1939) when the firm became a leader in inexpensive domestic pressed glassware.
Jackson Brothers continued producing the Crystal Glass Company lines until 1976. As with many glassmaking factories of the era, much of the Bagley Glass pieces have become very collectable.
Glass from Bagley and other factories in Knottingley was transported along the Aire and Calder canal to Goole for export.
There is a story that workers from the factory often took a fancy to some of the glassware and took it home. Periodically the factory would search the workforce as they crossed a bridge between work and home. To avoid being caught the workers would throw the glass objects from the bridge into the canal.
Splash explore this story and the canal links between Knottingley and Goole.
The project will start with a walking journey carrying a glass bottle on a series of eight 4km walks along the Aire & Calder (Knottingley & Goole Canal) between the bridge at Knottingley (where the glass was alleged to have been thrown away) and the port of Goole. This stretch of the canal is 32km long.
For each kilometre of the walk, I’ll try and find someone willing to throw the bottle into the canal. I’ll photograph the splash of the object hitting the surface of the water (the object will be attached to a nylon cord so it can be retrieved after every encounter. (I worked that bit out)).
I’ll then overlay a musical stave on each photograph creating a series of 32 notes that will generate the score for a piece of music from Knottingley to Goole (it might be in C or G)
There will be a series of micro commissions for groups, individuals, community groups and schools and they will receive the score of 32 notes to explore, interpret and record in whatever way they would like.
I’ll combine and overlay their recordings to create a gentle cyclical musical soundscape.
On each stage of the walk, I’ll also paint, sketch and document what I see. I’ll invite people from the communities alongside the canal to join me in a series of workshops by the canal side and in venues along the way.
We will paint on large pieces of thin cloth an abstracted representation of the landscape that can be seen from the canal. They will represent, in thin bands of colour, the gently shifting vistas as you walk that route.
The Installation – Junction, Goole
The large painted cloths will be suspended from the ceiling at Junction, Goole. The audience will be able to walk through/around these pieces accompanied by the gently shifting 32 note sequence. The provisional date for the installation is August 2019 (Junction, Goole have been very supportive in offering the venue – they also don’t know I’d like to suspend the large paintings from the ceiling. As I said at the beginning……impracticalities…)