Yesterday’s Drop-in Desk got off to a slow start but eventually picked up and we got some good responses.
Gemma Thomas being interviewed by Maffi at the Drop-in Desk.
We got some really good drawings of things people would like to see in the square:
We also got some interesting responses to the questionnaire:
- How do you feel about the statue of Josiah Wedgwood?
‘He sold us out, why should we honour him?’
‘Proud that he lead an industry that made Stoke-on-Trent famous.’
‘Not really spent time looking at it, but I think it’s not really attractive.’
‘It is a good monument of Stoke heritage, for people coming out of the station to immediately see.’
‘Great statue, perfectly reflects the contribution the man made to his industry, the canal, and local area.’
People generally seemed to feel that the square could be a nicer place if the traffic were less busy. It only seems to be used as a place to pass through on the way to the station or the hotel.
If you would like to take part please download the questionnaire here and post your answers in the comments section, and download my Winton Square Doodle sheets here, draw your ideas and then email images back to me. Be as wild as you like.
Below are some sketches I did while sitting at the Drop-in Desk.
This Thursday (28th July) I’ll be in Winton Square, sitting behind a desk, with questionnaires, a handout about the project and activity sheets for you to scribble all over. It will probably kick off at about 2pm and go on until around 5pm. Come along and share your stories and opinions of the square.
If you can’t make it to my talk and workshop on Tuesday perhaps you’d like to take part remotely? Download the questionnaire here and post your answers in the comments section, and download my Winton Square Doodle sheets here, draw your ideas and then email images back to me. Be as wild as you like.
Last Wednesday I went on the UniQ treasure hunt and followed a route from Stoke College, down to the station and Winton Square, then back up Boughy Road, through Hanley Park and back to the College. On the way I had to keep my eyes open for the answers to various cryptic clues we were given. It was fun and educational, and I also managed not to get rained on. Unfortunately I didn’t win though.
On Tues (19th July) I’m giving a talk about how I work at the Activity Space, Staffordshire University, from 4pm - followed by (weather permitting) a fact and fiction gathering workshop in Winton Square.
- Do you have a story about Winton Square?
- Do you have a memory of something interesting that happened there?
- Perhaps there is something you feel should be done to the square?
Book your free place here.
Place, Space and Identity 3 launched on Friday. I had some good chats about my work and my project with people in Bethesda Chapel.
I’m going to be working in Winton Square. The main reaction I got when telling people this was ‘where’s that?’ It’s just outside the train station and opposite the North Staffordshire Hotel. It has a statue of Josiah Wedgwood in the middle of it.
So I think my mission is currently going to be to put Winton Square on the map - to make it a place that people know of, and perhaps want to visit for itself - not just because they’ve got a train to catch.
Place, Space and Identity 3 launches tomorrow at 4pm in the wonderful setting of Bethesda Chapel, Junction of Albion Street and Bethesda Street, City Centre (Hanley), Stoke-on-Trent.
All of the artists will be on hand to talk about their work and explain a little about their plans for the next few months.
I hope to see you there.
This website documents all aspects of Rich White’s experiences whilst working on Place, Space and Identity 3 in Stoke-on-Trent. He will be updating it regularly with texts, photographs and drawings as the project develops, and responding to comments left by visitors.
This website will also act as an online sketchbook of ideas - changing as the project develops.
You are also invited to contribute to the website, either by leaving comments below, or by becoming an official contributer. Please visit take part to find out more.
Rich White is an artist specialising in location-specific installation. His current work involves physically altering (or appearing to alter) existing architecture in public and exhibition spaces. These architectural interventions are developed specifically for their location through research and site visits; responding to the architecture, history and current happenings in the area.
Through this he creates a narrative or story that he feels evokes the collective subconscious - a visual reference that seeks to provoke thoughts about the location by drawing on elements of the locale. The final work often takes a simple form or pattern of structure which is intended to resonate with the viewer through its unexpected familiarity.
The work is built on-site often from materials found or reclaimed in the vicinity and integrated into the existing architecture. Afterwards the materials are recycled or returned for reuse. This conveys a connection to its location and influences its development. The work is at the whim of the materials I can find and at the mercy of their limitations.
More information and images of previous works can be found at counterwork.co.uk