Wakefield Artwalk: Aaron Williamson and Open Studios

30.03.2016 to 30.03.2016

Aaron Williamson, March Artist in Residence & Open Studios
Wednesday 30 March, 5 - 9pm,
Performance from Aaron Williamson, 7pm

Aaron Williamson
'The Sweet Smell of Self-Raising Success’

Join us for the next Artwalk Wakefield for a chance to look around our Open Studios and see work made by Aaron Williamson during his March residency.

Aaron Williamson
'The Sweet Smell of Self-Raising Success’

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For his residency at the Art House during March, Williamson has produced a montage work that will be installed as a sequence of vinyl panels attached to the glass frontage of the wheelchair ramp on the Drury Lane facade of the building.

This work re-contextualises (or recycles) the imagery that can be found all around the nearby Merchant Gate development, which promotes this currently mostly empty area as an ‘urban hub’ for solvent and successful types.

The imagery and the Merchant Gate buildings themselves are in stark contrast to Wakefield’s own Civic Centre just a few hundred yards away. Williamson’s work then, is a playful intervention into the use of imagery to promote and drive a certain lifestyle; one that is unrepresentative of Wakefield’s own cultural and political life at these times.

Having re-photographed this imagery, Williamson has printed hundreds of physical photographs and created his montage through a painstaking process involving cutting figures and details from the photographs and using them to create often-humorous juxtapositions that are slyly subversive and oppositional in style and message to the sterile, hygienic quality of the originals. The final piece is some eight feet in length and has been composed by shifting the photographic components around over many hours of experimentation. One such detail Williamson has ‘found’ is the depiction of rows of ‘self-raising’ flour, . which he has picked upon as the basis for a satirical title for the work (‘The Sweet Smell of Self-Raising Success’), commenting upon the kind of aspiration that Merchant Gate attempts to promote and attract, as well as referencing his use of a disability ramp (which is literally ‘self-raising’) as a billboard for the work, at a time when the social exclusion of disabled people via recent Government cuts is in the news.

It is hoped that the montage will be installed in time for the Artwalk on Wednesday 30 March. Williamson’s studio will be open to visitors and a short performance or demonstration will be staged within Merchant Gate’s central square as part of the event. Meet at the Drury Lane entrance to The Art House on at 7pm.

Find out more about Aaron's progress during his residency via our blog HERE