Block Works

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Block Works is the latest concept based practice from Alison Little: comprising of a series of sculptural forms which represent areas of urban residence. An ethnology process where collections of discarded objects are cemented together in block form. The artifacts are selected and encased in the common urban material offering an explanation of those who occupy the city space, their lifestyles and methods human existence.

Everton Block Works engages our attention with the towering form of the engine suspension system, reflecting the second-hand car culture commonplace within the area. Several narcotics smoking devices emerge from the upper surface, indicating drug use within the external environment. Homelessness or the misguided pursuits accountable as youth culture. Contrasted by the healthy activities of dog walking, shown by a lead and enhanced by an exercise equipment suspension spring. An adjacent feather shows the ever present urban pigeon, commonplace within cities globally. The top surface encases a heavy industrial ring, accompanied by screw findings, rope matter throughout the form. Manual work being common with local inhabitants. Child’s playthings are present, but items from £1 stores from lower-income families. The edges of the block are lined by food consumer packaging waste: crisp packets, fizzy and alcoholic drinks cans. A suburb where the unhealthy diet is prominent and drink alcohol a persistent activity. The greens and grays of the blocks finish reflect the mix of residential and urban green space which dominates the Everton area.

The top section of Anfield Block Works is entangled by the dynamics of a discarded cable. Other electric wastes reflect a culture where the inhabitants are happy to discard debris freely. An array of drinks top illustrates further examples of poor diet, however, an exercise water bottle top suggests healthy activities. This is joined by a dog toy and tennis ball, positive pursuits within a leisure space. Again, a pigeon feather evidence of urban wildlife. Examples of gambling additions within the district can be drawn from the miniature blue pen of the bookies. Wire wool, cable systems and sponge matter indicating manual tasks occurring within the outdoor spectrum. The Liverpool football stadium ‘Anfield’ being a central hub of the district. The inflatables from match-days, the drinks straws from spectators present in the block formed in the shadows of the Kop. The final colour showing a degraded range of greens and blacks, an urban green space heavily polluted by the traffic of the stadium.

The Block Works Collection with expand across the city and further afield. More collections with be collated, encased and presented as representations of the city and occupants.

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The Green

the Green

The Green is an extract from the novel: Casual Nexus, written by Alison Little, she is looking to publish the novel later in 2020.

Stood aback from the green space, intersected by cars negotiating the rather complex one-way system, a moderately plump woman stands, examining an item of jewellery. She has just left the small countered repair shop which has presided on the green for over three generations. Excitedly, she opens the locket and looks adoringly at the miniature photograph inside:

‘I’ve got you back, mother!’

Caitlin McBride mouths internally to herself. Examining the clasp, a fitting repair job, her hand run over the shinning silver gleaming after the buffer wheel treatment. She slips the primal keepsake she has of her mother carefully into the upper zip pocket of her jacket. As she secures the zip her eyes scan over the green, her mind re-encounters the fair she went to as a teenager. Churning of the stomach as she remembers the lad she had met and their liaison in the undergrowth. Vomit rises into her throat as she recalls taking him in her mouth. Giggling at the time, now remorseful, it was simply another tangled interlude she had engaged in as she was too confused to determine her desired course of action.

Eyes rotate around the central space attention focusing on the swing park. A father playing with his children. Reminiscing over the few times her father has taken them to any form of a playground, but he had always been so busy with his work and the band. Her expanding gaze then halts, she looks at the Father in greater detail, her vision fixated, anguish overcomes her thoughts:

‘J-A-C-K’

She vocalises statically, the volume reduced but out loud. The man, then boy, who had determined the turmoil of negativity through her teenage years and transcended into adulthood. Jack who she had hidden from fearful of his advances. Jack whose manipulation had overcome her in the end. Jack who had a happy family, children, a wife and a house. Jack who had stolen her childhood, Jack who had taken so much from her and what her future would have been. Jack who her brother had never stopped, Jack who had never paid for what he had done to her during her teenage years.

She wipes the tears straining through her face as she makes haste towards the far side bus stop. As she moves further from Jack and the falsehood of the family man, the more composed she becomes.

5 ways to Shop this Christmas

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Last week the all-new Childwall Emporium threw open its doors for the first time.

The Childwall Emporium is the brainchild of woodworker Peter Bennett. The shop is positioned on the busy 5 ways roundabout on Queens Drive. The ground floor houses a variety of craft and printed goods, all reasonably priced. Above this, we have a selection of artist studios and on the top level a skylight venue for art workshops, many of which will be running throughout 2020. Peter had always wanted a shop, this became available, he jumped at the chance. The time really was now and Liverpool has a new retailer selling goods from the cities finest artists and makers.

Peter originally studied a BA(Hons) in 3D design at John Moores University, graduating among the glory of the Capital of Culture year. He has ranges of everything from household goods to hand made jewelry, solid wood pens to surf shack style key fobs. Some of his more specialist works include techniques of embedding leather in solid block wood forms. The leather is re-purposed, reducing waste and he and the majority of the artists are locally based. We have a new business with valid ‘Green Credentials’ taking to the streets of Childwall.

Ink Smudge has a range of journals on sale at the Emporium. The highlight being the miniatures every bit a small as the ones written in by Charlotte Bronte, purchased by the Bronte Parsonage Museum last month. Could this gift provide column space for England’s next great twenty-first-century novelist? Smaller than a matchbox they are intended to hang on the beloved Christmas tree, our Christmas wishes inscribed into the tiny journal. The subsequent year it can be read through to indulge in the desires which literally became true. The woman behind the ‘Burrower’ sized journal confesses to being a stationery addict, her other goods also hand made indulgences intended for thoughts to adorn their pages.

Some much-needed music is added to the Childwall store with the cigar box guitars. The maker behind these instrumental muses, Dave Worthington, brought the guitar boxes back from Taiwan. Intending to become the Switzerland of the Asian continent, Taiwan direction towards environmental sustainability has strengthened over the last decade. It seems very fitting that the maker decided to re-invent these sizable tins into the finest electronic string instruments. The tin casings contain the electronic components and a well-positioned socket to plug in an amp. Cigar box ‘come’ electric guitar genius beaming from the gallery wall.

Much more can be found at Liverpool’s latest hand-made shopping experience. Prints from Alison Little, bags from Le Meme Etoffe and favorite textiles collections from Sandra Hepworth. Look out for courses starting next year: candle-making, furniture painting, the small art of kids craft, followed by woodworking skills from Peter himself. Open till 9 pm on Thursday the 19th of December, don’t miss the last late night shopping before the big day!

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More about Childwall Emporium

Best Dressed Easter Bunny

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Easter, Bunnies and Dressing Up.

Let’s get things straight!

How did the Easter Bunny come about?

The Easter Bunny actually came from Folklore, the Pagan Festival of Vernal Equinox fell around springtime. This was replicated with the Jewish Passover then again through Christianity as the Sunday when Jesus rose from the dead after the Crucifixion.

Why Eggs, Bunnies don’t lay eggs?

The traditional symbol of the Easter Bunny is carrying a basket of eggs both relate to each other. The bunny is, in fact, a rabbit or hair and a symbol of fertility, they reproduce actively and give birth to a large little around spring. Eggs are ancient representations of fertility in terms of the cell which need to be fertilised in all forms of life, also relating strongly to birds which lay eggs often hatching in spring. Thus, giving us the pairing of Bunnies and eggs.

Is the Bunny Female?

She is normally given feminine qualities which relate to the traditions of home-making, through the hiding of eggs, nest making and the ability to remember public holidays.

What’s the ‘Best Dressed’ tradition about?

The tradition relates to getting dressed up for the Easter service, wearing a new dress and bonnet for the occasion.

Best Dressed Easter Bunny cards are available from Rubbish cards and on sale from Arts Hub on Lark Lane, Liverpool.

More about Arts Hub

Freshly Cut

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Free Fall text from Alison Little as a response to the tree wasted area located adjacent to the entrance to Wavertree Park in Liverpool.

 

Freshly Cut

Crisp Pinetree’
Cut freshly, discarded
Entry to the park space flanked
by the aftermath of festivity
Some burnt out
Shelled, garotted by flame
Others ripe
Everlife of the Evergreen

Not destruction
Void of waste

Revive, renewal, rejuvenation
Optimism
New Year: a fresh start

The festive season,
a portal, new beginnings
Pressures, Pitfalls left behind
Opportunities on the horizon
Mentally, leased a new life
Exhaustion, weariness
Past driven
Recovered

Fresh
Health gifted
Bright
Engulfed by optimism

Walking into the positivity of the future

Alison Little

 

Cardboard Castles

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Are you king of your cardboard castle?

Castles were strong fortresses built to withstand invasion. Saxon Castles were wooden structures, mounds of earth now, grassy peaks protruding from the ground level. Still standing up as always but no longer fit for purpose.

The middle ages saw the use of stone to create strongholds were the Lords ruled the battlements. Lines of arches were arrows could be fired from, surrounded by motes and drawbridges to hinder attack.

100 years ago the First World War saw the emergence of new-style fortresses. The underground variety located within the complex network systems of the trenches. Built-in below the surface to withstand the ongoing bombardment. Little mud cabin forms, mantelpiece like structures temporarily decorated with images of loved ones.

A century on what are today’s fortresses: cardboard.

Is this an example of vagrancy? King of the cardboard city. The temporary housing villages created by the nations homeless communities. Safety and security which can be found with others in parallel situations. Warmth and shelter created from communal fires and the cardboard which houses their inhabitants. Every city has a Major, so the underworld must have a King of the Cardboard Castle?

Are cardboard castles a new concept akin to that of the ‘Plastic Gangster’. The king-style leaders of gangland armed with the plastic imitation weapons of infancy. Is it a paradox similar to the new style treble glazing which costs a fortune but claims to pay for itself through savings in fuel bills and rises in property value. The audio version, that can be downloaded, of the book you don’t have to bother reading. A falsehood, a castle which is weather consumable where protection of extreme limitation is offered.

Could the Cardboard castle be a statement for the future: Recyclable. Was the vision created to make a temporary art form, to be consumed by the public, then recycled through the ease of our green processing plants. Is the new King of the Castle to be a leading eco-warrior? Will we be lead towards a sustainable future by environmentally friendly processes?

The King of the Cardboard Castle to be the leader of the cardboard city, the plastic gangster with the falsehood of might or the modern force of the eco-warrior?

You decide….

Eco Chamber Marks it’s Territory

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Last week saw the arrival of the various components which will make up the Eco Chamber arrive at Rimrose Valley Country Park. Nestled into the appointed hill they have carved out a route over the brow. Each component is made from re-claimed tyre rims with additional textures of biodegradable plastic bags added using a heat seal process. Next week after a much needed few days of rainfall the Eco Chamber will be built into the landscape.

The Eco Chamber is part of the Rimrose Valley Art Trail as part of the Biennial Independents. Seven artists will present works throughout the Park. Alice Lenkiewicz will transcribe poetry directly onto the pathway in the Goodness Trail. Throughout the Biennial, Sarah Nicholson will present Ir/revocable adding to the entrances of the prominent greenspace. Then in September, after an exhausting walking challenge on the continent, Sarah Jane Richards will bring us Willow Nests.

Environmental Art at its finest, activism to Save Our Park!

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Light Night Performance

Greenery, the Guardian

Greenery, the Guardian is the latest poem from Alison Little, it will be performed as part of Light Night Liverpool.

Greenery, the Guardian

Green surrounds, the greenest of green
Green forever, then, green some more
Long grass, a simple fragment of sky
I wake sober in the distant field
My thoughts now clear and renewed
I arise, to begin the mountain climb
As I ascend I encircle the summit
Singing aloud as I scale
Joy found sorrow at full volume
Green, green, everlasting green
I belt out the tune loudly
Slightly lost wondering upward
Mind cleared, direction undetermined

Green, green, everlasting green
Grand green, gracious green
Greens, fresh, that make you sober
Greens, clear the storms of the mind
Rise up higher through the horizon
Entwining route through the sky
The greenery is my guardian
Its riches absorbed and treasured
I question my prophecy
In eye-shot the end of the climb
Green, green, everlasting green
I embrace the summits tip
Looking down towards the valley
Storm crashing back into the mind
Final vision, the anguish of last night

Alison Little

The poem was written as a translation to Romance Sonambulo by Frederico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936). The poem will be read tonight by Alison Little as part of the  Light Night Liverpool. She will be reading at the event held at the Hornby Library, Liverpool City Library between five and six PM on Friday the 18/05/18.

More about the Poem

Liverpool City Library

Light Night Liverpool