Jodie Gibson - Journeys,Crewe

Jodie Gibson - SpareParts

Jodie is Artistic Director for SpareParts and the Creative Producer for Journeys,Crewe

A 2-Day Family Art Trail & adventure
21-22 Aug 2021 CREWE Town CENTRE

With our local partner, Crewe Town Council, opting for a 2-day art trail this summer, I landed on the theme of Journeys from which to artistically design and curate the experience.

Over the past fifteen months, across all levels of society, we have gone on a journey. Not all on the same journey, but a journey nonetheless. It is not over, it continues, and we find individual and collective ways of navigating, surviving and thriving through a global pandemic.

During this time, it has also become apparent to a much greater number of people that we are on a journey regarding our environment. We urgently need to find new ways of inhabiting the world more considerately, reduce our impact on the natural world and make significant changes to address the climate crisis we face. This is a journey we are all on and our destination is, as yet, not known.

More locally, Crewe is on a journey of transformation and renewal. From the large construction projects delivered in recent years, such as the Lifestyle Centre, to the planned re-development of iconic areas in the town such as Lyceum Square, Crewe is experiencing its own journey of transformation. And of course, Crewe is renowned for its train station, a key point on many people’s journey across the country.

Finally, the trail itself offers audiences a physical journey through the town to experience the different sites that the art trail will feature. These have been curated into three distinct districts within the town; each offering a creative, interactive and immersive journey, exploring in some way the environment and our relationship with it.

Highlights at each District include…

District 1: The Great Story of the Infinite Drawing by Elly Oldman.
Following an accident in 2017, French Illustrator Elly Oldhman embarked on the creation of an endless drawing on Instagram. The result is a 15m outdoor artwork for families, telling a magical fable, with an ecological and environmental focus. The interactive fresco includes embedded augmented reality within the drawing, which will allows users to download a QR onto their phone/device and then see certain parts of the story come alive as they scan the illustration. It is also accompanied by a soundscape by Musician Benjamin Le Baron and a floor map of the same artwork, that enables young children to explore the artwork in a different sensory way.

District 2: Breathing Room by Anna Berry

Breathing Room is a striking kinetic installation in which a tunnel lined with cones ‘breathes’, creating a strange and otherworldly immersive journey visitors travel through. On the outside of the structure, the engineering and mechanical nature of the installation can be seen, drawing the attention of passers-by. Audio-descriptions of the artwork will also be available.

District 3: Sit, Stop by Sally Hogarth
Taking visitors into a quieter space within the town, Sit, Stop includes a series of nine structures that invites people to sit, pause for a moment and reflect on their natural surroundings. The structures are made from plastic collected by community beach combing groups that have been recycled to create sheet material used in the construction of the units. Combined, the undulating roofs echo the form of a bird in flight.

Each District connects to the themes of environmental preservation, ecological balance and the importance of nature and clean air. It reminds us that we can play a small part in supporting, healing and working with our environment and that being kinder to the planet is a journey we are all on.

We look forward to welcoming visitors to the art trail, whereby my aim is to offer a surprising, diverse and imaginative journey across Crewe Town Centre. It is an opportunity to discover new ways of seeing and experiencing the world we live in, whilst considering how we ensure a thriving planet for all living things in the future.