The study of a completely fictitious species of moths that can react to the Anthropocene and change their camouflage to suit.
The project is a collaboration with Angela Tait a ceramicist and artist.
The concept is a reimagined species which lives within the Manchester Museum and surrounding area. These creatures have evolved rapidly to survive in a contemporary arena. The fine porcelain moths, each one adorned with photographic macro details from the museum, live on and amongst the collection, architecture and environs. The habitats, feeding habits and other notable details are contained in â€˜The Urban Mothâ€™, an entomological field guide. The essential reference book contains records of sightings along with remarks made by the authors over a period of observation.
This idea was born of a residency that the artists undertook with the entomology department during 2016. During the development phase of the residency the artists spent time photographing, drawing and exploring the collection of moths and butterflies. During discussions with the lepidopterists they started to consider the politics of the Anthropocene. The resulting Urban Moth project explores the influence of the human upon the planet whilst anchoring the project firmly within the educational
agenda of a contemporary museum.
The audience or group was a cross section of business people and entrepreneurs not normally accustomed to making art but probably involved in commissioning it through the creative industry they work in. Participants were asked to choose small objects in their possession and the items would be printed as a photogram using the cyanotype process.
Their part of the industry is overlooked from an artistic angle, they are deemed as the facilitators, the bean counters. Marginalized, neglected. They are a non artistic niche.
The issue of authorship is always a discussion point in art and more so in SEA. This is not fully understood and often abused by this community, artists are regularly undermined with copyright and ownership issues. The non-creative often sees this as an insignificant problem much to the annoyance of the artist
This project highlighted who owns artwork. For a change the responsibility for completion and the â€˜creative expertâ€™ title was temporally passed on to these participants. This is alien to many of these people, used to asking artists to fulfil ever changing briefs and commissions.
Artists themselves through the education system are often very unprepared for dealing with the business environment as much as the business people are for dealing with creatives.
This project gave a small insight into the other side of the fence where the artists exist.
Editorial discussing the production and use of the ceramic camera in the field. Article gives critical discussion and follows the creation of an exhibition at the Accademia de Belle Arti, Macerata, Italy.
I was asked by Karen to make an image of the clay model of the bust in the hope of gaining funding to use gunmetal for a final piece. It worked and she produced a beautiful cast. I photographed that too as you can see
Dr Erinma Bell MBE DL, Peace Campaigner and Founder of CARISMA
A Guns to Goods project
This sculpture has been created to highlight issues associated with gun crime, and to celebrate the achievements of CARISMA in reducing gun crime in inner urban South Manchester. The sculpture is a monument to a high achieving black woman; a gesture which contrasts with and highlights the gender and ethnic bias of the majority of existing monuments in Manchester and elsewhere.
The portrait is a 1.5 scale sculptural bust of Erinma produced in clay during a series of sittings. The sculpture is cast in metal from recycled guns.
Sculptured and created by Karen Lyons, Littleborough
Guns to goods
Guns into Goods is a Community Interest Company working in partnership with Greater Manchester Police Force and CARISMA (Community Alliance for Renewal Inner South Manchester Area) to recycle guns removed from the streets and turn the metal into new products. The works explore the potential to raise public awareness of the positive work that is being done with communities locally and internationally to disarm and destroy weapons.