Sunday, 2 June 2013
One of the highlights of the Saltaire Arts Trail is that many of the art exhibits are displayed in the sitting rooms and kitchens of the ordinary village houses in Saltaire. Some of the homes actually belong to the artists themselves, whilst others are offered by volunteers - amazingly willing to shift out most of their furniture, cover up the carpets and put up with three full days of strangers tramping in and out of their homes. It's perhaps not quite so bad on a sunny day but imagine on a wet day how much mess and chill the visitors bring with them! The participating houses are marked with red bunting - and often a queue of people patiently waiting to get in. Many of the ordinary workers' homes are quite small, just a 4 x 4m sitting room and an even smaller kitchen, downstairs. The front door often opens straight off the street and there really isn't room for more than half a dozen people at a time to look round. Nevertheless, it is a charming way to display and view the paintings, photographs, ceramics and other exhibits.
There were so many lovely things. As a photographer I am mostly inspired and sometimes depressed (!) to see the wonderful work that other photographers produce. Martin Priestley's landscapes are always inspiring and, exhibiting for the first time this year, Stephen Goodfellow showed some unusual viewpoints on things. I particularly liked his close-ups of frost on carvings at Undercliffe Cemetery. This year I also especially liked some small bird sculptures made with found pieces of wood and wire, by Mr Ian Swales. They weren't carved, merely carefully selected pieces of wood pinned together into sculptures that had all the 'jizz' of a real bird.