CURRENT AND RECENT WORK

Robert Tressell - describing the predicament

Robert Tressell - describing the predicament

2015

current - collecting ideas

Robert Tressell / Robert P. Noonan (17 April 1870 – 3 February 1911) is buried in the cemetery at Rice Lane Farm, Liverpool. He is famous for his novel “The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists” which has been seen as an important document in the development of socialism in the UK, describing the predicament of ordinary working people in England at the start of the twentieth century. The starting point of this research is to trace the historical path of Tressell and collect elements from his world, journeying though time and space - from local archives and historical documents.. These elements will inform a series of art works and films. The art will explore events that reveal time and place relevant to his life and work as writer, tradesman, painter/decorator, father, trade-union representative, designer.

From China to Chinatown - the women's perspective

From China to Chinatown - the women's perspective

2012 - 2014

In a three-way live link-up between the UK, USA and Canada, MacKinnon-Day’s short film 10 Day Rehearsal was screened at FACT, on Saturday 19 October, at 5.30pm, and simultaneously at Jai&Jai gallery in Los Angeles and the Chinese Arts Centre in Vancouver. Through a Skype link connecting the three countries this screening was followed by live performances and conversations with women from the Chinese communities of these cities including The North Burnaby Retired Society in Canada. This project evolved from Mackinnon-Day's three-month residency in Shanghai in 2011, supported by Liverpool John Moores University, MacKinnon-Day made contact with a group called “Club Culture”. At their meetings middle-aged women perform dances to music whilst wearing traditional qipao dresses. Both the music and these colourful dresses represent a sharp contrast with the grey uniforms which they wore as young women at the time of the Cultural Revolution. Following on from the Shanghai project MacKinnon-Day worked with women from Liverpool’s Chinese community at the Pagoda Arts Centre. Through interviews she explored social, historical and cultural factors pertaining to the transition from one cultural environment to another. What had been the impact on the women who made the move? How has it affected future generations? These are some of the questions to which we may hear the answers during the follow-up discussion. 10 Day Rehearsal combines archive and contemporary footage together with the qipao dance. The work explores ideas of lost youth and innocence as well as traditional Chinese ideas of beauty, sophistication and style. It juxtaposes two distinct periods of China’s history from the perspective of women who have lived through this time. MacKinnon-Day’s preoccupation with the relationships between people and places in her previous work has led to this examination of human displacement in time and space. What happens to individuals when their circumstances change? How can they maintain their traditions whilst integrating into their new environment? What is lost? To what extent are they, as women, empowered to express their innermost feelings about the changes they have undergone? http://www.fact.co.uk/whats-on/current/from-china-to-chinatown-the-women-s-perspective.aspx

Private Views Made Public  and Rural Voices – from Depmore to Shocklach

Private Views Made Public and Rural Voices – from Depmore to Shocklach

2011- 2013

“Private Views Made Public” and “Rural Women” together embody the idea that storytelling can become the main source for content, avoiding traditional conventions of narrative structure. MacKinnon-Day has produced three, single-screen, landscape- and portrait-based, narrative contemporary art video works. Each deploys an anthropological approach to recording – amassing then editing and reconstructing footage to create condensed stories. MacKinnon-Day has created time-lapse films that invite you as the viewer to share a unique viewpoint and moments of contemplation as they look out across six spectacular landscapes along mid-Cheshire’s Sandstone Ridge that roll through night and day, season through season. The ambition was to give for the first time a voice to modern farmwomen, often overlooked members of rural communities. The portrait-based nature of these films provides unique, intimate insights into gender-specific responses to farm life. MacKinnon-Day acted as intermediary between farmwomen from diverse social, cultural and economic backgrounds, who came together to view and hear the material and share in a masterclass workshop and a meal with local chefs who used produce from their farms. The exhibition presented the opportunity to review the cumulative effect of screening both films back-to-back. “PVMP” was selected from open submission as part of Screen Deva, UK’s film and digital media festival, supported by FACT; the works were shown in a solo exhibition at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral during the 2010 Liverpool Biennial (independent) and installed in seven non-art, rural locations throughout Cheshire. This research has contributed to the forming of Sandstone Ridge Trust and been disseminated through a symposium at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art and a screening and panel discussion with Ute Meta Bauer, former Berlin Biennale director. The work was funded by Arts Council, England, Heritage lottery fund, and as part of a £1.4m Cheshire Landscape Partnership Programme.

Trail Blazing - An Act to Follow

Trail Blazing - An Act to Follow

2010

An Act to Follow is an exploration of Bracknell through moving image “Trailblazing: An Act to Follow” is part of an artist residency programme commissioned by Look Ahead Housing & Care and South Hill Park Arts Centre, and funded by Arts Council England, Bracknell Forest Council, The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and the Youth Opportunities Fund, Berkshire [2010]. It comprises video, images, performances, workshops and a publication / DVD with text by the artist and the curator / writer Outi Remes (South Hill Park Gallery, Berkshire) and Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of the Tate. In this, MacKinnon-Day worked with artist Beverley Carpenter and in collaboration with thirty marginalised young adult residents of a high-dependency housing unit in Bracknell, south-east England. The work questions the increasing use of surveillance tools across multiple domains, including the widespread adoption of CCTV and biometrics devices, looking at how this affects changes in social relationships in different spheres of life. Many elements of the film are non-traditional, and together lead to a unique work. For example, the research uses both invented and actual footage from the purpose-built housing unit’s 32 surveillance cameras. This fractured composition creates a narrative that is appropriate to the fractured and dislocated experiences of the residents, who have been plucked from their worlds and thrown together temporarily. In addition, MacKinnon-Day and Carpenter worked with the young people to produce a layering of images and sounds which, with the introduction of various framing devices, create an original and at once moving and disturbing whole. The work affords these young adults for the first time a platform from which to project their frustrations at being persistently and consciously under the gaze of a centralised authority. “T:ATF” has been screened at the Light box and South Hill Park Gallery, Berkshire, and the DVD with catalogue was selected for the Strawberry Shorts Film Festival, Cambridge (2010) http://www.strawberry-fair.org.uk/strawberry-shorts.php

BACK BITTERN STREET PROJECT

BACK BITTERN STREET PROJECT

2007-2008

Mackinnon-Day and Carpenter collaboration

Back Bittern Street is home to a housing complex in the heart of Liverpool City Centre adjacent to the Metropolitan Cathedral and the new Art and Design Academy.

Open House – artists influencing urban regeneration

Open House – artists influencing urban regeneration

2006-2011

‘Open House’ was realised as a full scale representation of a flat in one of the nearby tower blocks as a temporary installation in the Gardens.

Open House – artists influencing urban regeneration This project was commissioned by Stevenage Borough Council, Green Heart Partnership (GHP) and HTA Landscape Design (HTA LD. ) to undertake consultation and contribute to the master planning for the Town Centre Gardens in Stevenage. Stevenage Borough Council planned to redevelop Stevenage Town Centre Gardens. A major requirement of the funding application was evidence of the communities engagement in the Gardens, the heritage value of the site and local support for future plans. The project progressed in three phases. Artists Patricia Mackinnon-Day, Beverley Carpenter and Simon Grennan were embedded into the team at an embryonic stage of the process and had parity with the architects and developers. The opportunity enabled the research project to test the influence that artist can bring to the urban regeneration, when at the centre of the design and decision making process. Works included a DVD and interactive web based presentation incorporating photographs, film and comments to advise and inform the masterplan brief and Town Garden funding bid. http://www.greenheartpartnership.org/snapshot/ Artists Beverley Carpenter and Patricia Mackinnon-Day devised a consultation method which aimed to attract people within and around the Gardens. ‘Open House’ was realised as a full scale representation of a flat in one of the nearby tower blocks as a temporary installation in the Gardens. Within this familiar, domestic but public space people were encouraged to contribute their views, meet their neighbours and share in the responsibility for the Garden’s future. Responses to the specific topics included heritage, safety, environment and use of the Gardens, along with anecdotes and aspirations were captured through transcripts, on film and photographs. A series of workshops were also initiated involving diverse groups in ideas about ‘place making’. In total 50 people attended these workshops, participating in an ongoing dialogue about perceptions and current, and potential future, use of the Gardens. The artist consultation process fed into the master planning and the work on the Town garden site was completed in 2011. The published plan was a combination of detail landscape designs supported by comments from the consultations and workshops which demonstrated the community’s involvement and direct impact on design choices. The Master plan was commended in the Landscape Institute Awards’ Communications & Presentations section. The innovative approach was acknowledged by Green Heart Partnership (GHP) as being instrumental in Stevenage Borough Council securing a Stage 1 Pass for a £2million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund ‘Parks for People’. http://www.haringwoods.com/#/stevenage-town-centre-gardens/4561094559 As a result of this commission Mackinnon-day was invited to participate in the symposium Spaces v site- the commissioning equation at Tatton Hall Biennial July 2008, organized by Parbola with artists Charles Quick, David Cotterrell, Gayle Chong Kwan, Lisa Cheung and Abigail Reynolds.

Orchard Park

Orchard Park

2005-2008

Shared Vision - Making the Visible Invisible

In 2005 Patricia was appointed as lead artist at the early stage of an infrastructure development process. This was seen as an important factor in the development of ‘an attractive, vibrant, and contemporary new neighbourhood’ and her role was also to find imaginative ways of involving other artists in this process. “Orchard Park: Phase 2” developed from Phase 1s aim, through a public artwork programme, to identify cultural, historical and social links to place and to help forge a strong, fully-functioning community. MacKinnon-Day was commissioned by Gallaghers to work in the design team, allowing her to analyse critically the creation of permanent public artworks, with a view to influencing the new development’s identity. Community activities offered creative approaches to place-making and to neighbourhood integration. This strategy led to two integrated models of practice, represented by pieces, each created with the premise of heightening awareness of the residents’ home environment and of forming identity: first‘Glass Library’, founded on rigorous examination of the area’s folklore and its cultural, historical and socio-political constitution; and then ‘Floor Patterns for Children’s Play-area’ (now a permanent legacy), a response to the influence of long-standing local employer Chivers and a signifier for a company’s impact on generations of workers. The discourse is underpinned by Lefebvre’s view of development of urban space as a complex social construction, and by Bennett’s exhortation to “root a new settlement to the soil upon which it stands”. The impact of this work can be evidenced by the the huge response from residents after Greer’s “The Guardian” article liking the uninspiring housing stock to “Beirut”, as well as by the ongoing debates and the documentation of events and over 75,000 hits on the Orchard Park community website which is run by residents. The project raised questions regarding the significance and impact of artwork and development. PROJECT’s evaluation reported that the artists and art inspired discussion and brought people together. Each developer committed £200,000 to funding public art for the site. All 900 homes are now occupied. Income generated totals £40,000 (+£500 daily consultancy fee). Orchard Park today has a vibrant art engagement programme.

MARKING TIME

MARKING TIME

2003-2005

Installations within St Catherine’s Almshouses

Patricia MacKinnon-Day was commissioned to create a permanent installation on the site of the historically important Almshouses in Catherine Street. Constructed in 1450, the Almhouses had recently undergone structural repair and enhancements following an initiative by Land Securities, Exeter City Council and English Heritage to create an improved setting for one of Exeter’s most historic landmarks.