James Tovey Arts

©   James Tovey  2015

By tov617, Oct 4 2017 12:10PM

The Debris Navigator art installation at Westraven Community Garden, a space established for use by both the Westwood and Ravensthorpe district residents.


The art workshops have been organised with the help of Peterborough City Council, Peterborough Environment and City Trust, and Westraven Big local. Primarily the project has been run by Peterborough Child Services particularly with the proactive help of Samantha Smith, Councillor for Westraven and portfolio holder in the cabinet for child services.


From a Posivitistic - Ecological Art concept put together by artists Jim Tovey, John Elson and Lauren Ke, a build has taken place over the course of around 2 weeks leading up to an event day on the 9th Sept 2017. Children and Adults from Westwood and Ravensthorpe who have wanted to take part have built the installation in collaboration with the artists and also with the help of Sam and her husband Danny who put in the extra hours with the artists to get the job finished on time.


Poet Steve Walker performed on the day with John Elson comparing on stage and the organisers would like to thank all the acts of Westraven's Got Talent who took part and everyone who put on an art workshop and set up a stall. And everyone who turned up, especially our new MP, Fiona Onasanya, who took the time to come and see the kids fantastic achievements!


Gill Vessey led an #omsweetyoga yoga session in the new Solar Sanctuary - Henge.


Chris Pounsett's calculations have proved accurate for the lining up of the North Star post and the sun disc casts a shadow pattern on the henge/Solar Sanctuary's central tree on the Autumn and Spring Equinox; the tree can be seen in the middle of the top shadow triangle at noon (UT) on these days. Thanks also to Chris for writing a brilliant Creation Myth Story for recital on the moonstage. Chris Pounsett, Duncan Vessey and Martin Stalley were responsible for laying out the astronomical alignments.


Folkband Captain Backwash headlined the day event on the new Moon Stage with Duncan Vessey's Castor Ales providing his excellent beer and locally produced ciders served by Smylie Wiseman. Kevin Hand of PECT put on a great BBQ.


Thanks go William Robertson and his team of volunteers at the Westraven Community Garden for making the installation possible and welcoming everyone who took part. I'd also like to thank Jen Orrell of PECT for her help and support in organising the workshops in the Hampton Court Community Cafe and her help with the project leading up to the start date. The young scots pine tree planted at the cetre of the 'Solar Sanctuary' henge sculpture was kindly donated by the Green Backyard and has the potential to become one of Peterborough's iconic trees.


For all wondering how to begin, take a stick and and join it to another stick to sketch a line in the sky...


By tov617, Dec 28 2016 10:17PM



Winter Solstice / Midwinter / Christmas 2016 to early 2017


Sea Plastic Torii Henge was a sculptural installation originally conceived and made for the Peterborough Environment and City Trust Green Festival 2016. The wood - branch framework has been developed and enlarged into a Torii–Henge monument at the Green Backyard during 17th and 18th December 2016, in time for the Winter Solstice on the 21st December 2016. Made from locally sourced round wood branches and effectively fixed together using modern fastening techniques, it is planned that the structure will available during opening hours be for visitors to the Green Backyard to enjoy and volunteers to decorate.


The alignment of the henge and features of its construction is measured and made to coincide with the rising and setting of the winter sun at and around the Solstice and thus help illustrate the intertwined connection of the inhabitants of Peterborough to the movements of the solar system and wider universe. The henge after opening has been adorned with freshly cut greenery to reflect the seasonal time of year of the midwinter and Christmas festivities. It is hoped the structure will provide a focus for promotion for the Green Backyard and it provided a social event for community engagement around the solstice time.


Background


Torii doors from Shinto shrines are symbolic doorways passing from the mundane world to the spiritual world, literally translated torii equates to ‘bird perch’. Here torii doors have been joined into circular structures evocative of henge monuments from Prehistory such as Stone Henge or Wood Henge.


Two such structures were made in the lead up to and for the Green Festival in Peterborough, August 2016. This build developed the ‘Sea Plastic Torii Henge’ as built in the Peterborough Cathedral precincts for the PECT Green Festival 2016.


Build dimensions:


The available space lent to a structure about 30ft diameter on mostly clear, roughly level ground most of the Torii-henge is some 7ft tall, the Sun Gate, an enlarged opening with extended rails positioned at 11am and 1pm using the sun on the 18th December as guide measures some 10ft high


The build was led by James Tovey, with astronomers Chris Pounsett and Duncan Vessey aligning the posts and henge to the solar system, Duncan Vessey of Castor Ales aided with wood sourcing from local tree surgeons.



Text for Sea Plastic Torii Henge built for the PECT Green Festival 2016 in the Peterborough Cathedral precinct:


The gate to the North West is aligned to sunset on the summer solstice, June 21st. Every day from the summer solstice the sun rises and sets a bit further South until it reaches the winter solstice; at which point it turns around and starts heading North again. Thus the cycle of the seasons continues and has done for the last 4.5 billion years, despite the small doings of man. Here Sea Plastic has been hung from the henge structure. Feel like a dolphin, seal or turtle would as it has to navigate the discarded debris of our collective plastic consumption.


Sun Henge Build Team 17th and 18th Dec 2016:


Rich Hill (Green Backyard)

James Tovey

Duncan Vessey

Chris Pounsett

Martin Stalley

Ben Pounsett


Logistics and support


Ian Sheldon


The Henge was officially opened by:


Lauren Kendrick (Green Backyard) and Jen Orrell (PECT) at 12noon on the 21st December 2016 with the David Lowndes of the Peterborough Telegraph there to record the event.


Gill Vessey of OMYOGA led a sun salutation to herald the start of the new solar year.


Thank you to everyone involved in making this happen and helping get it agreed and built so efficientlly and to The Green Backyard board of Trustees for deciding that the project could go ahead.


Sun Henge at the Green Backyard 2016/2017
Sun Henge at the Green Backyard 2016/2017
looking South through the sun gate
looking South through the sun gate
Sun burning through the mist at 12noon above the heel post
Sun burning through the mist at 12noon above the heel post
Sea Plastic Torii Henge at the PECT Green Festival 2016
Sea Plastic Torii Henge at the PECT Green Festival 2016

By tov617, Dec 28 2016 12:06AM

The Peterborough Environment and City Trust Green Festival 2016 was opened on the 13th August.


Following months of planning and a successful funding bid, installation of the Future Floodlands Stage and its associated sculpture and attractions was begun at lunchtime on the 12th August. All went to schedule and the dress rehearsals were held on the Friday evening while the backdrop was set up right in front of Peterborough Cathedral.


With the final tweaks on Saturday morning, Eastern Angles Theatre Company started the first performances of two schedules of the six specially commissioned plays exploring rising waterlevels and climate change.


Spilling Convention by Clare Currie

On Such A Full Sea by Hilary Spears

Losing It by Vikki Touzel

In The Wake Of The Flood by Elaine Ewart

Somewhere Else by William Alderson

Beside The Seaside by Liv Jones


The plays were directed by Poppy Rowley, Theatre Director and Artistic Associate of Eastern Angles Theatre Company. The project, bidding process and the selection of scripts for the plays had also greatly benefitted from the help of Keely Mills, also of Eastern Angles. The backdrop for the performances had been conceived by James Tovey, who had then brought in John Elson, artist, to work on the design and layout of the specially cut plywood panels. The backdrop was divided into six pieces, each eight foot long, to provide flexibility on the day and help with transportation and reuse at a later date. Another important part of the interactive stage was the submersion tent. Initially conceived by James Tovey as a tent for audience members to enter and have an underwater lightshow experience, this feature was handed over to artist Luke Payn to make his own and he developed the concept adding layers of meaning by making digital compositions, through which the front of the cathedral could be viewed, as though under water.


Additional artworks by James Tovey, included as part of the Floodlands stage:


Future Floodplain Xoanon – 8 foot standing sculpture

Driftwood Xoanon – 9 foot standing sculpture

The Floodmonster – 25 by 12 foot wooden snake

Sea Plastic Torii Henge – 20 foot diameter, wooden framework, adorned with sea plastic, collected from a single tide, aligned with the cosmos by the astronomical knowledge of Chris Pounsett and Duncan Vessey

Wishing Willow Torii Door – interactive wooden branch sculpture, made for a collaboration with Douglas Thompson, artist

You are the Sea, the Sun, the Moon and the Stars – 2 wooden assemblage sculptures, made by the children of the Learning Tree nursery, with the help of James Tovey

The Spanner – a large traditional boatbuilding tool, made and used by James Tovey, repurposed as an art object

The Flood Detection Stick – a reliable predictive device

Turf Boat – traditional boatbuilding frame/former


Three boats were refitted and refinished and arranged on the set – two used by the audience for interactive seating during the performances, one used as part of the set:


Birdie – 11 foot 6 inch river skiff, designed and built by James Tovey

Picnic – 14 foot garvey punt, designed and built by James Tovey

Puffin – 14 foot clinker Yachting World Day Boat, built in 1962 by LH Walker; renovated from a wreck 2012 by James Tovey


Eastern Angles Theatre Company employed eight actors to perform the plays. The cast included:

Lucy Formby

Kate Gwyn

Lucy Keirl

Charlotte McGuiness

Darren O’Sullivan

Fiona Putman

John Shields

Suzanne Tuck


The stageset took a team of people to erect and dismantle, these included:


Duncan Vessey

Chris Pounsett

Ben Pounsett

Smiley Wiseman

Ian Sheldon

Martin Stalley

Jonathan Cook

John Elson

Luke Payn

Tony Henderson

Tony Nero

Richard Wood

Andrew Sullivan

James Tovey


Onsite the audience, cast and crew greatly benefitted from the Castor Ales beer tent providing refreshments, as organised by Duncan Vessey, who also included ales by Bexar County on his racks.


Musical direction by Lucy Keirl

Stage Management by Liv Jones and Penny Griffin


A huge thanks goes out to these people below, who also helped bring about the event:


Karen Igho, Keely Mills, Samuel Beagley, Ivan Cutting, Metal Peterborough, Tony Henderson, Chris Erskine, Laura Fanthorpe, Peterborough Environment City Trust, Charlie Genever, Stuart Orme, and all at Peterborough Cathedral.


The project would not have been possible without the funding that came from the Peterborough Environment City Trust and from Seedbed Trust.


Flyer - design by John Elson Artist
Flyer - design by John Elson Artist
Future Floodlands cast - Eastern Angles Theatre Company 2016
Future Floodlands cast - Eastern Angles Theatre Company 2016
Peterborough Cathedral 13th August 2016 Future Floodlands plays and stage
Peterborough Cathedral 13th August 2016 Future Floodlands plays and stage

By tov617, Jul 10 2016 11:01AM

June 2016 saw a collision of events with the Peterborough Artists Open Studio 2016 starting, the Castor and Ailsworth Garden Safari weekend, followed by the Peterborough Heritage Festival 2016 and Castor Ales Bar outside the front of the Peterborough Cathedral. Jonathan and Jackie Cook, opened their garden for the garden safari and kindly hosted the sculptures which took the pressure off making my creative spaces safe for visitors to look round.


This also gave the www.futurefloodlands.org.uk project a chance to assess the logistcal implications of moving the large pieces around and calculate manpower and time needed for the PECT Green Festival 2016. The central piece for the PAOS weekend was to be a Torii Henge, laid out by Astronomy consultants Chris Pounsett and Duncan Vessey of Castor Ales, Ben Pounsett helped with the build and sourcing wood. This trial was worthwhile in proving that the Torii Henge is a feasible addition to the Floodlands stage set up, provided some modifications are made to speed the build and make the structure less reliant on the top ring for support.


Works included during the Peterborough Artist Open Studio Week 1 were:


Future Floodplain Xoanon

The Flood Monster

Plastic Electro Ocean Column

Spanner

Torii Door

Torii Henge.

By tov617, May 14 2016 09:22AM

We are pleased to be able to announce the six commissions for the Future Floodlands Stage at the PECT Green Festival 2016.


The writers are:


William Alderson

Clare Currie

Elaine Ewart

Olivia Jones

Hilary Spiers

Vikki Touzel


Thank you to everyone who sent in work it was a tough call in selecting only six.



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JAMES TOVEY COPYRIGHT 2016