©   James Tovey  2015

By tov617, May 11 2018 11:37AM

#plastic #native #temple - Installation for Vivacity Arts. For a generation born to consumerism in a plastic flooded biosphere, daily lives complicit, naturalised and virtually oblivious to the effects of single use and discard. Can we shop our way out of an ubiquitous environmental synthetic and semi-synthetic organic compound insertion? Having found a couple of expanded polystyrene skulls in a Peterborough shop sold as Halloween items, I became interested in the idea of the Vanitas still life genre but with a human impact starting point. When asked to do this installation commission it seemed an obvious choice to insert some ocean plastic into one of the skulls heads to form an Iroquois (or mohican, as commonly referred to in British English) tribal hairstyle. I think it will work better as a painting though like the immediacy of the photograph, a detail from the piece as a whole.


One of the paintings in the background for me is a cross between a Bolivian day of the skulls celebration set up with plastic debris and polystyrene skulls rather than human remains and decorative flowers and hats (see google link below), crossed with Cezanne or Picasso skull still lives. The Plastic litter was collected from a beach in Devon with some items also coming from the verges of the A47 Castor bypass. #plastigeddon #plastocalypse #plasticene #plasticpollution #plasticsoup #microplastics


https://www.google.co.uk/search…:


Vivacity Unit, Queensgate, Peterborough On until 20th May 2018


Plastic

Native

Temple


Plastic is now ubiquitous.

We’re living through the Plasticene.

You can buy a 2.4m plastic cactus for your hallway; you won’t have to water a real cactus using tap water, that itself now contains plastic micro-particles.


‘The plastic arts’ is a term that had existed long before plastic itself. I have wanted to try and look at the plastic objects I had collected over the last few years as naively as possible, as though life-drawn for the first time by an art student intent on learning through prolonged observation. Not interested in the Neoplastism of the De Stijl movement, instead my initial thoughts were of a metamorphosis and of bringing ancient mythology and plastic ¬- a 20th century invention - together in an uncomfortable way. However I found myself reluctant to go too far down the path of the collision of two plastic objects to transmogrify into a third construct - yet there is a definite modernist basis for some of the elements.


The mermaid painting backdrop idea came from a small toy figure found as sea plastic litter. It is actually the top half part of a small Barbie figurine, but I initially thought it to be Disney’s The Little Mermaid. I researched mermaid art and came across the mermaid of Zennor and was attempting to build a composition around that and some lines from Ovid but the plastic overwhelmed it.


Wood is an obvious counterpoint and natural contrast with which I have felt more at ease. The plastic components are essentially ready-mades although altered by collision with natural processes in the environment and some minor assemblage. Wood is also an ancient, relevant building material. In this installation, the wood forms a sanctuary, a natural structure and the plastic is an imposition on it and in it.


There is no doubt the terrible convenient addiction that societies have developed for plastic eases the struggle against decay in the short term. What now looks to be a permanent error is that plastic is with us for the foreseeable and has been injected into the human food chain. I can imagine a child born being described as a plastic native to perhaps a planet slowly choking at Plastigeddon.


www.jamestovey.co.uk


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, Apr 3 2016 10:07AM

The charity Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT), in association with Eastern Angles Theatre Company, is commissioning six writers to create short pieces for performance at the Green Festival 2016. There will be a launch event at the Green Festival on Saturday 13th August in Cathedral Square, with the main performances on the evening of Saturday 20th August at the Green Backyard.

The Future Floodlands stage is at once a collaborative group project as a vehicle for poetry performances, plays and story telling as well as environmentally focused art installation. Concept and stage set created by James Tovey, with lights and projections by Luke Payn and featuring the cartoon design skills of John Elson. Read James’ inspiration here: futurefloodlands.org.uk


WHAT WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO EXPLORE IN YOUR COMMISSION:

Future Floodlands: exploring our relationship with a climate shift and a flooded future

Floods have shaped human history, particularly in the Fens and low lying Levels of the United Kingdom, featuring in many legends, myths and religious texts. Human communities have used changes in water boundaries and heights purposely to aid agriculture, trade and communication.

But recent years have brought us broadcasts and reports of watery destruction both nationally and internationally. We are already seeing the fallout on resources, refugees, the natural environment and our health. With predicted rising temperatures and sea levels these flooded scenes are set to become increasingly common.

Our future landscape may be deeply altered and challenging but it may not be environmentally unfriendly. We may find ourselves venturing back to the floodlands, seeking a new life in the communities that travel by boat over the submerged townships, roads and fields on tracts of water connecting island communities. What would it be like?


WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR?

• We are looking for performance pieces; this can be in the medium of poetry, prose or script. The piece may involve movement or other theatrical techniques but it must be clear what and why these are used

• The aim is to evoke an emotional response from the audience, encouraging them to consider and engage with a realistic potential environmental change and our place within it

• The piece will be approximately 10 to 15 minutes long

• The piece must be performed by a maximum of 2 performers

• Any effects must be created by the performer

• There will be workshops and one-on-one meetings to support the development process with Keely Mills (poet) and Poppy Rowley (theatre director)

• The pieces will be rehearsed at the end of July/beginning of August with Eastern Angles director Poppy Rowley

• Actors will perform the pieces, or there is the option to perform your own piece

WHAT IS ON OFFER?

• A fee of £150

• Support from Eastern Angles Theatre co, PECT & The Green Backyard

• Your work will be performed as part of The Green Festival

• Working with professional actors and theatre directors

HOW TO APPLY:

We require one A4 page example of your previous work and one A4 page of your proposed idea. To ensure anonymous judging please do not include your name on either A4 page.

This can be written in prose, bullet points, images, inspiration, etc. whatever format you feel best summarises your idea. Feel free to go further afield than the above inspiration as long as it links to the theme of Future Floodlands which are above.

(NB: sending less than an A4 page for either will not be penalised.

We would prefer this format for applications:

In your email please use for SUBJECT: Future Floodlands, Application for Commission

Please include the following information in the body of the email

Name:

Preferred method of contact:

Title of attached example work (A4 page):

Title of attached proposed idea (A4 page):

Please specify whether you would like to perform your piece (NB, if you end up writing a two-hander you could perform one part):

YES I would like to perform my piece

NO I would like someone else to perform my piece

DON’T KNOW YET I would like to decide nearer the time

Please email your application to Poppy Rowley at: poppy@easternangles.co.uk

by 12pm on the 29th April 2016

Commissions will be awarded on 9th May 2016



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