The Shoemaker © The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London 2023
NN Contemporary Art is excited to announce ‘Hell 4 Leather’, a new commission with award-winning interdisciplinary design practice RESOLVE Collective. ‘Hell 4 Leather’ is a creative workshop series and installation hosted by NNCA that interrogates the logistical, historical, and emotional conditions of vacancy in Northampton town centre, and uses physical activities to work through these conditions with local people. Over the course of the project, RESOLVE will map existing conditions, survey current spaces and propose radical alternatives for Northampton’s future.
‘Hell 4 Leather’ is part of NNCA’s Sensing Place, a place-making public programme that aims to strengthen connections between our individual identities and the environments we share. As we are creating new spaces for NNCA at 24 Guildhall Road in Northampton, we are looking closely at the policies and processes involved in designing public spaces and exploring their challenges across organisational format and outputs. With this, the ‘Hell 4 Leather’ project is framed by Northampton’s current context; sitting on the fault line of multiple presents, looming investment, prospective city-hood, ageing new towns in newly refurbished old towns and a high street navigating vacancy familiar to towns and cities across the UK.
Methods for ‘Hell 4 Leather’ will draw from RESOLVE’s previous work, mapping vacancies in town centres and foraging local materials to create physical assemblages from local centres across the UK, and will be complimented by site specific materials and processes appropriate for the experiences in Northampton. Across four workshops, a Northampton Carnival stall and an installation, we are inviting creative practitioners, community organisations, students, and a wealth of other local participants to exchange knowledge, map vacant realities, tour existing vacant spaces, identify and forage material traces, before constructing assemblage that reflect propositions for future intervention.
Workshops are open to all and everyone, you can join one or all three. Come alone or with your community group. For more information on participating please email firstname.lastname@example.org or check the Eventbrite.
Wednesday 7th June, 11am-3pm
Location: Umbrella Fair, Racecourse Pavilion, Kettering Rd, Northampton NN1 4LG
Thursday 8th June, 11am-3pm
Location: Grosvenor Shopping Centre Community Space, 2 Union Street, Northampton NN1 2EW
Northampton Carnival – stall with RESOLVE
Saturday 10th June from 12pm
Location: Racecourse Park, Northampton, NN1 4LG
Wednesday 28th June, 6-8pm
Location: NN Contemporary Art’s Project Space, Unit 9, Vulcan Works, 34-38 Guildhall Rd, Northampton NN1 1EW
Final installation and parade
Friday 30th June
Location: Northampton town centre
Each individual and organisation will contribute new perspectives on conditions within the town centre, adding material and contextual layers to a roaming installation. Whilst the workshops will extract multiple experiences of vacancy in the town centre, the installation will test processes of collective-making by inviting the participants to build upon a single/single series of structures that draw inspiration from each interaction.
After the installation period, the structure will proceed through the town centre, encouraging workshop participants, contributors and passers by to gather around the sculpture of exploration in Northampton’s vacant present and possible future. The creation will be shared during a celebration day on 30th June at NNCA alongside collaborators and participants. It will then be deconstructed into small parts and distributed across Northampton in an attempt to continue the conversation across creative communities, local organisations and key stakeholders in the area.
Project curated by Simon Wright.
About the artist: RESOLVE Collective
RESOLVE is an interdisciplinary design collective that combines architecture, engineering, technology and art to address social challenges. They have delivered numerous projects, workshops, publications, and talks in the UK and across Europe, all of which look toward realising just and equitable visions of change in our built environment.
Much of RESOLVE’s work aims to provide platforms for the production of new knowledge and ideas, whilst collaborating and organising to help build resilience in our communities. An integral part of this way of working means designing with and for young people and under-represented groups in society.