recent projects

 

Current

‘Blin’ Johnnie’

A commission for Stranraer

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 The design for the Blin Johnny sculpture is based upon the form of a squeezebox, which Blin’ Johnny played. The actual instrument survives in the local museum.

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From one viewpoint, the ghostly silhouette of Blin Johnny appears.

 

‘The Return of Old Bill’

A commission for Newcastle under Lyme Carnival Committee, hosted by Appetite Stoke.

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2G0HmjqI4OFBhgzmCKIq7AOG8QvOU_dxYhIfX6lq-w8 The’tankettes’, a group of young people from the area, accompanied the carnival procession and performed a choreographed ‘Battle ballet at the site to ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’. The talented choreographer Caroline Sherratt designed the costumes and trained the young people. The costumes were inspired by money boxes from Worl War 1.

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One of the commemorative artworks was The Trench Cafe’. Carnival goers were able to samnple Trench Stew, an authentic recipe from the first world war.

Trench Stew

This recipe is in category Edwardians and WW1,

About this recipe:
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Number of servings: 3 – 4
Serving suggestions: For authenticity, allow to cool and serve with a cup of stewed tea

This recipe is based on the recollections of a soldier from the 9th Bedfordshire Regiment, who served in the trenches during WW1. Getting fresh hot food from the field kitchen to the front lines was impossible when a battle was raging. Soldiers lucky enough to have a small stove, or even candles, would boil up any food including stale biscuits or add these to the canned food provided.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 turnip
  • 2 carrots
  • ½ tin corned beef
  • ¼ stock cube (improves flavour. The canned stews and soups would      have had some flavourings. However we are not sure if this would have been      available in the field kitchens in times of shortages)
  • one or two biscuits (optional)
  • 1 pint of water

 

Making and cooking it

  1. Put the water on to boil
  2. Slice up the turnip and carrot
  3. Add to the boiling water
  4. Add the stock and stir then leave for 10 minutes
  5. Mash up corned beef and add to the mixture
  6. Add the biscuits and stir (optional)

Mark had to recreate army hardtack to make the stew truly authentic.

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My Private Note

Ingredients:

 12 crackers

Units:  US  |  Metric

  • 2 cupswhole wheat flour
  • 2 cupsunbleached white flour
  • 1/2-1 teaspoonsalt
  • 1 1/2 cupswater

Directions:

  1. 1
    Stir together dry ingredients in bowl.
  2. 2
    Add water gradually and stir until combined; knead in bowl for 5 minutes.
  3. 3
    Let rest for 10 minutes.
  4. 4
    Roll out to 1/2 inch thickness on greased baking sheet: score into sections at 3 inch intervals, and prick liberally with a fork.
  5. 5
    Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes, break into pieces along scored lines, and let cool on rack.

 

 

 

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Associate artist Gordon Rogers fabricated a life-size first world war tank, which accompanied the carnival procession and contained a host of pigeons for release at the carnival site.

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The tank (‘old Bill’) was burned at the climax of the carnival, following a themed pyrotechnic display.

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Whilst a local air cadet played the Last Post, The tank burned beneath a poignant fire drawing.

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completed 2011

THE SELBY MEDAL

A commission for Selby Memorial hospital in Yorkshire.

Theme

The design of the sculpture combines a subtle reference to the hospital’s original war memorial status with a nod to the original subscription of one old penny per month fundraising by the people of Selby. The image appears fragmented as one enters the hospital but comes together as a whole when one leaves. This is an allusion to the function of the hospital as a place of healing/repairing.

 

Description

The sculpture consists of three apparently abstract sculptural structures, which when viewed from a single viewpoint, coincide to create the form of a medal featuring the date the hospital opened, 1927 and other text, which has yet to be decided. A LED feature lighting system will highlight the edge of the sculpture at night  There will also be an interpretation panel that will be set into the pavement nearby.

The artwork wikll be fabricated from cold-cast bronze.

 

Below are some images of the life-size mock up of the sculpture, which were constructed to test the illusion. The photographs were taken by associate Lee Valentine, at fabricator Gordon Rogers studio near Glasgow.

 

 

Artist Mark Renn stands inside the artwork

 

 

 

 Installation

The sculpture was installed in early January 2012.

The 3 pieces of col;d-cast bronze had to be manhandled into position before being bolted-down onto the concrete footing

 

The completed artwork viewed from from the hospital entrance.

 

testing the LED system, which gives the sculpture another identity at night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Completed June 2012

Virtual Window

Quenn Elizabeth Hospital Burns Centre