Heather & Ivan Morison - The Long Afternoon of Earth

Papercrete and trees. Meadow Arts commission 2017-18 with the Hive and the University of Worcester. Photo Stefan Handy.

Heather & Ivan Morison - The Long Afternoon of Earth

Papercrete and trees. Meadow Arts commission 2017-18 with the Hive and the University of Worcester. Photo Stefan Handy.

Heather & Ivan Morison - The Long Afternoon of Earth

Papercrete and trees. Meadow Arts commission 2017-18 with the Hive and the University of Worcester. Photo by the artists.

Heather & Ivan Morison - The Long Afternoon of Earth

Papercrete and trees. Meadow Arts commission 2017-18 with the Hive and the University of Worcester. Photo by the artists.

Heather & Ivan Morison - The Long Afternoon of Earth

1 Feb - 1 Jul 2018

“As the rain continued the moisture inevitably found a way inside. The books soon became damp, then spongy, and finally collapsed into mulch. The spores, until now dormant and hidden within the pages themselves, began to flourish in these new conditions. The spores grew, sending out limbs and leaves. Their roots pushed through the pulp, drawing it together, forming it into the intricate folds of a complex geometry. As the buildings of the old world fell away, a new architecture and its parasitic builders rose up in its place.”

Event: artist's talk 24 April 2018 - click here for more

Heather and Ivan Morison have been artists in residence at The Hive and the University of Worcester throughout 2017. They have created a series of sculptural works that respond to the consumption of knowledge and the wealth of information held in The Hive.

The Hive was the first library in Europe to house both a university book collection and a public lending library, and the artists have been using this fascinating intersection between academia and civic life to develop this new work for 2018. They have met the staff, students, users and groups that frequent this vibrant and busy library, and looked at what the people of Worcester read. They have opened their process up to the Fine Art students of University of Worcester, who followed and participated in this live project, gaining a unique experience and insight into how an artist works.

“I have spent the last year at The Hive in open research with the library, the staff, the readers and the books. I have met the archaeologists, librarians, archivists, researchers and engineers that work in the library. I have observed students study for midwifery exams, young people watch YouTube videos of skate tricks, people investigating their family history, a young homeless person asleep in a corner and listened to many parents and grandparents voices fill the central void with songs during rhyme time. This is the life of a library.

I have read some of the books and only skimmed others. I kept People and Places, by Su Braden, close by, as it supported me in the rich and challenging task of working outside of the gallery space. With every visit, I have shared my thoughts and process with the students of the BA (Hons) Fine Art course at the University of Worcester and discussed the role of the library in their lives and work. They have visited me at our studio and will continue to be involved in the talks and the care of the work.

There is much life in our libraries, and The Hive serves many people. I have thought a lot about what an artist could bring to this abundant place and cycled through many potential works and ideas. I have chopped and changed and finally decided to conceive a work that is both made of the library and brings warmth to the library. Reading is not just about what we read, it is also about the comfy chair, the soft but good lighting, the countryside rushing past on a train, the sun warming your legs on the beach, the earl grey in your favourite cup, the baby asleep on your chest. We have tried to capture a little of that in the commission for The Hive.

Made of recycled books and natural pigments The Long Afternoon of Earth is twelve vessel/objects that ask you to stop, settle, read. Accompanying the reader, the student, the researcher, the visitor and the luncher, the works speak of Burmese cats purring on a knee while reading, a roaring fire that invites you to settle with a travel book, a houseplant sitting in a stand next to your favourite reading spot. Twelve of these objects/vessels are placed around The Hive, each with a tree growing in them creating a dozen discreet spaces or settings. Sit here, they say, next to the art and read, study, lunch, or snooze, and feel at home, feel warmth.”

Heather Morison, 2018

 

Artists

Pieces/Installations

Venue

The Hive
Sawmill Walk
The Butts
Worcester
Worcestershire
WR1 3PD
01905 822866
hiveadminteam@worcestershire.gov.uk
http://www.thehiveworcester.org/