Monday, 13 September 2010

Castleford Exhibition Update

It is important to realise that the Free Univ***** of Castleford on Aire will only move forward if people come to events. The problem of having a free university is the deep seated belief that if a thing is free it is worthless. This is not the case but it gets proven if no one comes in support of the programme.


In week one the main area of concentration was painting, craftwork this week, although the there are some painting and craft sessions we have a book publication, a poetry recital and several creative writing seesion.

Friday is a key day for writing but we are also with a major workshop making bee houses on Saturday 10.15 at Bridge Arts. There is a lot of interest in this workshop.


Outreach workshop for writers and painters
Led by Rosie Gilligan and Liz Salter
Friday 17 September at 10-30am to 3.00pm
Maximum Number 16
Book places before hand. Adults over 16years

The Washing Place by Rosie Gilligan and a Life with Poetry Adam Ghodiwala
Book Launch and poetry recital
Friday 17 September at 6.30pm
Lee Gascoyne – The Exhibition
The Washing Place – A rehearsed reading Rosie Gilligan and Liz Salters
Guest poet – Siamak Foroutan introduced by Brian Lewis
A Life with Poetry Adam Ghodiwala introduced by Brian Lewis
All welcome. Books on Sale in Bohemian Books, Sagar Street

New Approahes To Self Publishing
Led by Bridget Kenningham and Brian Lewis
Friday 17 September 1.30 pm to 3.30am

Book of the Exhibition

Rachel Knowles is still collecting artist's statements for the Book which is produced by the Rivers Movement about the art works, created through out the six weeks.

Mrs Pyrah - A Castleford School Teacher

Wednesday 15 September 6.30 - 8.30pm Reunion of people who knew Mrs Pyrah and a showing of the film made about her school - Brian Lewis, Alison Drake and David Wilders
Tuesday 5 October Outreach session for writers and painters. A day walking along the river and experimenting with different drawing techniques and discussing the teaching practises of Mrs Pryah - Led by Brian Lewis
Thursday 14 October Book in an evening – Memories of a controversial school teacher Professor Mary King, David Wilders and Brian Lewis
Curator – Brian Lewis



David Wilders: River Aire - From its Source to Castleford

Poem by David Wilders

Malham Tarn, North Craven Fault, Aire Head Springs

The storm, the might, the rain
The deluge, the sodden, the saturation

The overspill, the energy, the flow, the movement, the descent, the rivulet, the brook, the creek
The birth, the source, the origin

The erosion, the gnawing, the earth, the sand, the loam, the gravel

The movement, the direction, the cutting
The raging, the meandering, the twisting

The by-pass, the oxbow, the flora, the fauna
The quickening, the widening, the banks
The scraping, the valley

The hue, the colour, the debris
The slowing, the deposits, the silts
The clays, the alluvium
The sediment, the planes, the flood, the Ings

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Update on the First Week of the "Free Univ*** of Castleford"

This is a brief up date on the first week of the Free Univ****** of Castleford on Aire

The opening was a spectacular success. We think that +70 people attended and by the end of the evening 50 were committed to sending in original works of art for the 70 Reasons exhibition. We have now 20 framed or on the walls and 40 promised by the deadline 1 October. Lee and David painted for three days and created (and recorded) two very original canvases. The first print workshop was full (Wednesday)and two books of prints have already been begun.

Initiatives are taken up and because there is no very obvious major censorship structure works of great originality appear within a day. It took Rachel Knowles a about six hours to compile and print in colour on a variety of printers the book of artist's statements which was distributed at the First Exhibition launch. This proto book will be developed in the next six weeks by an extended team.

All through the week we have seen people coming forward with interesting ideas. A very beautiful hanging is being made by Janice and Ann Rounds and a group of local women. This will stretch the length of the gallery. This work is a wonderful example of the Univ****** being joined by an existing group of local people. The support we have received from John Cowan the picture framer and Amanda Williams from next door (Bookings and Publishing) has been more than helpful. Thanks also have to go to the Castleford Heritage team May R, Lorna Malkin, Alison Drake and the rest of the Heritage board.

In the window we have a Bust of Barbara Hepworth by the Castleford ceramicist John Hawkins and this is attracting a lot of attention. Several paintings have already been sold. Hopefully Harry Malkin's Castleford Lasses will be bought by the Council/ At £5000 it is a snip.

Bob Clayden is anxious to point out that the Bee Homes are not simple boxes but art works which will be buried on the other side of the river, The initial session where we experimented with several types of clay produced very interesting prototypes. Next Saturday more people have promised to attend but there are places.

Today (Saturday) we received an offer from a published Iranian poet to read his poems in praise of the earth. We expect to extend the creative writing programme in the next couple of weeks as the publishing information programme takes shape.

If our budget is £350 we are creating a quality exhibition for 100,000th of the cost of building the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield. Not bad. Our success is a product of our knowledge of local networks, our use of local people and our avoidance of committees.


Brian Lewis (Pontefract Press) and Amanda Williams (Bohemian Books- Sagar Street, Castleford ,01977 556741)