Monday, 24 May 2010

Armley Site Visit

So today I took a walk into Armley centre to have a gander at Town Street, the proposed location of the finished hippo commissions. I don't really know how to describe this in a diplomatic way.. but I was genuinely scared.

The area is pretty run-down, a lot of the shops and pubs are boarded up and the people seem quite aggressive - I know it's wrong to generalise a whole community like that but, like I said, I was genuinely scared. I sat down on a bench for 5 minutes tops, and in that short time I was harassed by two homeless people, kicked in the shins by the small child of what can only be described as some sort of eastern-European mafia henchman, and 4 separate suspect characters came and scrabbled through all 3 phone booths in the hope of a forgotten coin.

I took some pictures but they're not very good - I didn't want to attract attention to myself through persistent photo taking; I didn't want strangers to think I was taking candid photos of them and subsequently kill me, and I also didn't want to seem like a tourist (or worse, an art student) and give people an excuse to mug me. Discretion, apparently, does not warrant the most helpful of photographs..

Two items of note amongst this incredibly monochromatic landscape were the picturesque little library building at the very top of the street, and also a little mural of a compass containing map of Armley set in concrete on the ground at about the half way point.

Something that became very evident as I scaled the pavements, was the fact that there is little to no excess floor space.. Since I have been toying with the idea of creating a sculptural piece, as opposed to something for a window or wall, I sense this will be problematic. I've emailed Jane with a few questions and hopefully she'll clear things up. If I am going to produce a piece to stand alone in the street there is also the small matter of bolting it down so that it doesn't get stolen, because believe me, it WILL be stolen.

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