Meanwhile Spaces

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Meanwhile Spaces are those unloved and vacant plots of land we see on the outskirts of all cities that fall between the cracks of ownership and use.

Often owned by private developers or local councils, these spaces are deemed unsuitable for development. They often become physical blights on the communities that surround them, perpetuating issues such fly tipping and other anti-social behaviours.

As a means of addressing this issue within the areas that surround Edge Hill in Liverpool, Metal supported by a panel of local residents, invited artists to help us rethink the potential of these spaces.

Over the course of 2016 Metal worked with artists Marcus Coates, Neville Gabie, Cristina Lina and local residents to activate one of these ‘meanwhile spaces’ – an anonymous plot of green land adjacent to Wellington Road in Picton ward, Liverpool.

The artists began by digging a hole on the green. Curious residents asked questions about their presence, which in turn led to shared conversations about the local area.  After spending time on the green it became clear that this public space had a largely negative characterisation – from the hostile, prohibitive and regulatory street signs to make shift security fences filled with broken glass.

Over two weekends in July the artists invited local residents to come onto the green and take part in shared meals, games and sign-making. This led to a public vote to ‘NAME YOUR GREEN!’, including entries such as; Joy, Seven Planets Park and The Wellin’. The activity ended in a Naming Ceremony and a permanent street sign was installed with the winning name: Welly Green.

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Artists Bios:- 

Marcus Coates – http://www.katemacgarry.com/artists/marcus-coates  

Marcus Coates is a contemporary artist living in London. He is recognised for his performances and installations that employ shamanistic rituals and contrast natural and manmade making processes. In 2013 he was shortlisted for the Fourth plinth, Trafalgar Square artwork (2015/16).

Cristina Lina – http://cristinalina.com  

Cristina Lina has a background in graffiti and mural painting and continues to work with this format as well as experimenting with quilt making (something she describes as ‘the opposite of spray-painting’) ceramics, performance, print and installation. Her work is explicitly fun, yet at the same time she hopes disarming, creating a certain chaos through the possibilities that emerge from the people involved.

Neville Gabie - http://www.nevillegabie.com  

With a background in sculpture, Neville Gabie’s work has always been driven by a response to specific locations or situations caught in a moment of change. Highly urbanized or distantly remote, his work is a response to the vulnerability of place. Gabie’s interest is in establishing a working relationship within a particular community as a means of considering its physical, cultural or emotional geography.

 

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