Sunday, 10 March 2013

Day 2: Shining a spotlight on art at Threshold

Day 2 and I decided to check out the visual art at Threshold.  Featuring some of the most interesting pieces I've seen in a long time, the Threshold Festival has excelled itself in its choice of artists this year. Make sure you check the out while you're down there. Here are my personal highlights.

Imagination Itself by Pamela Sullivan and The View Above by Janet Wilkinson

"The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.” William Blake

Inspired by William Blake, Pamela Sullivan has taken that most prosaic of objects - the cardboard box - and created a magical corridor of trees in Camp and Furnace's stark white space. Intertwined in the branches are Janet Wilkinson's hand printed leaves.

Completing the cycle of tree, to cardboard, back to tree again, Pamela has made this piece from found and recycled materials and the result is an unusual and unique work. 

The Waterproof Sleuth and The Blustery Day by Matt Seamless

The biggest talking point of the Threshold's art pieces is Matt Seamless's display of pictures taken of the carcasses of blown and thrown umbrellas   With each one linked to a map of Liverpool city centre, every single picture tells its own unique story.

Following a storm in November 2012, Matt took to the streets to document the carnage left behind in the form of umbrellas. Matt first collected pictures of abandoned umbrellas in 2011 and he says 
""What developed was a strange fascination in the macabre beauty of the subject within each unique scene. An image of the owner, the perpetrator in this visual account of abandonment, can be developed from the evidence of the subjects appearance, location and placement thus posing further questions about the reasons for this partnership in the first instance and why it was so necessary or easy to break. Would the type and style be defining factors, or convenience? Necessity or preference; time or money; impact or obfuscation. There is less of a bond created than there was in the past and the notion of fixing one when it breaks is unheard. They break often as they have become increasingly cheap to build. Cheap to replace. Cheap to waste."
The resulting piece is both beautiful and haunting. One picture of two black umbrellas entangled in a gutter, completely alone, was like looking at a tragic love story. Every picture has its own story to tell and every person who views it will have their own version of what that story is.  A delightful and thought-provoking exhibit.
Photograph by Michael Kirkham

Loci (Double Bind) by Robyn Woolston

Liverpool Art Prize 2012 winner Robyn Woolston has created this piece specifically for Threshold 2013.  Constructed from recycled materials such as silver birch trees, plastic forks and gift cards, this work embodies "tension, repetition and release".  A must-see.

Photograph by Michael Kirkham

Jazamin Sinclair

In a small room upstairs at Camp and Furnace, Jazamin Sinclair has created a reflection of a dystopian, 1984-esque society using Instagram pictures of the world around us. A world where we're told what to do and what not to do; where we can go and where we can't. Well worth a viewing.

Photographs by Michael Kirkham
Check out Jazamin's pictures on Instagram at

And one final thing...

This from Disquiet and Surrender at Arena Studios & Gallery by Anna Ketskenety and Vicki Lucas Le Bon. One of the most disturbing film images ever. Did you spot it? 

Words by Andrea McGuire

Threshold Festival Past...