Space Makers: March 2012

2011 // 2012 // 2013
Kettle's Yard, Cambridge


What is Space Makers?

The Space Makers Project follows the building process of the new Education Wing at Kettle's Yard, Cambridge. Over a two year period, Kettle's Yard are working with one primary school, St Mary's St Neots, one secondary school group, Comberton Village College, two artists - Raksha Patel and Jo Chapman -, Shape East and project evaluators Flow Associates. The project will see the artists work to creatively develop the knowledge and skills of the young people in the fields of architecture and the built environment. Different built environment professionals will be involved in every other session, to support the artists and provide their professional expertise. Guests will be provided by Shape East.

Session with St Mary's Primary School, St Neots: March 2012

Between January's and March's SpaceMakers sessions, artist Jo Chapman and St Mary's Primary School group were extremely busy constructing and decorating in the style of Kettle's Yard exhibition artist Bridget Riley, a new shed gallery space now installed in the school. The shed is beatifully designed by the pupils and will now be used to showcase all of the work which they are producing form this project and beyond. Taking inspiration from Kettle's Yard and the porject, the pupil's will be in charge of curator and touring others through this changing exhibition space. What an amazing construction!

In March's session, Alison Dickens, Cambridge University archaeologist took the pupils back in time to explore the local area around Kettle's yard and look at what remains can be found below buildings during the demolition and construction process.

This month, we have been amazed at the built environment skills which this Primary School group is fast aquiring; they have been discussing 2D to 3D sketching, elevations, sections and now excavations. We are looking forward to seeing how this class of budding built environment professionals will develop their skills more over the coming year!

Session with Comberton Village College: March 2012

This month, the Comberton BTEC Art and Design pupils met with architect Mark Foley to delve into the world of demolition and deconstruction, led by artist Raksha Patel.

They discovered how buildings are demolished and the emotive response felt by those experiencing the sight of a demolished building as well as the demolishers. These were linked to artists such as Gordon Matta-Clark (Anarchitecture), Do Huh So and Mike Nelson

Video clips of 1960’s tower blocks being demolished in the 70’s and 80’s introduced the young people to the awe surrounding the act of demolition leading to the impact that the footage of the Twin Towers made on the world. The pupils led their own deconstruction session, tearing, scrunching, cutting, taping, reforming, drawing and re-assembling. They created sculpture, which others destroyed and recreated to explore issues of transformation, fragmentation and meaning.

We have been amazed by this group's ability to grasp the practical built environment issues and the contrast between this and the more abstract artistic and theoretical associations with processes of planning, demolition and construction. By the end of this project, we feel the students may need to run a session on this for the built environment professionals in the area!

Further Information:

Kettle's Yard Development Information:

Jo Chapman Artist:

Raksha Patel Artist:

St Mary's Primary School, St Neots:

Project Evaluators:

Heritage Lottery Fund Website:

Guest Contributers:

Alison Dickens:

Mark Foley:

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