SOUTH WALNEY brick & tile c0.
A.I.R. with ART GENE, BARROW IN FURNESS, 2016
Standing on salt marsh, Walney Island, barrow - in - Furness
Developed during Artist Residency on South Walney Nature Reserve, Barrow in Furness (with Art Gene.)
South Walney Nature Reserve like many parts of Walney island (and in fact Britain) bares considerable evidence of its former industries. The reserve itself particularly altered by gravel extraction and salt works, leaving deep visible craters and the hint of small freight rail lines.
Although there were clay pits across the length of Walney (the bricks that were used to build Vickerstown are likely to have originated from this clay), the South Walney Brick & Tile Co. is itself a fiction. Collecting up tiny pieces of the marsh and mud which are presently washing into the Irish sea at an alarming and unsustainable rate, I undertook firing and pit kiln experiments with this raw material to
interpret the geology of the island and address its threat of erosion - perhaps even enabling strategies for its protection. (It is estimated than in the next few years, without intervention, South Walney Nature reserve will become its own island).
Firing this clay created a fragile archive of the habitat that is presently being lost. The bricks are marked with the names of some of the species that depend on this specific habitat.
The bricks themselves form part of a unique collection of curiosities curated and displayed inside new interpretation hides for South Walney Nature Reserve.
Sample collection of prototype bricks featuring ‘Glasswort, Henbane, Redshank, and Wainspot’
‘Stuff’ Recent Works, Art Gene, Barrow in Furness, (2016)
Interior of; 'Art Gene Razzle Dazzle Hides, Braithwaite & Tinbergen,' for Cumbria Wildlife Trust, South Walney Nature Reserve, Barrow - in - Furness. Art Gene Design and Production team: Hannah Brackston, Charlie Mackeith, Stuart Bastik, Maddi Nicholson.