Raw Materials: Plastics Resident Makers' Brief
Bow Arts is looking for makers / designers / artists for two residencies that will form an integral part of the Heritage Lottery Funded project Raw Materials: Plastics. The residencies are research-based to the aim of making new work for the end of project exhibition. This is an exciting opportunity for a maker to further engage with heritage in their practice, as well further explore the material of plastic. The residency provides both a development and exhibition opportunity – to the aim of producing a physical response to heritage that will be exhibited alongside archival objects in the Raw Materials: Plastics exhibition (spring 2019).
Raw Materials: Plastics will explore the industrial heritage of plastics in the River Lea Valley, east London. It will be the third phase of the Raw Materials project, which has previously focussed on Wood and Textiles, culminating in an exhibition in the Nunnery Gallery from May-July 2019. Following on from the previous projects' success, Raw Materials: Plastics will explore the invention of the first celluloid plastic in Hackney Wick – parkesine – and follow the evolution of this life-changing material into Xylonite and Halex in the specific geographical area of the Lower Lea Valley, local to the Nunnery Gallery and Bow Arts' studio sites.
Research will be conducted through archive and museum collections, on-site visits and exploration, led by an active volunteer steering group and supported by local project partners. The residencies will provide a contemporary response to the heritage of plastics, to the aim of engaging new audiences and highlighting plastic's east London heritage, as well as the need for this material's evolution for its sustainable future. Supported by University College London (UCL) and access to its Institute of Making, the residencies will be supported in exploring the future of plastics, such as plastic recycling and bio-plastics.