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The General Public

Bringing together four Swansea residents, whose lives are connected through working at Amazon’s nearby enormous warehouse, UHC employed state-of-the-art 3D scanners and laser-cut cardboard packaging to engineer portraits of local people on a suitably monumental scale. Sitting in the plinth–like architecture of Swansea bus station, the heads take on the role of overlookers, silently observing people as they come and go from the station.

The General Public was commissioned alongside five other new works (including work by Jeremy Deller and Bob & Roberta Smith) as part of Art Across The City and the Swansea centenary celebrations of its most celebrated poet and author, Dylan Thomas.

Made from over a tonne of cardboard, the piece was accompanied by four micro-stories by writer Niall Griffiths whose words added a fictional voice to the giant silent heads.

The General Public, Swansea City Bus Station 12th April – 1st June 2014.

Commissioned by LOCWS International


 
 
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Bentley Birdhouses

The Bentley Birdhouses are 10 wooden totems, engraved with a mixture of typographical treatments and topped off with roof-like bird box hats. This unique piece of permanent public art was designed in direct response to a brief written by residents of Bentley House in Hulme, Manchester.

Using laser-cut and etched type, the pole of each birdhouse is engraved with text in a type font, chosen to reflect a different period in Bentley House history. Local residents contributed to the content of the text and chose the historical events themselves. UHC also ran workshops in the community to turn their recycled drinks cans into roof shingles.


 
 
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Clearing

Clearing was a new work presented by UHC as part of Abandon Normal Devices 2012, an energetic regional festival of new cinema, digital culture and art.

A glittering circular chandelier constructed from multiple LED scrolling signs displayed two sets of data collected by the artists on the first day of UCAS clearing.

The data was made up of a complete alphabetical list of all the available places on art and design related courses in the UK, interspersed with the up-to-date fluctuating international stock price of a familiar commodity; Arabica coffee beans.

Installation visitors were served free espresso coffees by volunteer art or design graduates, currently seeking paid work.

Discussion was invited on their own practice, their personal experience of higher education and their hopes for the future.

Commissioned by Abandon Normal Devices


 
 
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The Howgill Guardian

The Howgill Guardian was the result of UHC’s artist development programme with the Howgill Family Centre.

Six months of mentoring, collaboration and experimental activity led to the creation of a piece of contemporary craft made from recycled and sustainable materials.

The artefact, rooted in the community in which it was created, is a cabinet of the most glorious curiosities and a repository for aspirations and dreams.

Hand-crafted from reclaimed wood, the bespoke cabinet rotates through a full 360 degrees to enable the viewer to embark upon their own intimate journey.

The development and showcasing of the work formed the centrepiece of a series of community interventions in the small town of Cleator Moor. This included workshops and residencies at local schools and shops, and a two-hour festival in the town square.

The project engaged with more than half of all local residents and informed the refocusing of the Howgill Art team toward delivering contemporary engaged practice alongside therapeutic interventions.

The Howgill Guardian exemplifies a collaborative approach to engaged practice that runs alongside the creation of a bespoke work of unique contemporary craft

The most exquisite piece of art that I have ever seen resulting from a public arts engagement project.
External Evaluator for Local Authority and Arts Council England


 
 
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Tin Town

In February 2013 UHC collaborated with the National Trust, creating a new project inviting the people of Manchester to fall in love with all things shiny and journey into the city’s industrial past through the medium of tin foil. 

Taking the historic silverware collections of Dunham Massey as their starting point, UHC artists and volunteers created an exquisite new body of work; a collection of over fifty items of domestic ‘silverware’ made entirely from domestic aluminium foil.

This remarkable undertaking brought to life the story behind ‘shiny things’ in celebration of those artisans whose lives are rarely explored. It is a reflection on the value of labour, our industrial and urban heritage, class identity, and pricelessness.

The installed work provided an excellent yet rare opportunity to see inside Upper Campfield Market. The market is one of Manchester’s historic architectural gems, located conveniently next to the Museum of Science and Industry.

Coinciding with the half term holiday, UHC ran art workshops and a treasure hunt, which was attended by hundreds of participants of all ages. Its popularity led to the Tin Town project being featured on CBBC’s Blue Peter programme.

In partnership with the National Trust