Art Market

Mark Gubb I Carolyn Morton I Cath Tarbuck I Helen Street I Rob Irving

Outdoor Markets in the Black Country, 2003

Art Market took place in 5 Black Country markets over a three week period. Five artists were commissioned animate a specially designed market stall. Each of the projects set out to involve and engaged shoppers, passers-by and market traders in low-key activities.

Art Market was delivered over a three week period (5 – 23 Aug 03) in Sandwell Markets: Tuesdays at Tipton Market ; Wednesdays at Great Bridge ; Thursdays at West Brom Market; Fridays at Oldbury Market and Saturdays at Wednesbury Market. This stage will involve animating a market stall through a range of activities, including: selling merchanidising made by the design team and artists; chatting and exchanging information/ideas about The Public building and our arts Programme and a series of low-key artist commissions/residencies in each of the markets.

Five artists were commissioned for the ‘Art Market’ project - given a brief to “Develop and deliver a site-specific intervention for a market in Sandwell that involves and engages shoppers, passers-by and market traders”.

Helen Street, Tipton Market
Helen created a ‘front room’ where people can come in sit and chat about their experiences of the market and life in the Tipton area. A series of large luminous price stars created a Hollywood boulevard ‘paving’ which will link the disparate stalls together. The stars had the name of the person and their handprints. The stars were created throughout the day, starting with the traders and incorporating market customers.

Carolyn Morton and Cath Tarbuck, Great Bridge Market
Carolyn and Cath used the simple activity of ‘home pickling’ as the starting point for a range of activities that people can either watch or participate in.

Dressed in food preparation work-wear, with caps and hairnets, they wpresented a pickling performance in which they prepare and create pickles from vegetables that have been bought from the market. The performance involved demonstrating the extraordinary phenomena of how electricity can be generated from a pickled gherkin.

They collectined pickling recipes from traders and shoppers that formed the basis of a recipe book. In exchange for a recipe or a pickling fact people were given a pickling kit that will include a personalised spice mix and a customised label for their jar.

Rob Irving, Oldbury Market
Rob made Sun Prints using light sensitive chemicals on paper. The process works by placing objects on the light sensitive paper and simply exposing the paper to daylight. The paper that has been exposed to sunlight deepens in colour to Prussian blue and by arranging objects and varying the exposure times amazing images and patterns can be created.

People worked with Rob to make their own personal print that they took away with them.

Mark Gubb, West Bromwich Market
Mark Gubb used three approaches to engage people during his residency.

The first strand involved displaying postcards that people have sent to The Public from all over the country. People have been invited by Mark to send a touristy postcard from their hometown and on the back they are asked to write what they know/what their perceptions are of West Bromwich. The exhibition of postcards was displyed on a revolving stand and will offer people an outsider’s perspective on the area.

Continuing with the postcard idea he invited shoppers and stallholders to write, on a postcard, the whereabouts of their favourite pub. As well as this, they were asked to write an anecdote connected to this pub or why it is their favourite pub. Taking these postcards he photographed the pubs and marry up the photos with the relevant postcard, creating a collection of pub postcards with anecdotes.

He also invited shoppers and stallholders at the market to tell him about their favourite song/album/band. He will then hunt around second hand record stores, markets, and car boot fairs in the West Bromwich area to try and find this music. As well as creating an archive of the favoured sounds of West Bromwich, he will made a ‘bootleg’ compilation tape of this music.