Wait ‘til it Settles

Sooo… I **think** I’ve got myself a plan, or at least the basis of a plan for my Jam Factory installation – pen to paper…

Sarah Mayhew Craddock’s art practice is largely concerned with the psychology of space, the way in which people move around space, consciously or otherwise, and interact and engage with their environment. She is interested in pathways, the decision-making process, motivation, levels of engagement, and perception.

Sarah became intrigued by canals, and the history of the canal network when she moved to Birmingham in 2005. Venturing down the Grand Union and along The Oxford Canal Sarah moved to Oxford in 2008 and became enthralled by Oxford’s hidden secrets, notably, Oxford’s canal basin, now buried beneath the Worcester Street car park.

Frequently drawing on adages or aphorisms when entitling her works she reinforces the sense of familiarity, or lack of, between viewer and experience. Wait ‘til it Settles is an installation inspired by the dark layers of mystery that Sarah identifies in the quietude of canals.

Captivated by the idea that charged personal histories build up idiosyncratic languages that are mostly hidden from view, buried in the sediment that lies beneath the slow flowing surface water, Sarah has ‘bottled’ unsettled waters for public examination, as if presenting a science experiment, in the making of Wait ‘til it Settles. In doing so, she highlights the layers of history that make up The Oxford Canal, once one of the UK’s most important arteries of trade, and draws parallels between the canal and the viewers’ own personal histories.

… now to go and collect some unsettled canal waters, whilst they’re churned up and murky!

Caroline Maas

This etching is by the rather brilliant (in my opinion) Caroline Maas. I’m looking forwards to meeting her after having admired her work for so long! She’s exhibiting as part of this exhibition too – see below…

p.s. Other exhibiting artists included in this group show, Inspired by the canal, curated by Esther Lafferty (Director of Oxfordshire Artweeks), and organised in association with Oxfordshire Artweeks and the Oxford Canal Heritage Project include: Caroline MaasValerie PettsKatherine Shock, Michele Field, and a mystery photographer (TBC I think)! We’re an eclectic bunch, and apparently that was a conscious decision on Esther’s part as she hopes to encompass the various ways in which Oxfordshire Artweeks artists respond to the same subject, in turn making the month long festival the rich tapestry that it has become so famous for. The exhibition will take place at The Jam Factory, Oxford between the 31st March and 28th April 2014.