Concrete Canvas

“An exhibition with a difference – it involves you and takes place outside of the gallery! “

So says, Exhibition Officer Laura Mabbutt speaking about ‘Concrete Canvas’ an exhibition focusing on urban craft and design.

Taking inspiration from the ever increasing international popularity of Urban, Street and Guerilla art, this exhibition aims to bring colour, social interaction and life to the streets of Sleaford, in Lincolnshire. Site specific artworks by selected artists will pop up throughout the town during the course of the show making us look twice at our immediate surroundings and everyday routines.

Just some of the highlights will include the typography art of international artist Anna Garforth; the dynamic contrast of cement and textiles by Bethany Walker and Anna Collette-Hunt’s swarm of ceramic insects which are abandoning their current occupation of Nottingham Castle and buzzing and fluttering their way to Sleaford.

Anna Garforth works with a diverse range of materials and skills to create unique and experimental work. With a strong background in design and illustration, her nifty fingers work moss into beautiful lettering, cookie dough into edible posters and rubbish into typographic wonder. Her artworks have been used for public events, community projects, workshops, campaigns, publications and exhibitions both nationally and internationally so it is particularly pleasing that she is happy to work with Concrete Canvas in Sleaford.

Recent First Class Honours graduate Bethany Walker uses knitted and embroidered threads and fibres combined with concrete and cement to create slabs which are incorporated into walls to creating a fascinating image of our often overlooked surroundings and upgrading concrete from utility to fashionable status. 

Anna Collette-Hunt’s witty and quirky swarm of ceramic insects is inspired by the collection of Entomology in the Natural History collection at Wollaton Hall, Nottingham.  Visitors to Sleaford will be encouraged to pick up a “bug jar” from The National Centre, search out the insects and bring them back to the gallery.

There has been a lot of interest lately in yarn bombing – the type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn rather than paint or chalk. And this is how you can get involved.  A workshop “Knit the Streets” will take place on Saturday 12 May where you can work with colourful yarn to knit woolly creations or “Keep Calm and Carry Yarn” on Saturday 9 June and join in with a day of workshops, specialist craft stalls and outdoor knitting and crochet master classes.

All the artworks and activities will be captured and documented within an e-book and exhibition staff from The National Centre for Craft & Design will be asking people to make sound recordings, videos, take photos and rubbings of interventions found around the town in order to create an electronic experience of this unusual show. Our Concrete Canvas Caravan will be somewhere in Sleaford Town Centre on Saturday 23 June from 10am - 4pm.  Pop in and help us capture and document your experience of this unusual show.

Follow the progress of this project and upload your own contributions to the Concrete Canvas Facebook page:


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