Art in Unusual Spaces

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The Dark Matter Institute by Art in Unusual Spaces as part of Bradford Threadfest from Yvonne Carmichael on Vimeo.

Oastler Market, John Street, Bradford BD1 3JU
11am - 4pm daily. Thursday 15th - Saturday 17th
& Thursday 22nd - Saturday 24th May 2014

As part of this years Bradford Threadfest (a free cross city music festival that takes place in May) Art in Unusual Spaces will create the Dark Matter Institute, a temporary gallery that celebrates ‘the hidden mass of informal creativity that emerges both within and outside of the mainstream; the bleed between the amateur and the professional; work and play; the tensions between making a living and loving what you do; and the social, economic and political conditions that background this.’

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Preview of Threadfest in Leeds List


Thursday 15th May 11am – 4pm
Jean McEwan


We Are Alive Again is a site responsive installation consisting of makeshift dioramas, assemblages, collages, everyday objects, found props and light. This work has evolved from an experimental period of making at the Fabric Arts Lab (Bradford) earlier this year exploring performative and collage processes in working with personal and family archival materials. Jean invites you to 'tamper with the work according to your needs, to perform a story for that moment, or that day.'


Jean McEwan is a Bradford-based artist and organiser working across visual, curatorial, collaborative and socially engaged practices, most often on a grassroots level. Her outputs have included photography, installation, experimental video, and artist books and zines. She has worked nationally and internationally, most recently in Jamestown, NY. She is currently developing a participatory research project exploring the uses and meanings of family photography.


Friday 16th May 11am – 4pm
Looped screening of films by Rachel Maclean (Glasgow), James N Hutchinson (Glasgow) and Louise Adkins (Manchester).

Rachel Maclean

13-minute digital video

Lolcats – inspired by the Internet meme of the same name – explores an amalgam of past and present manifestations of cat worship. Shot entirely against green-screen, the video presents a mutable space, at once a mysterious lost civilisation and a modern day touristic fun park. The narrative centres on a young female protagonist, presenting her in moments of intrigue, fear, metamorphosis and decay. Journeying through this erratic environment she encounters a bejewelled Katy Perry discussing dental hygiene with an aristocratic cat, stumbles upon an army of hostile feline cyborgs and is surgically dissected by a gothic physician. Existing somewhere between the candy-coloured fantasies of ‘Disney Princess’ and the monstrous caricatures of a William Hogarth, Lolcats sits on a discomforting boundary between the sickly sweet and the grotesquely abject.
Commissioned by The Visual Effects Research Lab, Dundee


Rachel Maclean is an artist based in Glasgow. Since graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 2009 Rachel has exhibited across the UK and internationally – including, in 2013, a solo presentation I HEART SCOTLAND at The Edinburgh Printmakers. In 2011 Rachel went on a 6-month residency supported by Creative Scotland to the Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada and recently presented her film Over The Rainbow, a 40-minute videopiece at Collective Gallery, Edinburgh and The Zabludowicz Collection, London. In 2013 she was the recipient of the Margaret Tait Award and was nominated for the Film London Jarman Award. She has upcoming solo shows in 2014 at CCA, Glasgow and Comar Gallery, Mull.

Louise Adkins

5-minute digital video

Hold The Pose is part of an ongoing body of work that focuses on the relationship between live performance and digital media. In this video the actions and dance in a popular music video are translated into textual instructions and directions, exploring how these movements foster alternative narratives.


Louise Adkins practice has grown out of a series of performance, artists film and installation works. Her work focuses on the relationship between live performance and digital media and how new technologies can foster alternative narrative within performance art practice. The appropriation and re enactment of seminal moments in popular culture are an ongoing theme within her performance and film work. Louise Adkins has exhibited widely throughout the UK and Europe and she is the Artist/Curator of "Between" a programme of performance art commissions at Cornerhouse (Manchester, 2012 to date).

James N Hutchinson

20-minute digital video

For over two decades, Mark Landis made hundreds of counterfeit paintings and drawings in the bedroom of his Mississippi home. Dressed as his alter ego - a Jesuit priest named Father Scott - he would turn up at museums unannounced and donate his artworks to their collections, explaining that they were part of his recently deceased mother's estate. This video was made in March 2011, shortly after Landis had been exposed in the press, and shows him demonstrating how he made his objects.


James N Hutchinson was born in Southport in 1976. He has a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Leeds Metropolitan University and an MFA from Glasgow School of Art, where he is currently working on his PhD. In 2006, he co-founded The Salford Restoration Office, a curatorial agency that attempted to navigate and critique the visual art infrastructure of Manchester over a four-year period.

Saturday 17th May 11am – 4pm
Jung Witches, Maho and Fabric Lenny

Installation with Performances at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30

Image courtesy of lofieye

Maho present a series of works and improvised performances resulting from a collaboration with Bradford's 'newest pretentious art noise combo' Jung Witches and Fabric Lenny (he loves to draw!) The project is open-ended and process-led, but may result in some, if not all, of the following: printed matter, projection, cassettes and live improvised performance appropriate for audience involvement. There will be activity throughout the day.


Maho is a newly formed integrated dance company, formed by dancers Chemaine Cooke and Sam Musgrave and specialising in interdisciplinary collaboration. They create work with trained and untrained performers, and artists of Bradford, hoping to inspire others to organise their own creative projects and collectives.


Thursday 22nd May 11am – 4pm
Northern Lines & Javaad Alipoor

Exhibition of photographs with live performances at:
12.30, 1.30, 2.30 and 3.30

This exhibition and series of performances is informed by interviews with traders and customers at Oastler market, backgrounded by the 're-realization' of the market place as public and political space following the Arab Spring. Theatre maker, poet, musician and artistic director of Northern Lines, Javaad Alipoor, asks 'what frustrations, oppressions and dreams animate markets in this country, and how might they explode?'


Northern Lines is a community theatre project that works with some of Bradford’s most deprived communities to make work that is politically committed, emancipatory and that challenges audiences through work with new writing, contemporary practice and a commitment to quality.


Friday 23rd May 11am – 4pm
Polymitas (Martha Jurksaitis & Kathy Alberici)
Super 8 and 16mm films with live accompaniment

Martha Jurksaitis makes wondermental films on Super 8 and 16mm and processes everything by hand, employing alchemical techniques and a passion for material film and the material viewer. A selection of her work will be presented as a showreel (digitally), culminating in a live sonic improvisation with Kathy Alberici accompanying films projected on 16mm.


Polymitas is a collaboration between Martha Jurksaitis and Kathy Alberici, two friends who work together creatively on image and sound. The pieces they create express their interest in being totally present while forming the works, with a focus on a tactile and immersive engagement with our environment and materials. Analogue film and sound play a large part in the films and performances they make.


Saturday 24th May 2014 11am – 4pm
Black Dogs

Exhibition with performances at 2.30pm

Artist collective Black Dogs warm up for their tenth birthday celebrations later in the evening with a taster of material gathered from an open call to past collaborators and artists for responses to the question 'What's Your Favourite Idea?'. Proposed works and actions include: photographs of life-hacking experiments, found objects and sculpture, posters and trophies. At 2.30pm there will be a how to make your own booze masterclass with Eva Rowson, a show and tell presentation by James N Hutchinson and a performance by everyone's favourite primitivist rock and/or roll duo The Bongoleeroes. 


Black Dogs is an art collective formed in 2003 in Leeds. Our output has included formal exhibitions, relational and participatory installations, public events and interventions, publications, video, audio works and records and collaborative learning projects. The membership of the group is notionally fluid and can vary on a project-to-project basis, although in practice we have a fairly consistent core of fourteen members currently living and working between Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, London and Milton Keynes.


Associated Event: At The Sparrow Bier Cafe and John Street
From Monday 12th May - Saturday 24th May
Matthew The Horse

Exhibition and Window Display

Matthew The Horse presents an exhibition of prints and illustrations appropriating 1980's protest aesthetics to explore themes of idealism, city living and growing up with a dash of consumer guilt.


Matthew the Horse is an illustrator, graphic artist, poet, educator and idiot whose client list includes The Guardian, The New York Times and The Economist. He has exhibited his artwork internationally, including Somerset House London, Northern Design Festival and Nobrow Books.

Matthew works with calligraphic pens, water colours, a computer and his hands. His image making is dictated by confident line work that aims to be both graphic and naive. Matthew intends for his work to be playful, jolly and uninhibited, whilst still referencing the complexities of the human condition.