No Vacancy at Wolstenholme Creative Space

A second exhibition from Young Pines, imagining a natural disaster in Liverpool, proves the Mercy interns are no flash-in-the-pan…

Tomorrow sees the second artistic project come to fruition from the arts and literature collective Young Pines. Forming under the umbrella of arts agency Mercy’s first internship programme, the collective have set a precedent for imaginative and ambitious projects. This multidisciplinary exhibition No Vacancy, based on the poetry of Greg Gibson, imagines a Liverpool ruined by a hurricane; survivors gathering in one crowded hotel, with different characters and scenes playing out in different rooms. Each poem influences the theme and artwork within each room, in the dilapidated Georgian splendour of Wolstenholme Creative Space.

Featuring a variety of media, including screen-printed typography posters, hotel-inspired wallpaper prints and illustration, a peep show, animation, installation, audio and a billboard, from three of the Young Pines, Will Daw, Christine Gore and Thom Isom. Tomorrow night also features an especially commissioned performance by Liverpool based spoken word artist Mark Greenwood and musician Jon Davies, to be recorded live on the night.

The aim, Young Pines say, is to give visitors (or hotel guests, whichever way you like to think of it) a different insight into poetry. The derelict atmosphere at WCS was the perfect backdrop, Christine elaborates: “One room is about religion, and we went upstairs into the WCS studios and there were church pews everywhere, and we were like, what?! This is just like a church! This is weird, it couldn’t be better.”

The ‘religion room’ referred to features a fanatical Bus Driver character, as imagined by Greg. “The theme explored in this particular room touches on how people will take advantage of certain situations. This guy has created his own religion, and has this group of people that will do as he says…the whole project covers what happens to your humanity in a situation like this, and is human nature essentially a good or bad thing. Here it’s mostly bad in these poems.”

Thom continued: “Its all pretty dark. Greg’s writing really creates a tense atmosphere in every poem. There is humour, but overall it’s trying to create this story. Especially with the performances by Jon and Mark.”

Other, early, influences for the project came from hedge mazes, having to find your own way to the centre, and ‘write your own ending books’ (remember them?). “We want people to say this is what happened, and for someone else to have their own story and come up with different ending.”

We are most looking forward to the animation by Will Daw, and a mysterious  installation piece that paints a tense scene between two characters. The whole undertaking sounds ambitious, intelligent and full of black humour and pathos. Thom sums it up: “the project has given me the itch to work with writers in the future; you get completely unique, off the wall ideas, that you wouldn’t get from anywhere else.”

Limited edition publication to follow which will be sold in the The Double Negative shop

Private view Thursday 15th March, 6-9pm

Exhibition continues Friday 16th march – Sunday 25th March, opening times Thursday – Sunday 12 – 4pm

Posted on 14/03/2012 by thedoublenegative