Sunday, 7 October 2012

A new venture: memories of caves

Sidelong are planning a new venture. We are collecting people's stories and memories about the many caves in Nottingham, with a view to developing a project. If you have a story, please contact us - you can comment on this blog, or contact us via our Facebook page. And keep following for more updates as the project develops.

That's all I can tell you about it for now, but meanwhile here is LJ contemplating the scale of the Park Tunnel in Nottingham!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Dream Walking book is out!

The Dream Walking book is out! And we are pretty pleased with it. It has a lovely glossy front cover and 20 pages including lots of images from the Dream Walk. You can preview the book online here:
and we hope to have it available in some Nottingham outlets soon, we'll let you know where as soon as we can!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Dream Walking book on its way!

Sidelong are very excited - we've just published our pamphlet on Dream Walking as a 20 page colour illustrated book, with our musings on some of the ideas and influences behind our work. The first copies are due in the post by the end of this week! Check back next week when we'll be posting details on where you can find a copy.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Dream Walking - Lucifer

And so we come to the last instalment of images made for Dream Walking.

Clue: Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile.
While you've a Lucifer to light your fag, smile, boys, that's the style.

Many people are familiar with the idea that Lucifer is a demon or devil, but the story behind Lucifer shows that he is a far more complex creature than purely evil. Lucifer is originally the angel of music and the most beautiful angel serving in heaven. But he begins to rebel against God's rule and is expelled from heaven, banished and fallen to earth. Full of bitterness, Lucifer decides to attempt to get his own back on God by trying to persuade the people on earth to do evil and turn away from God.

Lucifer is also an old fashioned term used in Britain to mean a light or flame. The clue are words from a well known World War II era song, asking for a light for a cigarette!

We became interested in the idea of flying as a theme for our Dream Walk when we noticed how many images of angels are scattered around this area. Our image for Lucifer, with angel wings aflame, could be found on the Old Angel Inn on Stoney Street. It seemed fitting as the rebellious angel of music to refer to Lucifer at the Inn, where they often host heavy metal music!

We have started working on a book as a result of our Dream Walk, which will include some of these images, our reflections on walking, curating walks and looking sideways. The book is due to be available in late Spring, so follow this blog, sign up for email notifications above or follow Jo on Twitter @JoDacombe for news and updates.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Dream Walking - The Space Station and the Key Brothers

Another instalment explaining the ideas behind the clues from our Dream Walking event. Last one next week!

Clue: The Key Brothers, know as the Flying Keys, broke the flight endurance record in 1935 by walking on the plane while still flying so they did not have to land for maintenance.
Crossed Keys are the symbol of St Peter's keys to heaven and are found on old tiles and buildings around Nottingham.  Can you find crossed keys here?

It's all about flying machines this week. Under the red brick pillars on St Mary's Gate, near St Mary's Church, we placed an image of the Key Brothers' plane, the Curtiss Robin, with a man walking on the wings! The Key Brothers constructed a catwalk so that they could walk across their plane whilst still airborne. An amazing, daring attempt!

We made the connection with the keys (put together with our theme of flying we discovered the story of the Flying Keys) when we saw the illustration of the crossed keys tile, found here in the 14th century.  The illustration is located on the wall just underneath where we placed our image.

There is also a Cross Keys pub near here, on Byard Street, which may have been the original  brewery and alehouse of the nearby 12th Century St Peter's Church.  For more on the long history of the Cross Keys Tavern, visit their website.

Clue: A permanent observatory to look down upon the Earth and out at the universe.

The Pod Office, at the junction of Fletcher Gate and Bottle Lane, is a brand new, award winning modern building. We looked at it for some time, it seems to be made of modular pieces and gleaming white walls overlapping walls, and irregularly placed windows. It's architecture is intentionally contemporary in style and suggests newness, the future. We started thinking about space exploration, the idea of the pod and the style of the building with its sections inspired the idea of the International Space Station.

I was lucky enough to visit NASA at the Kennedy Space Centre some years ago and see part of the Space Station being made and a section launched into space on its journey to connect with the rest of the Station under construction. The Space Station is built in parts, or pods, each country involved building a part on earth and then bolting it together up in space.  I saw the part built by the Italians! The idea of this working space centre of the future, built in pods, and the modern building of the Pod Offices seemed to fit well, so we placed an image of the Space Station on the Pod's curving wall.

There are some great images of the Pod Office building, inside and out, on their website, here.

We are planning a small book as a result of the Dream Walk, with images and words about walking and looking and thinking sideways! Follow this blog to keep up to date on our progress, you can subscribe by email, follow with Google Friends Connect or follow us on Facebook, all these can be found in the right hand column at the top of this blog.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Dream Walking - Icarus and the lacewing

The next weekly installment of my explanations for the images we created for Dream Walking.

Clue:  Friends of gardeners and lace makers.

Since our walk took you through the historic lace market area of Nottingham, where lace and textiles are still made in smaller ways, we had to have something about lace.

We asked Debbie Bryan's Studio & Shop in St Mary's Gate if we could place something to do with lace on their building.  Again, this is another instance where the business occupying the building influenced the creation of the image.

Debbie has a wonderful collection of original drawings of lace designs from historic Nottingham lace manufacturers.  Our idea reminded her of a drawing in the collection that looked a little like wings, and she showed us this drawing.

This is a draftman's drawing created by Fewkes, formerly Charles Farmer Lace, established around 1910.

I decided to use an adaptation of the lace design to create the wings of a lacewing, an insect that gardeners like because they eat the aphids that can infest plants.  This is one of my favourite images that I made, and well done to LJ for doing all the intricate cutting out!

Clue:  Don't fly too close to the sun!

Shining a torch at Icarus
Perspektiv Marketing on Stoney Street have a large, dark gateway into their building.

We spotted that their gate had a big octagonal shape in the middle that just begged for us to put an image on!

We imagined what might fit onto this octagonal shape... and came up with the idea of a sun ... by reversing the reflective image, we decided to have the silhouette of Icarus flying across a gleaming sun - very strange to see a sun glowing out at you at night!

Icarus is a character from Greek mythology, who attempted to escape from his imprisonment on the island of Crete by flying with wings constructed from wax and feathers.  But he ignored warnings from his father not to fly too close to the sun, and as he got too close to the heat of the sun it melted the wax that held his feathers together and he plunged to the earth.

We liked the image here by these big imposing gates which perhaps suggested imprisonment in this dark corner, but our Icarus was escaping!  I also like the imaginative link with Perspektiv Marketing, who use their own creative solutions to aim to fly high!  But not too high, I hope...

Monday, 27 February 2012

Dream Walking - Wendy and Adam

Continuing my weekly explanation of the ideas behind the images for our Dream Walk.

Clue:  Wendy, Wendy, when you are sleeping in your silly bed, you might be flying with me saying funny things to the stars instead.

A flying girl appeared in the window of Tanners on Pelham Street.

This is one of my favourite images, and one of the early ideas that set us off on linking images to the theme of flying.

Just underneath the windows is a plaque, commemorating that J M Barrie, the writer of Peter Pan, used to work as a journalist in this building in 1883, as a writer for the Nottingham Journal.

He may even have sat at his desk, staring out of that particular window and imagining the image of Wendy escaping out of the window and flying off into the night.

Clue:  The Creation of Adam

We wanted to create something for the Adams Building, now used by New College Nottingham.

Though not strictly about flying, in Michelangelo's famous depiction of the Creation of Adam, the image of God appears to be floating through the sky as he approaches the figure of Adam to give him life.

The Creation of Adam ties in with the building itself, with Adam and creating as themes.  Named after its original owner, Thomas Adam, a great lace manufacturer and Christian philanthropist, the building is considered one of the finest and largest surviving Victorian lace warehouses in the country.  Built between 1854 and 1874 in stages, the building has an Italian influence and many decorative details, including relief depictions of trade and travel, demonstrating its links to international trade.

The building became neglected and was in a bad state when the Lace Market Heritage Trust decided to restore it to house a Further and Higher Education College there, New College Nottingham.  CPMG Architects, another one of the local businesses who supported our Dream Walk with the use of their offices for one of our works, designed the restoration.

I really like the fact that New College Nottingham uses the building for textile courses, amongst other things, thereby connecting back to the building's original heritage in the lace industry.

There is another connection here to our image.  Where we placed it, to one side of a door on St Mary's Gate, appears a painted Manufacturers Only sign - with a hand pointing.  We placed Adam's hand so that it would point to it!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Dream Walking - the witch's ladder and Pegasus

Continuing the explanation behind the clues from our Dream Walk in Nottingham.

Clue: It was believed that witches cast a death spell over a person by tying the knots and then hiding the cord, and the only way to undo the spell was to find the secreted cord and untie each knot.

Hanging from a tree at the top of Bottle Lane we hung a number of feathers tied to a string.

This was inspired by The Witches Ladder, an art work by Klaus Weber that we had seen at Nottingham Contemporary, where he tied feathers to a rope.  When we looked into the idea of witches' ladders, we discovered the magic behind it of tying knots in string.  The feathers linked the idea to our theme of flying.

Clue:  Where travelling horses rest.

The image of Pegasus, the flying horse, was inspired by something that Managing Director David Glazebrook of CPMG Architects told us.  We had asked Mr Glazebrook if we could put one of our images behind the gate where they were storing their bins by their offices in Warser Gate, because it was a really dark space that could be seen from the street and would work really well with the reflective material that we made all the images from.  He said that that area would originally have been where horse drawn carriages would go in and out to transport the lace manufactured here, the original use for the buildings that CPMG now use.  So we felt we should have a horse image, but linking with our theme of flying it became Pegasus, the flying horse!

Photo by Matt Vaughan
To see pictures of our works glowing in the dark at Light Night, click here. 

Monday, 13 February 2012

Dream Walking - the dove and the bluebottle

Our first walk, Dream Walking, took place last Friday with over 160 people taking part!  We had a lot of fun - thanks to everybody who came along!

Over the next few weeks I will be writing about each of the eleven images that we made for the Dream Walk and put in locations around the streets.

Clue:  A bottle that flies!

The first image our walkers came across was the fly in Waterstone's window.  We made the fly by putting together the overall theme for the walk (flying) with the location, Bottle Lane - giving us the idea of the Bluebottle fly!

In conversation with one of our participants, who spoke English as a second language, this image gave him the most trouble as he had no idea that there was such a thing as a bluebottle fly, and so he was looking for an actual bottle with wings!

I am always interested in the naming of things and what they can tell us about history, and the Nottinghamshire History website has some clues as to why this small street was called Bottle Lane, as well as some other information on street names around this area.  Click here and read the last paragraph about Bottle Lane.

Clue:  Flying for peace!

This image was an easy one to come up with.  We wanted to make something appropriate for St Mary's Church, and to link in with our overall theme of flying.  So the image of a dove suggested itself and you could find this image on the back of the sign for St Mary's Church on the entrance by Stoney Street and Kaye's Walk.

The dove has become a symbol of peace for many people, but the original idea for this seems to come from early Christian symbolism.  Originally the dove represented the peace of the soul of the individual, but later on came to be a symbol of peace between peoples such as in wars or conflict.  The dove is mentioned in the New Testament as appearing at the baptism of Jesus like a holy spirit, and is also mentioned in the Hebrew text the Talmud, when "the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters like a dove".

We have now included a photo album of our works at Light Night on our Facebook page.  They looked great glowing in the dark!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dream Walking on Friday!

Our first curated walk Dream Walking is taking place this Friday!

LJ has checked all the sites for our interventions, Jo has labelled all the torches and has a box full of printed maps, and we are ready to go!

All the events for Light Night are listed in the brochure, you can download it here.

We will be handing out our maps and torches from 6 to 9.30pm.

See you there!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Designs to dream

In one of our interventions for our Dream Walking event for Light Night, we are incorporating an adaption from this beautiful original draftsman's drawing of Nottingham lace.  Our walk takes place in part of the historic Lace Market area of Nottingham, so we thought it important to make this link.

This drawing was created by Fewkes, formerly Charles Farmer Lace, established around 1910 in Mapperley, Nottingham.  The lace drawing is part of a collection of original lace drawings available from Debbie Bryan Studio & Shop, 18 St Mary's Gate, The Lace Market, Nottingham, and still inspiring lace designs today.  Click here for Debbie Bryan's website and visit her heritage pages to find out more about lace in Nottingham, then and now!

We will be posting on this blog the story behind some of our other clues following the event.

Come along on Friday 10th February between 6pm and 9.30pm to pick up your map and torch from us and follow our clues to find all eleven of our interventions....  You will find us in the High Street by Barclays Bank.

See you there!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

We are working hard for Light Night

We have begun making the reflective images for Dream Walking. On 10th February these pictures will be hidden in places around Nottingham.

Monday, 9 January 2012

All the events and artists' commissions, including our Dream Walking event, are now listed on the Light Night website here.

Dream Walking takes place from 6 to 9.30pm.

See you there!