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Brass Art: Gestured

  • 16 October - 8 December 2017

An installation by Brass Art.

A constellation of artworks inspired by alchemy, transformation and symbolic gesture, hidden within the books and secret spaces of Chetham’s Library.

The installation runs from 16 October – 8 December and is open Monday – Friday during normal opening hours.

Chetham’s Library has always been a place of alchemy and transformation. This autumn, we are thrilled to present ‘Gestured’ by the artist collective Brass Art, a newly commissioned constellation of artworks responding to this alchemical spirit of place.

Brass Art spent time researching the collection and were particularly drawn to the many forms of gesture they found, from anatomical reference books, the prints of William Hogarth and the tiny ink drawings of John Dee, to the numerous hands of divine, mechanical or mythical provenance. The hands of all three artists have been replicated at different scales, using both traditional casting and 3D printing technologies, to create sculptural forms which invite, signal, mimic, pinch and caress.

The artists have created a constellation of artworks that can be found throughout the presses and hidden spaces of Chetham’s Library. Hands support objects, fabrics and prints informed by the collection; colourful forms in hot blown glass are inspired by the alchemical search for the transformation of matter; and a series of hand-made vessels have been reproduced from historical images of apparatus. These glass vessels have been used as lenses to film and contain moving image works which reflect city views around the medieval  buildings of Chetham’s Library.

Together, the artworks form a creative response to the deep sense of wonder Brass Art found as they explored both the historic building and the rich collections it holds.

Brass Art is the collaborative practice of Chara Lewis, Kristin Mojsiewicz and Anneke Pettican, established in 1992 and based in Manchester, Glasgow and Huddersfield.

Gestured is one of ten contemporary art commissions in Meeting Point2, a year-long project led by Arts&Heritage. Funded by Arts Council England’s Museum Resilience Fund, Meeting Point2 has partnered leading UK and international artists with ten small and medium scale museums in Yorkshire, the North West and the North East to produce new artworks inspired by the museums and their collections.