After seeing his work on Axis, Stephen Feeke commissioned artist Blair Cunningham to produce site specific work in response to the Vitrine ethos. Using printed maps and mirrored vinyl, Blair's work created a dialogue between the vitrines and pedestrians of Leeds city centre.
Cartograph 1, 2006
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Cartograph 2, 2006
'In 2004 I was approached by the organisers of Vitrine to consider curating an exhibition as part of their overall project. I knew immediately that I wanted to work with just one artist and also that I wanted the show to highlight the emphasis on 'appearance' in urban development. My goal was to hold up a mirror both literally and metaphorically to the people of Leeds, so that they had a moment to reflecct on themselves and their surroundings.
As a curator, having a very fixed idea for a show can be problematic as you are in danger of leaving no room for involvement by an artist. In this case it certainly proved difficult to find an artist who made interesting work that explored ideas of the city and who shared my concerns. After months of research using catalogues and journals, I had almost given up hope of finding somebody. It was only then I remembered that Axis might help. Conducting some simple searches on the website led me to a number of artists including Blair Cunningham. Axis put us in touch and our discussions resulted in a thought provoking display that more than fulfilled my original vision. ' (Stephen Feeke, 2006)
Vitrine was an 18-month project that took place in Leeds. It was a mix of group and solo exhibitions that used a number of vitrines situated throughout Leeds city centre. Vitrine was conceived as a dialogue with Leeds, creating work that directly interacted with the public using vitrines in public areas out with the normal gallery context. For Cartograph, Blair made a series of drawings and maps of his personal journeys, whether real or imagined and displayed them in glass display cabinets at Vitrine venues in Leeds.
Cartograph 5, 2006
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'Stephen Feeke had seen my work on Axis and was interested in how my work could use the vitrines to create a direct dialogue with their environment through the idea of maps, mapping and mirrors. I formed the direction of the work following discussions with Stephen and a site visit. During the site visit, I also met Pippa Hale and Kerry Harker, the Vitrine curators and was able to assess which venues I would like to use. The work was created in Glasgow with the help of Timorous Beasties who provided access to the specialist printer I needed. The work was then installed by myself and Pippa Hale in Leeds.
The clients were very pleased with the show, they felt it fulfilled the brief and was a fitting conclusion to the current program. The project was very enjoyable and I feel that I have developed as an artist through the process. Everyone involved was supportive, professional and efficient, helping to make it a great experience. I see my work now perhaps in a different light, mostly due to the experience of having Stephen write a text on my work for the accompanying leaflet.' (Blair Cunningham, 2006)
Cartograph 4, 2006
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Cartograph 4, Detail, 2006
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Cartograph 5, Detail, 2006
More information on Blair Cunningham
More information on Pippa Hale
More information on Kerry Harker