A compelling two-day open-air exhibition featuring artist-designed seats will be taking place in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.
The Dust Rising exhibition – ‘Every Other Seat’ – features artwork in the form of artist-commissioned seats. Every other Seat is a playful but serious attempt to highlight the current situation of the arts, and the city centres.
A novel concept – borne out of a desire to attribute a theme – Every Other Seat is pertinent to the thousands of theatre seats that have stood empty and redundant for several months during the pandemic. The seats are to act as a symbolic reminder for the loss of the familiar and vibrant, cultural richness that theatre and art brings. These will be free standing and displayed along, and at the end, of Piccadilly, in Hanley close to The Regent Theatre.
There will be a performative element during the event that will see artists walking out with the seats gathered close to the Regent Theatre on Friday 18 September, and walking out with the seats from the Regent Theatre on Saturday 19 September at 12noon. The exhibition will be open until 4pm.
On both days the seats will be walked gradually by artists to collect at the amphitheatre near the end of Piccadilly, where spoken word will be performed, suggesting the need to review what and where we might expect performance and the arts to take place in the future. Workshops will also be delivered to explore the issues involved.
Councillor Lorraine Beardmore, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Public Health, at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “This is another fantastic example of the amazing creativity we have in Stoke-on-Trent. The DUST Rising events are always inspiring and thought provoking – we’re really lucky to have them in Stoke-on-Trent and I’d encourage residents and visitors to support the exhibition. The arts continue to play a crucial role in Stoke-on-Trent’s future success. It’s vitally important that we protect culture and creativity in the city – and this event is a poignant reminder of that. To help us in the fight against coronavirus, please remember to follow the current rules on social distancing when you support events such as this. By working together to do the right thing, we will help to ensure that arts and culture can continue return and thrive in our city in a safe way.”
Joyce Iwaszko, Director of DUST Rising, said: “Taking place along Piccadilly Hanley this popup exhibition will explore and highlight the role that the theatre, the arts and creative people have in the regeneration and the development of a thriving city centre. We hope it will also remind people that artists and performers are crucial to the well being of a city, particularly after Covid-19.”
Artists taking part in the Every Other Seat exhibition are: Amy L Davis, James Dudley-Ward, Amy Foster, Paul Gosling, Kornelia Herms, Joyce Iwaszko, Dawn Jutton; Sara Penny, Deborah Rogers, Terry Shave, Peter R Smith, Daniel Southward. We are Culla; Katrina & Nadine Wilde, Laura J Wilshaw.
Spoken Word Artists: Gabriella Gay & Dawn Jutton.
Dust Rising is an artist led Community Interest Company established in Stoke after five years of highly regarded artistic activity. It originated as an exhibition in support of Stoke-on-Trent’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid. This project follows the successful Arts Council funded DR19 exhibition showcased on the Spode Site in September 2019 and will pave the way for a larger related event in the City in 2021.