Mary Bamber – A Revolutionary Women – 2011
Collaboration with Nick Reynolds
Permanent display at the Museum of Liverpool
IMAGES Mary Bamber 1, 2, 3
Mary Bamber is a fitting subject for an artwork commissioned to stand on the notorious Speakers Corner outside St. George’s Hall in Liverpool. One of the lesser known activists in the suffrage movement, Mary Bamber was nevertheless a bold orator and militant, who refused to be silenced by her sex.
The sculpture is not just a memorial. She represents those who have fought, and those that are still fighting for political equality. She encourages remembrance that it was only a hundred years ago that women did not have the vote. It is possible for huge social and political changes to be made but it takes vision and fight.
Mary Bamber was painstakingly achieved through collaboration with sculptor, Nick Reynolds. Her facial expression became a point of obsession. Through working with John Schoonraad, a leading advisor in prosthetics, Nick created an expression of pride and purpose, in the Russian influenced socialist style.
Beyond her face, every inch of the sculpture is covered in ceramic tiles. Her clothes have been given radical touches, with skull trims and motifs which recall contemporary Hells Angels. The base of the sculpture is tiled with the names and deeds of her fellows in the suffragette movement, providing an enduring monument to Mary and those who fought alongside her.
Mary Bamber has since been moved and is now on permanent display in the museum of Liverpool.
Carrie Reichardt was one of ten artists chosen by the Cheltenham museum of art and craft to decorate a life-size horse to celebrate 100 years of horse racing at Cheltenham. Each artist was given a resin horse and a free rein to do with it what they would.
Carrie chose to collaborate on the project with sculptor Nick Reynolds. Together they transformed their horse into a highly crafted and politicised artwork. The horse’s head was re-structured to resemble a skull, whilst the body was covered in ceramic tiles detailing the history of horses and the atrocities they have undergone at the hands of men. These included statistics from the animal rights group Animal Aid on fatal injuries to racehorses.
Conspicuously positioned among the racing fraternity, the artwork was always going to provide a point of discussion and controversy. Shortly after it was placed on public display, occupying a prestigious spot in the Long Gardens, the horse was vandalised and moved to the Beechwood shopping centre for its own safety.
A Carrie Reichardt, Nick Reynolds collaboration, Little Miss DMT is typically controversial. The Two-headed elephant was one of 50 created by various artists and displayed throughout Milan before being auctioned off to raise money forthe global Elephant Parade charity.
Little Miss DMT is a complex combination of colour, motif and slogan. The two-headed form is sinister but this impression is offset by the brightness of the piece and the flowers and butterflies that cover its body.
The sculpture was initially to be called ‘Bunga Bunga’ – in reference to the then Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi’s, alleged sex parties, but the name was considered far too political for the parade’s organisers. Instead the piece is radicalised with the phase ‘La Rivoluzionee’ora’ (the revolution is now), which is tattooed on each of the elephant’s ears.
Shortly after the sculpture went on display, Berlusconi resigned and student riots swept the country. It was an ironic case of life imitating art, as Little Miss DMT’s ears became strangely prophetic.
Phoolan, Elephant for London Elephant Parade – 2010
Collaboration with Nick Reynolds
In 2010, Carrie Reichardt and Nick Reynolds joined the roster of talented artists and creatives contributing to the London Elephant Parade. The event saw 250 elephants descend on the capital for three months before being auctioned at Sotheby’s to raise funds for conservation projects across Asia.
Carrie was inspired by a David Attenborough quote: “The question is, are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see an elephant except in a picture book?” Nick Reynolds wanted to portray the horror and sickness he felt when hearing of the species’ destruction at the hands of farmers and poachers.
The finished sculpture, named Phoolan Devi, in reference to the Bandit Queen of India, pays clear tribute to both artists’ vision. One half casts the elephant as an almost exotic creature, with an ornate head-dress and body cloth worthy of the most fantastical children’s storybook. The other half foregrounds the brutal reality of the situation. Through cutting away and re-casting sections of the resin shell, Carrie and Nick expose the elephant’s skull and skeleton, effectively illustrating the degeneration and eventual destruction of the species.
Phoolan Devi was sold to Isabel Goldsmith and is now on show at her hotel in Mexico.
Tiki Love Truck – 2007
Commissioned by Walk the Plank for the first ever Art Car Parade, Manchester
On Saturday 8 September 2007, the UK’s first ever Art Car Parade saw 30 reconstructed vehicles take to the streets of Manchester in the name of creativity and fun. Amongst them was Carrie Reichardt’s Tiki Truck- a mobile mosaic mausoleum, commissioned by Walk the Plank.
Once conceptualised, the vibrant, Polynesian inspired design for the Tiki Truck was segmented and drawn onto separate brown paper templates. An indirect method of mosaic transfer was used, so that the tiles were temporarily fixed to the brown paper design, before being transferred to the Tiki Truck itself with a more durable adhesive. In total the truck took a team of five artists three months to complete.
During the making of the truck, Carrie received news that her friend,John Joe ‘Ash’ Amador, an inmate on death row, was to be executed. She decided to dedicate the truck to his memory and travelled to Texas with her friend and artistic collaborator Nick Reynolds. After bearing witness to Ash’s execution, Carrie and Nick Reynolds went with Ash’s body to a cabin in the local woods where Nick cast his death mask.
Ten days later, the Tiki Love Truck made its way through the streets of Manchester with thousands of spectators watching. Ash’s death mask took pride of place on the top of the truck.
The Tiki Truck was awarded The Makeover prize, for the most original or impressive applied decoration or feature.
The Tiki Love Truck has since toured the country and performed at various shows and exhibitions. This includes;
Illuminated Art Car Parade – Blackpool 2007,Glowmobile Art Car Parade – Gateshead 2007,‘402’ Vibe Bar – London,Glowmobile Art Car Parade – Gateshead 2008,Trash City – Glastonbury 2009,Camp Bestival – Lulworth 2009,Bestival – Isle Of Wight 2009,Illumniated Art Car Parade – Manchester 2009,?Edinburgh’s Christmas Art Car Parade – Edinburgh 2009
The Art of Recycling - 2003
Carrie Reichardt designed, fabricated and installed this £30,000 public/community art project. Made in collaboration with Living Space Arts – the arts group Carrie Reichardt helped to set up in 1998.
Carrie Reichardt and the Living Space Arts group won the DEFRA (Department of Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs) funded contract following a competitive tender procedure and public vote. The design was inspired by the news that Harold Hill had the worst record in the region for recycling. This was taken as the controversial central concept for the artwork, in an attempt to raise awareness and combat the issue. Over 70% of the materials used to make this mural were recycled and re-salvaged.
The 8×2.4m mosaic is a rich and eclectic combination of stylistic influences, from Moroccan inspired borders to New York style graffiti, designed to relate to a diverse audience on multiple levels. The image is dominated by two figures that look out over an industrial landscape. The toxicity of their environment is evident in the smoke and sulphur which fills the air, forcing the young woman to draw on an asthma inhaler.
Beyond the initial stark impression, the Mosaic is an intricate and symbolic composition. An ammonite provides a reference to time and how, in a relatively short period, humans have had such an enormous impact on the planet.Similarly a large fern is a lush, green reminder of the earth’s legacy and our responsibility to maintain it.
Whilst the work depicts a world in crisis and problems that need addressing by every nation, it grounds these issues and their solutions in the local area and community. A map of the area is incorporated, along with slogans written by children from the local school. These additions have clear but simple implications; think globally, act locally.
The call to action and evidence of a communal desire to change, transform this mosaic from a disenfranchised depiction of the world as we know it, to a sign of hope. It shows a community’s desire to address universal environmental issues head-on, even if this demands placing themselves under public scrutiny and having their past failings exposed.
Under the Westway flyover, West London
‘The Revolution will be Ceramisiced’ represents collaboration between Carrie Reichardt, The Single Homeless Project and members of the Portobello and Notting Hill community, an area synonymous with alternative culture, creativity and rebellion since the 1820s. It was fabricated in part during the Mutate Britain ‘One Foot under the Grove’ exhibition. Free workshops were held weekly throughout this event.
The 10ft x 25ft mosaic mural, unveiled at the 2012 Portobello Film Festival, pays tribute to the local radical, innovative and imaginative people that have fuelled London’s creativity.
The mosaic is designed to capture the spontaneity of graffiti art, a form of political and artistic expression deeply rooted in the local area. Embedded within it are stylised images of a heart, a brain and the slogan ‘Think for yourself and act for others.’
The final tiles were put in place in time for the 2012 Portobello Film Festival, to coincide with the showing of a short film, ‘Who are the Angola 3?’ by Hugo Levine, which featured Carrie Reichardt and won the audience vote for best film of the 2012 festival.
The artwork pays tribute to Herman Wallace, one of the Angola 3 with the quote, “The essence of your life is only measured in the way you can help others.” The sentiment is an apt addition to the mosaic, which not only celebrates the artistic life of a community, but is also a permanent artwork to be enjoyed by all.
Ceramic House of Resistance – 10 years in the making
In Chiswick W4 London
And lest we forget, the world famous ‘Ceramic House of Resistance’ the amazing ancestral birth place of The Treatment Rooms, Carries very own intricately mosaiced home.
The artwork produced in the studio thrusts into view a reality which some may find difficult to digest – it’s contentious, subversive and specifically designed to promote the viewer to rise up against corrupt establishment activity.