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Grizedale Arts: The New Mechanics

Monday, 28 April 2014
6 – 8pm

This lecture, by Alistair Hudson, Deputy Director of Grizedale Arts, introduced 1848: The New Mechanics, a large scale touring project developed with the aim of articulating a new, emerging tendency in art; a movement built around the idea of the use value of art and the value of art as a tool to see, mediate and effect the world around us.

From April 2014 ESP will work with Grizedale Arts to develop a series of products for our very own Honest Shop. This talk will launch the collaboration, giving background on Grizedale’s work and the development of the Honest Shop project.

Since 2011 Grizedale Arts has been working with the villagers in Coniston, their local village, to renovate and restore the Coniston Mechanics Institute. The renovation included the restoration of the main hall, the installation of a new kitchen, a new self-service library designed by Liam Gillick, and an honesty shop designed by An Endless Supply, selling produce from the village, Lawson Park and the institute’s various groups.

The Mechanics Institute was an early model for the modern day arts centre, built for the then industrial mining village of Coniston, with facilities such as bathhouse, kitchen, library, reading room, billiard room, smoking room, artists studios, theatre, extensive collection of minerals, fossils, pictures, antiquities, archaeology and stuffed animals donated by John Ruskin. The Mechanics Institute model was designed to give the working classes a fuller and richer life, whilst being instrumental in the education of the workforce in the emerging technologies, as well as keeping them out of the pub.