DAN SHIPSIDES - Radical Architecture
The project consists of a number of elements:
Outline Exhibition information:
Radical Architecture presents a solo show with a project which work charts social and cultural
change through an analysis of rock climbing in the Peak District. It consists of a sculptural construction climbable by visitors, and 2D images based around significant rock climbs in the Peak
District. These are exhibited alongside three historical artworks borrowed from municipal collections.
Within this exhibition, Radical Architecture makes reference to alternative readings of
landscape – in relation to our access to it, engagement with it, and our understanding of it; for
example the ideas explored by social critic John Ruskin (1819-1900), and actively furthered by
local figures such as Benny Rothman (1911-2002, instigator of the 1932 Mass Trespass over
Kinder Scout), and avant-garde climbers such as Joe Brown (b.1930). Ruskin’s writings
continue to resonate in contemporary society, advocating class equality and respect, while the
activities of Rothman and Brown during periods of mass unemployment and poor industrial
relations opened up places and pursuits for the working classes previously only available to the
middle and upper classes. I visited significant sites in the Peak District that were made accessible and internationalised by the pioneering vision of such individuals, and have used them to create a climbable sculpture based on physical elements of rock climbs at such places as the The Roaches in Castlefield Gallery’s double height space.
The sculpture and images are contextualised by the presence in the gallery of works
borrowed from local municipal collections by Ramsey Richard Reinagle (1775–1862), Ruskin,
and Grete Marks (1899–1990). This juxtaposition offers an alternative reading of Manchester’s
heritage and geography, considering the radical outdoor movements of the 19th and 20th
Centuries as points of departure; with the rise and fall of the city’s textile industry simply
offering a backdrop rather than a focal point.
Radical Architecture was Shipsides’ first exhibition in Manchester, and has been curated by The Salford
Restoration Office. Works have been loaned by Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, Buxton; The
Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent; and Ruskin Foundation, Ruskin Library, Lancaster
The Salford Restoration Office, is a curatorial and educational programming agency which, in developing projects with cultural institutions in Greater Manchester, attempts to address questions of artistic context and policy, and generate discussion surrounding the conditions art institutions find themselves working within in a city like Manchester.
As well as working with Dan Shipsides to make Radical Architecture for Castlefield Gallery, The Salford Restoration Office is also developing The Whitworth Cabinet with The Whitworth Art Gallery and Centrifuge with Manchester Metropolitan University and Northern Edge.
I t's directors are James Hutchinson and Lesley Young.
Exhibitied at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester Oct - Nov 2007