FIGHTING FOR CRUMBS – WHO SAYS PROTEST ART IS DEAD?
'IT'S KINDA LIKE THE AFTER EFFECTS OF AUSTERITY, AND NOW PEOPLE ARE LIKE LITERALLY FIGHTING FOR CRUMBS" - CORINNE DEAKIN, 2016
John Ledger, a local artist, was keen to contribute to The Redshed's (AKA the Wakefield Labour Club’s) 50th anniversary celebrations and has coordinated a day of events at the club.
John has worked together with 6 local artists to explore the realities of living in Austerity Britain. Fighting For Crumbs (Art in The Shadow of Neoliberal Britain) is a group exhibition at Gage Gallery in Sheffield, and the Redshed (Wakefield Labour Club).
At Gage Gallery Corinne Deakin and John Ledger are both producing installation pieces. One of John’s installations will be in collaboration with the poet Jonathan Butcher. In addition John Ledger will be showing his wall pieces. Rebekah Whitlam's contribution will include both craft art and installation, as she explores the conflict between economic survival and artistic expression. John Wilkinson will display a number of his urban/industrial expressionist paintings, including new works specially created for the show. Connor Matheson will showcase his social-realist photography, and performance artist Nick Kilby will be performing a new piece specially written for the show at the closing event.
John Ledger will be exhibiting his drawings at the Redshed. This venue will showcase a documentary the artists have crowdfunded and written, dealing with the challenges that working class people face in a world where security and confidence are constantly undermined, whilst there is a pressure to make ‘safe art that sells’ rather than work that criticise and question what impact the modern world has people. The Crowdfunder shows how people will support each other when they need it - the kind of support that has kept the Redshed going strong for 50 years.
Velvet Joy Productions have kindly given permission for their inspirational documentary Invisible Britain (based on the band the Sleaford Mods) to be shown alongside our documentary. Whilst JD Taylor, author of Negative Capitalism (Cynicism in The Neoliberal Era) and Island Story (Journeys Through Unfamiliar Britain) has kindly agreed to talk at the event.
The Wakefield event will take place at the Red Shed, 18 Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1 1QX on Saturday 13th August, from 1pm
The main art exhibition is taking place at Gage Gallery, Sheffield. The Sheffield event launches at 6.30pm on the evening of the 8th August at Gage Gallery, 40 Ball Street, Sheffield S3 8DB. An additional performance event will close the show, on the evening of the 12th August starting 7pm. All welcome to both events.
John Ledger is a visual artist and chronic meanderer of nearby towns and cities. Primarily creating large scale social landscapes imagery, this year he has been focusing in on the mood of the country in 2016, in a response to being asked to put on a show for the 50th anniversary of Redshed Labour club in nearby Wakefield - contrasting the political optimism of the 1960s with the feelings that have saturated the first two decades of the 21st century.