Rossendale, Great Britain (twin town Bocholt)
Workshop Space: Kunsthaus
Title: Impressions of Bocholt
Drypoint engraving prints, installation
Photo © Joop van Reeken
Jill Randall applied for OPEN SPACES 800 with the idea of encouraging residents of Bocholt to rediscover their city. Together with co-artist and partner Alan Birch from Prospect Studio, Jill Randall forms the artist partnership “Dogs in Space”. And together they came to Bocholt, where they recreated Alan’s “Artist’s Studio” in the Kunsthaus: a piece of Rossendale transplanted to Bocholt. A workspace and an installation at the same time.
“The theme will be ‘Impressions of Bocholt’ – after the changes of the lockdown, after Brexit, after the city as a refuge for many different peoples and cultures. In this time of European division and nationalism, this project will reinforce the very important international friendship and European connections between the two twin towns,” explains the artist duo. It was equally important for both of them to bring people from Bocholt together in their temporary studio and to exchange ideas with them.
To involve the public, they called on Bocholt residents from young to old to draw personal impressions of their town: A favourite building, their own house/home (inside or outside), plus striking or unusual buildings. They were to be black and white pencil or ink drawings of a maximum size of 20 cm x 15 cm, which could be brought to the Kunsthaus during workshop times. Or – what many school classes did – taking a seat in the “Artist’s Studio” and drawing on the spot. Jill Randall and Alan Birch made drypoint engravings from each drawing, for which they had brought a portable etching press. In the course of the workshop days, a large wall filled up with more and more new prints: an installation of very personal images – a reflection of Bocholt, of home.