Canal & River Trust Exhibition, Wigan

East Street Arts’ curatorial approach to this project had focused on the intertwining aspects of heritage with the everyday. With this focus in mind, Harvey had been invited to immerse herself in this environment, to stimulate conversations with and among the staff and the people that surround the canals.

Harvey’s work responds to our relationship with objects and collection through sculpture, installation and engagement activities. Focusing on the authoritarian nature of museum collection and the melancholy power of the hand-made she transforms discarded objects into subversive artefacts for confused narratives. Drawing together metalwork, found media, audio and text, the work is inspired by the heritage of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and the documentation of memory. Inspired by social history and anthropology, Harvey’s work casts a contemporary and collaborative insight into traditional skill and industry. The work appropriates and responds to technical and craft processes in an exploration of the physical testament and human value. Harvey has collated historic and contemporary accounts of working with the waterways and transforming the open office space into a multifaceted response to the archival process.

Karen Watson and Jon Wakeman are co-founders of East Street Arts, a visual arts organisation working nationally on projects that focus on nurturing talent and encouraging engagement. East Street Arts works with a variety of practitioners across art forms, with a wide range of communities, dedicated art spaces, non-art spaces and in the public realm. They also offer workspaces and facilities, professional development and have a strong focus on infrastructure/policy development.

For more information on Lucy Harvey visit