New Public Art Collaboration for visual artists Deborah Gardner and Joyce Iwaszko
Joyce and Debora have been working closely with Burslem Port Trust to activate the closed bed of the Burslem branch canal with a series of temporary public art works and activities. September 2012 was the showcase of these artworks with a one off unique event on the site including historical walks, chalk drawing and a boat ride along the canal. Hidden Depths aims to feed into the redevelopment of the Middleport canal side area and to help the community and developers understand the history of the site and vision a brighter future.
Stories of resurrected boats, previously submerged in the canal routes that once maintained local industries and Burslem Port Trust’s plans to regenerate the Burslem canal branch, alongside the histories of the world renowned potteries from Middleport and Burslem all fed into Joyce Iwaszko’s and Deborah Gardner’s ideas on ways to visually respond to the site of the partly revealed Burslem canal route.
Joyce and Deborah aim to punctuate the area with painted posts of various heights, inscribed stepping stones with ‘porthole’ tops and a series of cast shapes containing submerged and buoyant pottery sourced from local industries. Through measurement, inscription and trace, this intervention with site should speak about the here and now but in turn speak of social change and a fading history waiting to be reawakened.