1 July- 8 August, Multilocation artwork
Abbey Street, Burnside Drive, Arbroath Bus Station, Hume Street, Dens Road, Arbroath.
Blueprints for Arbroath is a multi-location display of cyanotype textile artworks created by artist Jeni Read. Jeni uses modern images of Arbroath with 19th Century prints of the Caribbean to present the many stories and layers of history that connect Arbroath’s industrial heritage to the West Indies and transatlantic trade of enslaved people. These artworks will be situated around the town with the hope that they will open up conversations about our local history and the histories we share with the people of the Caribbean.
Artist led walk Saturday 10 July 11:00am
Meet outside Arbroath Abbey.
Join a group walk led by artist Jeni Reid. Hear about her artwork Blueprints for Arbroath which is exhibited across some of the post-industrial sites in Arbroath and discover how Arbroath’s history influenced the making and ideas behind the work.
Jeni Reid is a Friockheim based visual artist who works in the mediums of digital photography, cyanotype and textiles. She is the descendant of relatives who worked in the production of linen in Angus and has been researching the links between linen and slavery.
It was in Arbroath around 1738 that the very first Scottish Osnaburg was made, this is the coarse linen cloth that was exported to the West Indies to clothe enslaved people. Jeni represents the many stories and layers of history that connect these places in her work, using images of current day Arbroath and 19th Century prints of the Caribbean reproduced images with the permission of The British Library to create digital negatives. The negatives are printed onto large pieces of linen cloth using a technique called cyanotype which is one of the oldest forms of photographic printing.
Cyanotypes are made by coating paper or fabric with a chemical solution. A negative is placed on top and the print is exposed to ultra-violet light either in the form of sunlight or UV lights. The finished image is a beautiful cyan blue and the technique was often used to create detailed drawings and technical plans; it is from the cyanotype process that the concept of blueprints gets its name.
Jeni’s Blueprints For Arbroath will be hung in public places in the town with the hope that they will open up conversations about our local industrial history and the histories we share with the people of the Caribbean.
The work exposes hidden histories and opens up conversation about this rarely talked about layer of community heritage to value and understand the area’s role in the transatlantic trade and the links to the West Indies.