Lisa Gallacher Parson Cross Residency

First Blog Entry May 2011:

"Every person working with me over the course of my residency will develop their own unique garment inspired by family, community life and the locality of Parson Cross. My work is often the product of direct engagement with particular communities. I am drawn towards situations where I can explore what it means to belong (or not belong) to a particular place. The reason I was drawn to this residency being offered by Yorkshire Artspace was that it had a very specific location; Parson Cross. I hope that Parson Cross: Made to Measure will not only provide the chance for participants to exchange ideas and share skills but that during the course of the year I will understand a little better what it means to be from the Parson Cross.”  January 2011

The following is an update from artist in residence in Parson Cross Lisa Gallacher following a ‘record breaking’ response to our glittering full page advert in local magazine 5Alive she has been on the Parson Cross trail and secured the first group of people who will work with her as part of Made-to-Measure: “How do you meet people when you arrive in a new place for the first time? Do you place an advert in the local press? Put up notices in the shop windows? Call the radio station and regional newspapers? Invite local residents to come and meet you at the community centre? When you put it this way the answer is obvious - but that’s how I spent January and February. In March however, Kate introduced me to Betty and I met Janet through Betty. I contacted Gwen through Sarah who then introduced me to Lisa. Ruthie told me about Anna and through Rachael mentioned Dan, who recommended I speak to Lucy.... who in turn introduced me to Grant and through him I will meet others - who (I hope!) will introduce me to their brothers, sisters, mums and dads.... grandparents, aunties and uncles.

It’s now April, I’m looking for 12 Parson Cross residents to collaborate with and I’m almost there...... As a stranger to Parson Cross and an artist who develops garment collections exploring ideas of locality and belonging, ‘Made To Measure’ will rely on developing close ties with these residents over the course of the next 8 months. Working with each member of the group, the project will involve creating a collection of bespoke garments that function collectively as a portrait of the area and its people. Unlike previous works, which have drawn on my observations of life in particular places (from the outside looking in), the ‘Made To Measure’ project positions Parson Cross residents very firmly in the driving seat. They will decide what we make, how, when and why we make it. I will be following their instructions towards developing a made-to-measure garment for each member of the group. Ultimately, this is a project that aims to capture the essence of life in a place from the ‘inside’ – from local people’s perspective. At this stage, I have no idea what that will look like - but also know that I’m in expert hands.”  April 2011