We Can Only See Today
Tŷ Pawb, Wrexham, 2019
For our first UK solo exhibition, we were commissioned by Tŷ Pawb to produce a new body of artwork that responds to research and time spent in Wrexham.
Influenced by an exploration of Wrexham’s market history and Ty Pawb's current market occupants, we delved into the stories and narratives of its evolution. From the travelling fairs that came with the first markets through to its position today as culture and trade meet under one roof.
‘We Can Only See Today’ combines newspaper articles, selected from Wrexham Museum archives, with new artworks including a new market bell for Tŷ Pawb, in a bid to examine this unique culture/trade relationship and share ideas with the audience.
Throughout 2018 we spent time in Tŷ Pawb and the surrounding region researching various aspects of Wrexham’s history as a market town.
Through consultation with market traders and users of Tŷ Pawb, the new artworks have been developed for display in Tŷ Pawb’s galleries before being relocated to other parts of the building as part of a celebratory closing ceremony. These items include fabric banners depicting iconography from Wrexham’s market past as well as the new market bell that will be used to signify the start and end of, trade, gallery hours and events.
We invited the audience to contribute their own memories and anecdotes of Wrexham’s markets to the research pod located in Gallery One. This remained on display during the exhibition for others to see before being archived at Tŷ Pawb as a future resource.
The exhibition was also punctuated by a number of performative actions such as the casting of specially produced red ‘bricks’ of soap that acted as a pointer to the ruabon red brick, local to Wrexham, and used to build the Port Sunlight soap factory and worker’s houses. These soaps were available for free at the closing ceremony to all attendees to the exhibition that collect a stamp from both the gallery and one of Tŷ Pawb’s traders.
Exhibition Images, Jules Lister