A quote (attributed to Arnold Schwarzenegger) tells us “The wolf on the hill is not as hungry as the wolf climbing the hill“. Wolverhampton is, metaphorically, climbing a hill as the people of our city aspire to achieve a newfound status, shrugging off the old negative associations. The people of Wolverhampton are hungry for success, hungry for a city they can be proud of. Slowly, the pieces of the jigsaw are falling into place and the latest project coming to Wolverhampton holds high hopes of increased tourism, a newly galvanised sense of pride and increased awareness of a myriad of Wolverhampton related facts – often with the added benefit of educational and fun activities. This project is Wolves In Wolves.
What is Wolves In Wolves? You may have seen ‘The Big Hoot‘ in Birmingham or Liverpool’s ‘Superlambananas‘ amongst others. This involved sculptures, decorated by local artists, placed around their respective cities with trails built for locals and tourists to follow. The designs were brilliant, striking, some with a message, others simply for fun. Wolves In Wolves is a similar – Wolverhampton’s largest public art event, that will see 30 wolf sculptures, all individually designed, placed around Wolverhampton city centre and West Park. Organised by local disability arts charity, Outside Centre in partnership with the City of Wolverhampton Council, Wolves In Wolves promises to be a huge success – and, alongside The Boho Press, West Wulf will be working on an interesting design for one of these wolf sculptures.
Positioning for the wolf sculptures is yet to be announced, but they will be in place by early July. There is still time to sponsor a wolf (here), local businesses that have given their support to Wolves In Wolves (and will undoubtedly benefit from the positive publicity both in the build up and during the event) include Enjoy Wolverhampton, Marston’s and University of Wolverhampton. Following display, the wolves will be auctioned off to raise money for charity.
Get behind Wolves In Wolves on social media by using the hashtag #WolvesInWolves2017
Wolverhampton has something of a thriving art and craft scene, as evidenced by the west of Wolverhampton Artist’s Quarter, the amount of galleries in a relatively small area and the obvious local talent on display at the likes of Tettenhall’s Make It or Bake It street market. One such artist is Wolverhampton’s Rebbeca Haddock of Rebecca Lea Artwork & Illustration. We caught up with her for a question and answer session and a look at some of her work..
West Wulf – Tell us about you & your background..
Rebecca Haddock – Hi everyone, I have lived in Wolverhampton for most of my life, having only moved away for 3 years when I went to university. I studied for three years and gained a degree in forensic science, somewhat different to art or illustration! Despite this I have always had a love for art and can’t seem to find anything more enjoyable than sitting down with a few pens and some paper. I have spent several years working in an office environment which has been fun but is not something I have a passion for!
WW – Are you from an artistic family?
RH – We are a somewhat creative family with most of us enjoying art and crafts! My sister makes beautiful handmade cards and canvasses and my mum has a hand knitted baby clothing business that is doing really well! And I think it’s safe to say we are all working on nurturing my young nephews artistic flare!
WW – What inspired your interest in drawing, or less specifically, art in general – and do you have a favourite artist?
RH – I do not remember what first inspired me to draw, I’ve just always loved it for as long as I can remember. My parents encouraged me to do what I loved which gave me a push if I ever got slightly off track…Sitting still was always a bit difficult for me, unless I had a pencil and paper! A lot of artists and movements have inspired me over the years. A big one being Salvador Dali and the way in which he made the surreal seem so realistic! I do sometimes think that most other artists have their own distinctive style by now but I enjoy so many different styles that I haven’t found just one that beats the rest!
WW – Have you experienced any setbacks or has it been plain sailing so far?
RH – There are so many setbacks that can happen when setting up a small business from scratch, the biggest of which I find to be time. Having enough time whilst working a full time job can be quite testing, especially when it’s been a tough day at work. But the key to it is that it is what I love to do and hours can pass by whilst I’m drawing before I even realise!
WW – Do you see a positive future in Wolverhampton for artists?
RH – I definitely do see a positive future for artists in the city. I seem to see more and more independent businesses appearing nowadays which is fantastic for the city and it’s artists! Plus with international communities of artists so accessible with social media artists can get their work seen across the entire world!
WW – Tell us about your favourite creation..
RH – Now where to begin, I have so many! I absolutely love my latest wolf creations however one of my all time favourites has to be one of the simplest… the simplicity and bright colours of the picture below never fails to make me smile. Plus it took a long time to finish all those dots!
WW – As far as your business goes – where do you see your future if everything goes to plan?
RH – If everything goes to plan I see a future doing something that I love for a living. I have a little bit of love for photography too (prints of which will be on sale soon too so watch this space!) and would love to be able to travel in order to get the best inspiration for my art work and take the most breathtaking photographs!
WW – Finally – you’ve got unlimited money to spend and 48 hours to do it – what do you do?
RH – That is quite a short time, I would love to be able to spend the money going all around the world to experience art in every other culture, take amazing photographs, and let it all influence my future artwork. However 48 hours would be a bit of a push so I would experience as many places and events as I could and of course buy all of the art supplies I could possibly dream of to keep me going for a while!
Get yourself down to Wild Bytes Cafe on Darlington Street from 19:00 this evening (Saturday 23 January) for an art exhibition from Jamie Howe entitled ‘Manic Man’.
From the Wild Bytes event page:
Jamie Howe is a bipolar artist living on the edge, close to madness. Touching genius. He has the variety of Picasso, the mysticism of Austin Osman Spare and captures emotion in vibrant abstract pieces made of refuse and paint. Starting off being obsessed with portraiture and savouring a moment in time with acrylic dye; to make something permanent. Howe, like many famous artists before him, has been gripped by mental illness and has lived his life swaying between depression and mania, often dangerously, always, through art, expressing the world through the medium of paint, photography and sculpture.
This exhibition is a rare insight into the life of a recluse who has to create to survive in this destructive world living in a chaotic mind.
“The artists journey is roller coaster. I keep thinking it will end but fire always returns to me and it keeps on going. I burn myself out and paint 30 paintings during my nights of insomnia and then the fatigue sets in and I am useless for days, weeks, Ill and empty. But like a Phoenix I am reborn out of the ashes and go happily on search for the holy grail. It could be a scribble, a rumple, a tear, a smiling tooth. I have to capture things. The world is passing me by!”
Howe’s use of colour is outstanding and his work – much of it eclectic, some of it disturbing but none of it boring, will draw you in. You’ll instantly get an insight into the working of Howe’s mind – and what’s more, the event is free, with the artist himself on hand to discuss techniques and elements of his work.