Rural Art Space

May 1, 2007


Filed under: Uncategorized — ruralartspace @ 8:36 am

Member of

May I first introduce myself: My name is Antje.
I am one of the founders of and on this occasion I have the function to report about Bibliobox tour in Shropshire.

We arrived a week ago. I must admit: I did not see such a dark night for a long time, with the storm and the water gurgling in the ditches.
As reporters it was our first duty to research what had already happened to the box. That’s what we found out:

It has travelled to Wales.
Invited by an artist living in a remote place in the welsh countryside, Kathrin went there with the box. The artist had invited collegues of hers. We saw pictures of women and babies. The box and ist content were taken as an opportunity to show around portfolios and show each others’ art work, which surprisingly had not happened before.

Talking of we: may I also introduce my colleagues to you: Thomas and Iwan, standing in front of the Old Market Hall in Shrewsbury.

One friendly, one strict, following the famous good guy bad guy scheme in our work. Together we have of course much better investigative power than one alone would have had.

The second thing we found out about: A workshop has taken place in Wem. Initiated by Wapke. Students created a soundpiece for the Bibliobox which in the future will travel with it: “How does Shropshire sound like?”
We attended a meeting of the “Friends of the Museum” in Shrewsbury. It took place at 2:30 pm. We concluded that it must be a big honour to be a friend of the museum, and that the honour must be so big that people would leave their workplace beginning of the afternoon to attend a meeting. We were slightly wrong. The friends of the museum were very nice and all retired.
In the meeting a film by artist Paul Bush was shown. Some of the audience understood that we were the artists who made the film and made us compliments for the lovely artwork. To avoid being a deception, we did not reveal the truth.


We went to the beautiful Oriel Davies Gallery in Newtown, Wales, were the box was taken to a board meeting. I remember that the women were listening to a Bruce Springsteen song while doing the cleaning in the cafe.

In the Discovery Centre in Craven Arms the box stayed during Sunday’s lunchtime, placed in between people having curry or lasagne and the handcraft, maps and bird food displayed in the museum shop. We happened to meet a taxidermist.


Sunday night, all went to a pub in Bishopscastle, Adrian’s hometown. He had invited the box, some friends, most of them musicians, and his two sons, musicians too. Something we learnt in this session: a cat’s purring heals broken bones.
Provoked by the subject of travelling the plot of a recently published book was told: Because of a bet a men hiked around Ireland carrying a fridge. What was most remarkable for the one telling the story: The bet was about 100 pounds, but already the fridge cost 120.

Good advice for childrens education was offered: Pick a house some miles out of the village “ the village as a place offering some things children might desire “ so you can always blackmail your kids promising a lift it they behave.

While driving through beautiful Shropshire “ and still impressed by its wealth “ we imagined other places where it could make sense for the box to go:

It could meet a tourism development officer or a rural regeneration officer. There we probably would discuss promotion strategies or he would make a masterplan about how to integrate it into the new regeneration campaign: Shropshire “ Britain´s best kept secret!”

It could go to the cattle market. We would go in the early morning hours. People used to getting up early have more respect if you do the same.
Here you see a hut belonging to the National trust. If we put the box there, we could get entangled in discussions about the necessity of contemporary art – how important is it compared to the beware of the heritage or of nature? OR: What is more beautiful, nature or art?

As we now entered the domain of fiction:
A Shrewsbury based artist invited us to meet her travelling archive in a place where parts of it are stored: in the Hurst, a location belonging to Clunton and offering writing courses.

It smelled like professional cleaning when we arrived and had coffee and fruit cake with Kerry, one of the nice directors of the Hurst. We had a discussion about what to do with archives currently unused and then gave a privileged personal BBBox presentation in this cosy living room of the absent writers.

As reporters we are looking for adventures. We like to be taken to places and to meet people we never would have met without the subject of the research / the existence of the BBBox.

And, leaving my duty as a reporter behind and speaking as part of That is something we like to happen with the BBBox and with as an organisation – and we hope we can also make it happen for some of those we get to know in the process.

To download Antje’s report press here.

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