Preston St Union
Anyone May Come and Go
Following the launch of their new Royal Albert Memorial Museum commission ‘ Any One May Come and Go’, Exeter Phoenix Associate Artists Preston Street Union present a bill-posted wall of paper prints that have also been distributed throughout Exeter and beyond in a contemporary act of trade and distribution. They invite anyone and everyone to endorse and display this collectively created poster, which is centred around the words ‘Anyone may come and go’, taken from Exeter’s annual Lammas Fair proclamation.
For the past year Preston Street Union have been working with the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, investigating the flow of people, artefacts and ideas that have enabled Exeter to prosper. Anyone may come and go is a new work resulting from collective research into the construction of tillet wrappers used in the city’s historic wool trade.
At the height of the wool industry, traders wrapped lengths of fabric for export in elaborate envelopes known as tillets. The tillets were decorated with ornate, specially commissioned prints, which acted as a branding device. While some of the sizeable wooden printing blocks used to make such prints can be seen in the RAMM collection, no known examples of complete tillets have survived, and so their construction and use is a matter of some speculation.
Working with the RAMM Collections and new research gathered by local historian Dr. Michael A Patrick, Preston Street Union have re-imagined a tillet wrapper marked with a collectively created contemporary design that draws attention to the creative industries. The block from which the design is printed has been carved using traditional techniques by Saena Ku and printed with assistance from Double Elephant Print Workshop. The wrapper encloses a 15-metre length of red woollen cloth that was previously used by Preston Street Union in the work SERGE/SURGE, a series of live actions around Exeter’s city wall in 2019, commissioned by RAMM.
Posters are available for free from our Box Office if you would like to display one yourself.
Over the coming season Exeter Phoenix will be developing Platform, a new programme that reflects the diversity of contemporary visual arts practice made by artists based in the SW region. It will offer opportunities for emerging artists to test out ideas, new work and recent developments in their practice in a public arena, using a variety of spaces throughout our busy building.