Watergate looking East
Looking towards Watergate.  Louise Rayner’s painting below is from a similar view point

Appropriating Space

In July we were appointed by Chester West and Chester and Chester Civic Trust to develop a temporary artwork for a public space along The Rows as part of the Heritage Open Days which runs between 7 – 10th September 2017.

The history of the Chester Rows dates back to over 700 years and are of international  importance containing the UK’s best collection of prestigious town houses from different periods all in one place.   The Rows provide a raised pedestrianized covered route past shops and residential properties offering the visitor a unique elevated view of the city, yet these Rows are often ignored by shoppers or visitors to the historic city.  One of the aims of this project is to encourage more activity and draw people up onto these amazing spaces and reveal some of the hidden stories connected with the Rows.

In developing an idea for this commission we have been undertaking research at Cheshire West Museums and with the assistance of Cheshire Archive and Local Studies team in Chester to unearth stories connected with the Rows.   This research has coincided with a hunt for spaces along the Rows which we could possibly use for the duration of the festival which has taken the ideas in some interesting  directions and occasionally up some blind alleys!

Louise Rayner (1832-1924) Watercolour of Watergate Street, Chester, looking east