Raw Material- Liz Lock and Mishka Henner.

As a finale to the Place, Space and Identity project in Stoke on Trent, the AirSpace Gallery hosted an exhibition of documentary photographs of the events that took place, the people that were in involved and a recording of thoughts of Stoke on Trent throughout the project. The artists were Liz Lock and Mishka Henner, commissioned as part of the Place, Space and Identity project.

From first walking past the AirSpace window you felt the sombre atmosphere that would greet you inside the gallery. Derelict buildings and melancholy portraits are an all too familiar sight in the city during the regeneration. People looking to the past to what the city has lost and is still losing; but you do not have to look to closely to see that hidden amongst the sombre imagery are some light hearted photographs that hint towards the future and a brighter city. Artists dressed in wrestling costumes remind us of what the people of Stoke on Trent are good at and what they enjoy and the cast of The Wizard of Oz in costume tells of the numerous theatres the city boasts.

Although the overriding reputation of Stoke on Trent says that we are 10 years behind other cities, and we cannot help but feel that the regeneration seems to be taking away our history, we are still an existing city. The people of Stoke on Trent are living here and moving forward, glimpses of light speckle the city, from a football team moving up to the premier league to an art gallery bringing in international contemporary artists. Perhaps it is time that Stoke on Trent ceases looking back to what we have been and starts looking forward to what we can be.


AirSpace contemporary art gallery is celebrating it’s second birthday by announcing 12 months of imaginative and innovative shows and exhibitions in the heart of Stoke on Trent.

The programme begins next week with a subtle and beautiful exhibition of contemporary lensless photography by women.

TITLE: Look; differently

DATES: Preview 1st July 6pm -9pm, 1st July – 12th July

OPEN: Tuesday to Saturday 11am – 5pm


an International Women’s Photographic Research Resource, internationally recognised as an innovative, leading-edge visual arts and culture centre, based at Loughborough University.


Lisa Reddig

Alessandra Capodacqua
Heidi Crabbe
Katy Flaherty

Undergraduate artists
Chloë Butler (please note the ë)
Sarah Elson

In this age of glossy, push button high-tech gadgetry, it’s a refreshing change to come across a widely used photographic tool which is essentially a box with a hole in it. It’s a camera, and these particular models are often home made. The pictures are taken by simply opening the tiny hole, (made by a household needle) by removing a bit of black tape, and waiting until the exposure is completed. This can take anything from a few minutes to several hours.

Curator of the exhibition and visiting lecturer on the BA photography course at Staffordshire University Mort Marsh, explains “Pinhole photography, is the antithesis of Cartier Bresson’s ‘decisive moment’, not that instant captured between each taken breath, but more the long languid exhale after close contemplation.”

Mort, who has been involved with IRIS since 2003, firstly as a student, and then employed to oversee the development and re-branding of the project, has selected work for this exhibition from graduates and undergraduates from both Loughborough and Staffordshire University. She goes to say “pinhole photography is a unique way of exploring subject matter, because it takes much longer to produce and allows the artist to become more involved in the object or view. There’s also an element of risk, in that there is no viewfinder so the results can be surprising and unexpected”

There are 17 items in this show, from 6 artists, and the work ranges from the very small 3 x 5 inches up to larger 12 x 12 inch pieces.


AirSpace Gallery

Would like to invite you to our next exhibition ‘Raw Material’ works by Liz Lock and Mishka Henner

The exhibition is open the 16th June – 21st June 11am – 5pm.

The Preview is on the 17th 6-9pm

On entering the 21st century, much emphasis is placed on the need for
northern towns and cities to develop aspirational identities to attract
outside investors and succeed in the global marketplace. Having worked in
the north of England for the past four years, Lock & Henner came to North Staffordshire
between October 2007 and April 2008 and found a landscape scarred by
economic forces that have left deep psychological and physical wounds.
Throughout our series, motifs associated with vulnerability and a coming of
age appear alongside motifs of role-play and faith.

Raw Material was commissioned by Arts Council England West Midlands and is
an exploration of North Staffordshire, a territory rich in cultural and
artistic heritage seeking to forge a new identity in a post-industrial era.

Best Regards

AirSpace Gallery


Dialogue Box- George Benson

Dialogue Box has seen its first exhibition; George Benson’s striking work ‘the colour of music’ has brought colour to the AirSpace window for just over a week. A great start to the series and we have really enjoyed having it at the gallery.

“It was great to see the completed installation of ‘the colour of music’ at Airspace Gallery as it’s been a hectic couple of weeks. I had my second child only three weeks ago, so the build of the installation and everything else wasn’t really started until a week before the final date. People will agree however that having a tight deadline can sometimes spur creativity!

I’m not the best carpenter but the box container for the records came together quite well in the end with the liberal use of wood filler and white paint, however it wasn’t completely ready until the day before so I hadn’t tested the records in situ. I rushed to Ikea (hell) to get some stand support to raise the box up on to eye level and (due to space constraints) assembled everything in my back garden.

I looked up at the sky …… it could rain at any point so I had to finalise the order of the records as quickly as possible otherwise everything would get very wet. The next hour was spent taking 1000 records on out of their sleeves and carting them downstairs to the garden ready to put in the box. With one eye on the clouds above I arranged the records into their array of colours. Lots of tweaks later everything was deconstructed ready to be installed the next day.

The installation at Airspace was much smoother especially with the able support of Dave and Andy although the records needed lots of spacing as they had mysteriously shrunk during transit. However the final piece looks great, amazing even. The double aspect of the window provides a dual aspect to the work, changing its perspective as you walk past. The contrast on the window to the architecture of the building also really works to provide an interesting focus and setting.

It was difficult and stressful at times but I’m really proud to have completed the work and have it exhibited here. It looks fantastic and the people at Airspace are lovely.”

– George Benson



Happy 2nd Birthday AirSpace

So as not to let the 2nd Birthday of the AirSpace Gallery go un-noticed a 3 day window piece was shown in tribute to some of what the AirSpace team have achieved.

Some comments from the visitor book were included:

‘Really like the polar bear, nice change to my day.’

‘Best of luck for the future and development of the gallery. Beautiful work, thank you.’

‘Nice to see some fun art in stoke.’

‘Love the vibrating garden.’

‘Absolutely fascinating.’

‘Extremely absorbing and challenging, great stuff.’

‘Look forward to future exhibitions.’

‘Well worth a look.’

‘Really fun, loved it.’

‘Thank you for the opportunity to create.’