Counter-Flow

Counter-Flow

‘Counter-Flow’ by Eva Mileusnic sees the artist embracing the main theme of her works, which are all about migration “because of mine, and my husband’s, personal backgrounds. Both [our] parents were refugees and came to Britain in the 1940s and 50s. When I was in college I started telling the story of our parents’ journey which was linked to my personal history. It’s gone now from the personal to something more universal.

 

“This kind of work is looking at what’s happening in the world rather than just in my family.”

 

‘Counter-Flow’ focusses on how textile designs from around the world have been added onto pairs of ceramic feet, which have been created from moulds of many different shapes and sizes. “I’ve always been interested in people from different parts of the world and this seemed a really interesting and visual way of communicating that.”

 

The 100 pairs of feet are split into various different sizes and shapes which showcase the diversity of the communities who came to Britain to settle. “It’s a celebration of diversity.”

 

The project was inspired by Eva coming across different types of cobbler’s last, a mechanical device used by shoemakers, in vintage shops. “I always knew I wanted to work with them so I began collecting them in all different shapes and sizes. I was asked to exhibit in Leeds and the project was to do with the [William Blake] poem ‘And did those feet in ancient time’.

 

“I started casting the feet, in ceramic, but they were just plain feet. There was a huge response for them and the congregation loved the idea.”

 

These feet, which inspired conversations about migration, inspired this latest project, including how some of the pairs of feet will themselves ‘migrate’ around Bradford Cathedral over the three months of the installation.

 

“The original fifty pairs of feet were shown at Cartwright Hall and from there they went on a ‘Craft and Conflict’ tour and have been travelling all summer around Northumberland and Cumbria.”

 

Since the tour Eva has been working hard to double the number of feet to make one-hundred pairs for one-hundred years of Bradford Cathedral.  The installation is also very timely with fresh reports of migrants travelling across to countries like Britain.

 

“I think [Counter-flow] is very important as there’s been such negativity towards migration. I find it incredibly disturbing.”

 

The installation has been designed as a talking point. “With it focussing on textiles I’d like to think people will start talking about, and appreciating, other people’s cultures and [by] just looking at the work people will recognise some patterns and think how that’s actually become part of the British culture.

 

“I’d like people to think about accepting diversity, and appreciating the beauty of different cultures, and what people bring with them, and how it’ll all become one.”

 

‘Counter-Flow’ runs from Sunday 6th January until Saturday 6th April. Visitors are welcome to Bradford Cathedral to see this exhibition and many other events, services and displays Monday to Saturday from 8.15am until 5.30pm and Sundays 7.45am until 5.00pm.

 

Click here to find out more about the artist.