Unfolding origins is a project that has supported the creation of new artworks inspired by North Yorkshire’s archival collections and developed new ways for the public to engage with this resource.
The project is a collaboration between North Yorkshire County Record Office(NYCRO), Chrysalis Arts Development (CAD) and other partners including Selby District Council. Ryedale District Council, Richmondshire District Council,Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and ArtUK.
About our Artist in Residence
Jacob Cartwright & Nick Jordan
Unfolding Origins took a Slow Art approach to creating work. The project was designed in a way to allow the artists time to develop their work over time and on reflection of their archival finds and spending time in a place. They began their research in 2019 by taking a detailed look into the archive and seeing where the stories took them. Each residency culminated in a local exhibition and these have now been brought together to celebrate the project.
Summer–Autumn 2022 Exhibition Schedule
Our Unfolding Origins Exhibition schedule continues this Summer by bringing all of the artworks together.
North Yorkshire Country Record Office
Open until first week in September
*Please check the Archives for the most up to date opening hours.
20 September–30 October
* Please check the Selby Abbey opening times for the most up to date hours.
Ryedale Residency – Carolyn Thompson
The Last Walk Home
Carolyn Thompson became fascinated by the WWI appeal papers in the archive. These papers were from men appealing against their conscriptions to war based on their need to be at home working the land.
Carolyn followed the stories of the men whose appeals failed and who ultimately lost their lives. Carolyn took what would have been six men’s ‘Last Walk Home,’ from their local railway station to their last known place of residence. Along the way she recorded sounds and plants and has created drawings and sound works depicting each.
COVID-19 lockdowns had an impact across the entire Unfolding Origins project. With the archives along with most of life shut down, the artists projects were paused at different points as access to the archives was not possible. However for Carolyn there was an unexpected upside.
'Many soldiers returning from war would be given a ticket to their nearest railway station and would get home themselves form there. I found out where the train stations were and walked from the station to their registered address. That was where, strangely, the pandemic helped, because it elongated the project, which enabled me to do each of the six walks on the anniversaries of their deaths.'
Carolyn Thompson is a visual artist, based in York. Her research and practice are grounded in the materiality of printed matter. Using books, found texts, images and archival documents as source material she explores the narrative of such matter and develops it into new renderings. The resulting adaptations are visual versions that reflect the stories, in the form of drawings, altered books, prints, collages, installations and/or textile pieces.
Richmondshire Residency – Nick Jordan and Jacob Cartwright
Artists Jacob Cartwright and Nick Jordan’s collaborative film is a sound and visual exploration of Swaledale. It collages location shots with maps, documents and the viewing apparatus of the archive itself.
Swalesong also features photographs by the Kearton Brothers, Swaledale residents and pioneering wildlife photographers of the early 1900s.
The film’s score was created by musician Sam McLoughlin, who played and recorded his river harp in the current of the Swale. The soundtrack also includes historic audio interviews with local people who remember Neddy Dick, an eccentric 19th century musician who was infamous for instruments made from nature.
In parallel with Nick and Jacob’s response to the archive material at the County Record Office, filmmaker John Kirkbride worked with Hawes Youth Group, encouraging them to tell their own story and create a ‘modern archive’ about how they feel about where they live.
Collectively the young people decided on fifteen words that depict ‘Hawes’ and explored the words through photography and film. You can see the 35mm photography they've taken and watch their films here.
About Nick and Jacob
Nick Jordan and Jacob Cartwright are based in Manchester. Their collaborative practice is cross-disciplinary, encompassing film, drawing, painting, photography, objects, publications and events. From invasive species and ancient oaks to ornithologist explorers and marginal communities, the artists utilise an improvised working method, seeking out the unusual, poetic or absurd interrelations between cultural and natural histories.
Selby Residency – Lynn Setterington
Taking a Toll
LynnSetterington began her journey exploring this area when she was still a child and growing up in the nearby village of Hensall in the 1960s and 1970s.
Inspired by childhood memories of Selby’s toll bridge and the queues of traffic it created, Lynn began her exploration of the archive by looking for information on the bridge’s origins, looking at maps and ownership.
A chance conversation took Lynn to Essex, to meet the Lord Petre, whose family who had once owned the land where the crossing stood.
She discovered that the 30th anniversary of the bridge being toll free, would occur during the residency.This occasion was commemorated in September 2021 with two local primary schools, Barwic Parade and Barlby Bridge, who worked with artist Haley Mills-Styles to create celebratory banners.
During the exhibition at Selby Library, oral historian, Virginia Arrowsmith, collected stories and memories of the toll bridge from local residents.
Lynn Setterington is a British textile artist and academic known for her hand-stitched textiles and collaborative arts initiatives. She completed her embroidery-based doctoral study at the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham in January 2019. Setterington’s work celebrates and acknowledges the overlooked and the everyday, referencing popular culture and folk art and she has undertaken numerous projects with community groups, public sector organisations and archival collections.