The Art House is delighted to present Andromeda, a project by Wakefield-based artist and Studio Holder Tony Wade, which celebrates the beauty in the everyday, our locality, and the emotional impact of stories.
Wade is known as an ‘investigator of the infraordinary’, as he finds inspiration in the often-overlooked places he encounters. He explores places, people and stories with great attention to detail, before bringing them to life in creative and engaging ways. He celebrates the power of storytelling and champions incredible anecdotes that people treasure, no matter their simplicity. By encouraging us to observe the world, Wade invites us to find magic in the ordinary.
In the Tiled Gallery, visitors will uncover the story of Andromeda, a figurine created by Bagley Glass,
founded in Knottingley during the Victorian era. Due to its popularity in the 1930s, factory workers would steal the ornament. However, when searches were introduced, workers began throwing them into
the nearby canal to avoid being caught. Over time, the tale became folklore, with many believing that
the waterbed was full of figurines spanning the stretch from the bridge in Knottingley to Goole.
With his passion for exploration, music and local stories, Wade walked the 28km canal side and documented the throwing of Andromeda into the water at each kilometre. Using photography of the splash’s entry points, layered over sheet music, Wade created an original score and invited friends and local musicians to interpret, resulting in Andromeda’s Score (2020). In June 2023, Wade created the film Andromeda’s Return (2023), to document the homecoming of Andromeda from Goole back to Knottingley, accompanied by musicians performing her score on the top deck of a barge.
Through painting, sculpture, installation and music, Wade’s practice has the ability to capture moments
of calmness in a chaotic world. The exhibition brings together local folklore, music and film, alongside
relevant material, maps, and photography, for wider audiences to enjoy Andromeda’s story.
Standing in water at 2.2 metres tall, and central to the gallery is a recreation of Andromeda. The sculpture
was created using pioneering 3D-printing technology with XPLOR, a state-of-the-art innovation centre based at Production Park, Wakefield – a welcome coincidence that it is based only a few miles away from where the figurine was first produced in glass.
A new publication detailing the journey of Andromeda has been created specifically for The Art House. In
addition, a limited-edition LP vinyl, including a variety of interpretations, soundscapes and musical scores from the walk and sailing performance is available for purchase at TAH Shop.
Images courtest of the artist. Click images to enlarge / full view