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Photo: Nina Pope

The Return of the Honesty Table

Very excited to announce that our Honesty Table will be part of our forthcoming mini retrospective at Kettles Yard in Cambridge (from Sept 13 2014).

For those of you not in the know, this is one teensy satellite of a global, slightly anarchic and unregulated network of artist-led honesty shops many of which you can enjoy online here at the International Village Shop. In fact shopkeeper and artist Kathrin Bohm will bring the concept to an event on our Floating Cinema on Sat. 21st September, highly recommended. Other players in the field include Grizedale Arts' permanent Coniston Honest Shop and we are all inspired by the brilliant Kate Rich's Feral Trade project.

How does it work?
Our Honesty Table is based on a low, square Japanese table, as it derived from our 'Seven Samurai' project in Japan. It has space for 6 product ranges at a time, so turnover wants to be pretty swift and product runs should be small, as should the items!
Popular things tend to be home grown fruit / veg (bagged up pref.), jams and pickles, baking, small craft items. Suppliers can label their stuff up with a recommended price but the money collecting jars are not policed so you get what you get! Extra stock can be shelved below the table but suppliers should be prepared to visit the gallery during opening hours often to check on their stock and income.
Items should be hand-made or small scale production and local-ish. Common sense should prevail as there are no guarantees - i.e don't expect to sell raw sausages or home-made porn from it.

Occasionally Nina and I will contribute some stuff, and it's been known to appear on eBay shortly afterwards at a considerable mark-up. We're fine with that :-)

So if you're local to Cambridge and make, bake or gather suitable stock, get in touch if you'd like to 'sell' on the Table during the show.

Toge villagers at Karen's home, Lawson Park

Our friends in Japan

With great relief we finally heard news of our friends in Japan, with whom we worked closely on the Seven Samurai project and many offshoot projects - Jamie and Aiko and Junko who sent news of our beloved villagers of Toge:

"Kucho-san said they do not have water yet,
but they are doing fine.
Toge damage was not big fortunately.
Murono next village is facing a worse situation.

What a life...the messages from over sea makes our life
bright. thank you.

take care you
junko maruyama"

A Weekend in the Country - Dec 5th & 6th

We're screening our short film 'Little Deluxe Living' (followed by a Q & A with Karen) on Sat 5th Dec at 6pm as part of 'A Weekend in the Country' which is a new film festival by BRICarts at the Victory Hall in Broughton-in-Furness in the Lake District.
More info here.

Photo: Nina Pope

Look at them go in Leeds!

This is the hot trade happening on 'the honesty table' last night at the opening of the Northern Art Prize show ...

We had great veg. from the local Leeds & District Gardeners Federation (thanks to Dan Robinson for bringing this in), Rice from Toge, Karen's umeboshi, Jerusalem Artichokes from Tim's Dad's allotment, Japanese Zouri & more ... it looked & tasted great.

Get down to the gallery for your fresh produce while stocks last ... or better still take some of your own down and sell it from the table.

You can now read more about what's on the table on it's own page here.

Curiously the tables were specially made for us by a great company in East London called Unto This Last - each with 6 special money slots. I say curiously as this project (all part of 7 Samurai) has become for Karen & I about a set of strange coincidences ... in this instance the Ruskin connection that inspires the company name, as Karen lives in Ruskin's former farm house ... anyway it's a long story all now in the short film 'Little Deluxe Living' showing with the table.

The Toge house prototype model
now en route for Switzerland

The Return of the Seven Samurai

Next Thursday (Feb 1st) sees the opening of a glamourous Swiss gallery show of work produced in our Seven Samurai and other recent Grizedale Arts projects:

Galerie Lucy Mackintosh
Avenue des Acacias 7
CH-1006 Lausanne

Téléphone +41 (0)21 601 88 88
Fax +41 (0)21 601 88 89

One of the exhibits is the prototype of our 'Titschy / Kitschy' Japanese house miniature by Lilliput Lane...

Pope & Guthrie
practise their moves

New Japan pictures online

With thanks to KIDA photostudio (Tokyo) we have been able to add more photos of our cult performances in Japan in summer 06!

Look here to see Pope & Guthrie as you've never seen them before....

and endure an interminable opening ceremony
with Barnably Hoskins (l) and Marcus Coates (r)

Lovely label
from our bit of the show

Liverpool Biennale / Virtually Grizedale

Some shots from the recent 'Virtually Grizedale' show at A Foundation's Greenland Street venue in Liverpool.

A punter ignores...
...our Toge Shield poster

Toge wax model in progress
Rear view

Titchy Toge

Apologies for dodgy picture quality, but here is progress on our 'Titchy / Kitschy' project - a miniature of a Japanese rural home to be editioned. This is the wax prototype so far...

Toge wax model in progress
Front view

A letter from Toge ...

The Seven Samurai recently enjoyed a kind of reunion via performance in Liverpool, as well as appearing with Bedwyr as 'rent-a-tudor' backing, I plugged Toge rice as 'the best in the world' during my Tenantspin interview (quite surreal - I stuck to rice and art but Jesse Rae free ranged around bankruptcy, music, banks, slaves, the claymore and back to banks!).
In with the box of shoes, mountain veg. and rice sent over from the village was a letter ... Aiko translated for us and I was delighted to hear that Komi san and the ladies turned our house in to a cafe for the last weeks of the Triennale, apparently enjoying a huge flow through of visitors. I bet they enjoyed the delights of the Toge kitchen more than the rest of the Triennial art fare. This is the first time we have started a project and been almost unable to communicate with the people we've met remotely. Not only do the majority of Toge not have access to the Internet, without having it translated there is little point in us even sending them a long hand letter. It made the box of rice & note that arrived from them pretty exciting.

Dear Samurai

Dear Samurai - Aiko & boys ...

The news from Toge - It just gets better & better ...

The swallows have left the nest and are making trial flights backwards and forwards in the hallway

We have been for an Onsen with Komi san, Junko , Kucho san, Izuru san & gang. It was a new Onsen to us (& seems even to them as we got lost!) and the ladies were one side of a Bamboo wall and the lads the other - they had been there for some time when we arrived (drinking) and serenaded us with improvised versions of "Hoi saka hoi" apparently with words pertinent to the Onsen - Komi san sang back. All this after they took us out for dinner too ...

We even had ice cream at the end made from rice - it doesn't get much better as a night out.

We have now made friends with the man who runs the swimming pool and he lets us in after hours when we have the whole place to ourselves, it's a bit like Hollywood in the mountains as Karen keeps her sunglasses on.

Our afternoon of bonding with the village ladies over the 'sheilds of Toge' with some marker pens (& Aiko's powers of persuasion!) has bought about a gentle revolution in house life. The door to the village is now even further open, the hallway is a shop (buy rice and you get cucumbers free), we pass hours engaged in communal craft activities & Junko has practically become a Samurai.

Yesterday we all made those material shoes that the village were selling in Tokyo. Karen and I's initial efforts - a pair of small misshaped child's shoes - bought about much hilarity.

Tim your yellow T shirt has been recycled into shoes.

The only thing to interrupt the idyll is the constant stream of visitors, they come by the coach load now & seem to like the chaos of our shoe making etc. later today we're trying to move into communal model painting. I'm not sure if mould making has been quite 'the start of an incredible journey' (to quote Lilliput) but we do have some fairly credible cottages to decorate.

The Toge rice is walking off the low table.

Even the Triennial drumming event was quite a laugh as we went with the Toge gang. Cha Cha Cha man broke away from our rather sedentary party and practically jogged across the middle of a rice field to join the action when a French Samba band came on.

Kondo bought round a TV but there seems to be no way to tune it to the DVD player.

We play the DVD of the Ikebukuro live feed on a loop on the laptop - much to the hilarity of the village ladies, we've spent a lot of time laughing at the shaman routine but also admiring your legs Marcus in those kitten heels.

Must go a second shoe workshop seems to be happening spontaneously and Mitsuko san is dismantling the screens between the two rooms main rooms.

VERY hot here, missing you all ...

N & K

Our 'shields of Toge' Ladies afternoon!

Shoe making workshop

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