‘Debris By Day, Debris By Night’ 2016



Digital image, courtesy of artist. Working progress of ‘Debris By Day, Debris By Night’ 2016, donated garments, storage bag, glow in the dark sewing pins



You are warmly invited to the open night of Soup Part III and if you are a family with children, there is a workshop on the 9th, all welcome to attend

Raquel has been participating in the Soup Part III Artist Residency since May along with other artists and is proud to present new and selected work in Centrala and Stryx Galleries (Stryx situated just opposite) on the 1st July for the Digbeth First Friday event

Artists showing in Stryx Soup Part III

Johnny Corbyn
Megan de Greef
Chuma Martin
Raquel Macartney
Duncan Poulton
Gavin Rogers




5pm – 9pm, Friday 1st July 2016 Preview Night, Centrala Gallery

‘Debris By Day, Debris By Night’ 2016 Sculptural Installation
By Birmingham based multidisciplinary artist Raquel Macartney
Sculptural Installation: Donated garments, glow in the dark sewing pins, blacked out dilapidated gallery space, information assistant turning electrical lights on and off

Centrala Gallery Space, First Floor Artloft, Digbeth 
Installation exhibits from 3rd until 9th July with a families and children’s workshop on Saturday 9th centred on themes from the artist’s work




6.30pm – 8.30pm Friday 1st July 2016 Soup Part III Group Show, Stryx Gallery

Stryx Gallery, Minerva Works (opposite Centrala) for one night
Soup Part III Artist Residency works made from May, June, July, ‘Know No Bounds’ 2016 sculptural video installation, ‘Transcendence’ 2016 sculptural installation and ‘Debris By Day, Debris By Night’ 2016 video documentary




2.00pm – 4.00pm Saturday 9th July 2016 Families and Children’s Art Workshop exploring ‘Raquel Macartney Artist Themes from Soup Part III Residency’. Booking necessary as spaces are limited, cafe open

See more details and how to reserve your free place on http://www.eventbrite.com/e/raquel-macartney-workshop-tickets-26260070578




Click on link to read blog about Raquel’s new art installation


Other websites

http://www.raquelmacartney.com http://www.facebook.com/raquelmacartney

For more information contact me on, raquelmacartney@gmail.com



Background of Work

‘Debris By Day, Debris By Night’

This work is a site specific sculptural installation that consists of hundreds of garments laid on the floor of a gallery’s space which has corroded surfaces on the steel pillars and peeling layers of paint from the wall. The garments typify the nature in which, clothes float to the surface of the sea and spill over to the seashore. The garments for instance, are that of newborn, infants, juniors, ladies, men’s and maternal wear. These garments have been collected personally by the artist and by many other contributors including family, friends, relatives and members of the community from all around the Uk and abroad.

The installation is dependent on light to charge the sewing pins on the floor connecting the clothes together. The lights go on and off by the information assistant under a timed setting. When the lights go off, it is pitch black-. However, when returning the gaze to the garments, the only thing that surfaces visually to the naked eye are tiny glow balls-, the tail end of the sewing pins that almost go unnoticed when the electrical lights are on. This is a conceptual work and serves as a metaphor for life, how it is transitory, how clothes are not lasting. It draws us to the significant smaller details that can provoke us to think about the connections that unite us as people, however temporal they may be.

The artist’s hope is for the viewer to reflect longer term on ‘tiny acts of selfless sacrifice’ (or kind donations such as the way in which these clothes were brought together). These generosities can be viewed as small rays of light, love, or comfort in a world that can be full of despair. ‘Debris By Day, Debris By Night’ hints towards the refugees who have lost their lives at sea, with the final outcome of the garments being donated to refugees post exhibition. The spin on this work is that it is literally ‘politically charged’.

The artist’s new work also evolves from the works ‘Know No Bounds’, ‘Transcendence’ and it’s processes; made during the Soup Part III Artists Residency at Stryx Gallery. ‘Debris By Day, Debris By Night’ touches on themes of confinement, the ephemeral and spiritual, endurance, the historical and sociocultural, the sociopolitical, the everyday, the environment and architectural. The term ‘Debris’ itself, is to do with rubble, wreckage, ruins, litter, discarded rubbish, remains of something destroyed or discarded which is ironic in the case of the installation’s garments that have undergone domestic activity from the artist’s home and the studio, for distribution to refugees post exhibition.

‘Debris By Day, Debris By Night’ is a tribute to the late labour MP Jo Cox who before she passed left us with these meaningful words 

“We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us” …

The art project really sums up this statement and especially within the context of the current EU Referendum outcomes, but not just for Britain and Europe, but on an international level too, for society as a whole and for nations to grasp that we are all connected as human beings on many different levels, are all equals, and have as Jo Cox states, ‘more in common than that which divides us’.

The sewing pins that glow in the dark, allude to the glowing stars from the night sky. It is interesting to point that, the concept of ‘day’, ‘night’, the ‘sea’ and ‘stars’ are recreated by electrical power from the gallery space, with a blacked out dilapidated environment, second hand donated garments and purchased sewing pins from abroad. We are presented with the artificial, held against what is real. The outdoors is seen here to be brought into the shelters of the indoors. Centrala Gallery acts as a platform for building social ties and bridging communities which includes socially engaged contemporary art from Central – Eastern Europe, the region’s culture, history and socio-political situation.

During the residency, Raquel has persevered in the constraints of juggling motherhood and artistic practice. When time is limited and resources are only what’s available, the artist uses these limitations to define new ways of making work looking at simple everyday routines, while also questioning the possibilities of where art can be made and how? Raquel is passionate about exchanges in art dialogue fused by concerns of ongoing issues in today’s society. Extended acts of neighbourhood outreach and local community workshops such as that taking place for the families and children on the close of the exhibition, are elements that inform, charge and fuel her artistic practice.




*Complimentary drink offered to those who have donated garments to Raquel’s latest exhibition piece ‘Debris By Day, Debris By Night’ 2016, from Centrala’s bar on ground floor. The artist would personally like to thank the following individuals who have donated garments and have contributed to the work:

Jess Anderson, Leana Archibald, Sarah Jayne Baker, Ameta Bandhan, Mai Bickle, Dora Blake, Chi Boakye, Ali Bolton, Denise Brooks, Suzan Bozuk, Arnold Camacho, Christian Camacho, Jerome Camacho, Merlyn Camacho, Garment Center Sewing Co (Brooklyn, NY, United States), Jade Cotton, Anne Davies, Beverley Davies, Megan de Greef, Amanda Dunbar, Lyn Evans, Tammy Fleming, Charlotte Forcer, Caron Gasper, Amanda Goodwin, Karin Graber, Aly Grimes, Eleen Hall, Julie Merrick Hancock, Wythenshawe Maternity Unit Hospital, Ann Hunter, Gill Knight, Greta Macartney, Liz Macartney, Huw Macartney, Jenalyn Masalunga, Jovie Masalunga, Ranjeet Mboteh, Lavern Numero, Gaynor Oddy, Mumba Kafula, Michelle Paramanantham, Margaret Pickard, Duke Razon, Harminder Rhami, Rachel Rust, Wendy Samuel, Catherine Shepherd, Esther Simpson, Lynda Sterling, Cora Titcomb, Julia Wakefield, Cath Wheeler, Donna Williams, Bindu Zechariah



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