Two Rivers at 9a Projects

From 1st - 30th April 2023 IOU’s sculptural sound installation Two Rivers was exhibited at contemporary art space 9a Projects, Todmorden.

Across 5 weekends over 350 people visited the gallery and experienced the installation in the historic setting of the 19th century spinning mill, Robinwood Mill

The month started with the busy Preview Event where visitors were also able to take in Robinwood Mill artists open studios and the onsite Eagle Cragg Brewery bar

The 1st of  the free events programme was a Hands On Family Day – using the themes of rivers and life along the river banks and natural and found materials, IOU artist and writer Louise Oliver led family-friendly activities that included graphite rubbings (also known as frottage) from wood carvings, drawing, colouring, writing and collage.

Towards the end of April for the Artist Talk IOU Artists Richard Wincer and Louise Oliver joined 9a Projects Director, Kelly Loughlin to discuss the making of Two Rivers and their response to the piece in the new setting of former cotton mill Robinwood Mill.

Pupils from local schools – Cornholme Junior & Infant and Castlehill Primary made class visits to the exhibition – taking inspiration from the sights and sounds of Two Rivers to create their own drawings and stories.  Cornholme pupils made their own sound recording at the exhibition and we will be able to share this soon.

Thank you for a great experience for our Year 5s. It was fantastic for them to experience an art installation in a gallery setting and they enjoyed exploring the piece and listening to the sounds. They were also enthusiastic in their sonic response to the piece and we’re looking forward to using our experience to inform future creative work.”
Year 5 Teacher
Cornholme Junior, Infant and Nursery School

Two Rivers has been created by IOU in collaboration with artist Richard Wincer, writer Louise Oliver, composer Dan Morrison and sculptor Andy Plant.

The installation fuses woodcuts, sculpture, technology, spoken word, and sound art to explore themes of evolution, heritage, legacy – the circle of life, the passage of time, the cycles of nature.

9a Projects is an independent, not-for-profit, contemporary art space, working with regional and national artists and curators to host an annual series of exhibitions. Robinwood Mill is a 19th century spinning mill that retains an atmosphere and energy that attracts a range of  artists and makers and 9a Projects shares the mill with a vibrant community of artist studios, workshop and rehearsal spaces.

9a Projects vision is to provide an independent gallery showing contemporary art in the Upper Calder Valley. Committed to harnessing the valley’s experimental energy, cultivating new appetites and audiences, working with artists, curators and cultural institutions. Its aim is to hold a space for contemporary practice, showing work by established and emerging artists

 One of 9a’s Directors Kelly Loughlin explains “our project is all about the space, 9a, its dimensions and the quality of the light. Taking the space and transforming it into a gallery was a huge step. We’re un-funded but we had a vision, and a commitment to building a space for contemporary art that could attract work on the scale of ‘Two Rivers’. IOU emerged in the 1970s, a fusion of art, performance and community that tore-up the rulebook, and it’s an attitude they still foster.  From our first discussions they saw what we saw in the space , and from that point it was all about making Two Rivers happen here.

“ Love the whole experience- installation and venue together were perfect”