St Retail of Reading
St. Retail of Reading pays homage to the twin home-improvement gods of Wickes and Iceland that once inhabited the site. These ancient retail monuments were once destinations of pilgrims seeking miraculous social and domestic transformation through the consumption of frozen food served up in new kitchens.
Indeed, Reading, as our domain, has been the site for travellers seeking miracles for hundreds of years. The 1,000-year-old, reputed mummified hand of St. James the Apostle, attracted pilgrims travelling the St. James way (until being cached in the walls of Reading Abbey).
This project references the (reputed) relic and its relationship to pagan architectural rituals that protect our domains from evil spirits and ‘house-barrassment’. All domains need protection, and this site will be protected by 3D printed retail amulets buried along the ley lines of the ancient footprint. These contemporary relics will act as vitrified chronicles, geological luck-bringers, multi-coloured 3D dossiers – whose function is to appease the retail spirits displaced by this new encampment of 1, 2, and 3-bed units.
In addition to these modern-day remains that cross desire lines, a larger scale reliquary will be partially entombed within the wall of a ‘raised bed’ – providing material reassurance to all pilgrims visiting the site. The miracle that is the prawn ring may yet sanctify the development gateway to high quality living and urban space.
Sarah is an artist, designer, lecturer and researcher, with an interest in visualising systems and power dressing. She has lived, worked, and studied in Reading for most of her adult life.
Sarah is a member of Open Hand Open Space artist studios on the Oxford Road, and has worked on public art projects in Reading including the Whitley Arts Festival, which combined public engagement with prop-making and performance.
As an experienced educator, workshop facilitator and project manager, she is currently combining teaching with PhD studies and creative practice.
Jon is an artist, educator, researcher and bricoleur, interested in craft, commerce and humour.
He is a member of Open Hand Open Space artist studios on the Oxford Road and has lived, worked and studied in Reading for most of his adult life.
Jon is the recipient of Arts Council England funding for participatory art projects including work with Reading Museum. He is an experienced educator, workshop facilitator and project manager and is currently combining teaching with PhD studies and creative practice.