Venting in Ryebank

Film , cardboard costumes, digital collage, paintings, drawings

  • Artwork Link
  • Artwork Link
  • Instagram

"My artwork has a symbiotic relationship with activism, with my recent short film 'Venting in Ryebank' (2020) developing alongside my involvement with the grassroots 'Save Ryebank Fields' campaign in Manchester. The campaign to protect this rare, inner-city piece of wild land from the development of “executive homes” is ongoing, in one of the busiest construction regions in Europe where green spaces and affordable housing are scarce and empty properties are rife (see https://www.saveryebankfields.org/post/leaflet/ for more information).


My film, ‘Venting in Ryebank’, follows the vents as they naïvely explore their new environment, being whispered to by the natural elements to warn them of the incoming diggers and drills. The unnerving vent-forms from which the cardboard costumes are based first caught my attention in Barcelona and have since become a way for me to symbolise clumsy urban development, feelings of powerlessness against big business and government policy and the soullessness of polluting industries. With the pandemic’s limitations to our use of public space and our collective re-ignited recognition of the value of green spaces for mental health and wellbeing, ‘Venting’ is now more relevant than ever. - Eva Joy Lawrence