Artist Chrissy Collinson turns Hull’s tenfoots into works of art

Published: Tuesday 14th March 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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A tenfoot, an alley, a snicket or a ginnel. However you refer to them, these shortcuts are often overlooked. Chrissy Collinson hopes to change that.

Art from the Tenfoot is a series of paintings currently on display at Artlink. Each image captures the city’s hidden scenes from urban throughways.

We caught up with the artist to find out more about her focus on these forgotten spaces.

“I used to live in the Marlborough and Victoria Road area of Hull, where I would regularly use the backstreets as shortcuts,” Chrissy explains.

Tension in Pink

“When I moved to the Wold Road area, I decided to take my camera or phone with me during my walks. It was then I started photographing scenes from the tenfoots.”

Art from the Tenfoot is a series of 24 photorealistic oil paintings. Each image represents an aspect of a local tenfoot, whether a rusted padlock, a piece of graffiti or even fly tipping. The exhibition is perfect for Artlink, Hull’s oldest community arts organisation.

For example, her piece ‘How to Disappear Completely’ was inspired by an actual scene from a tenfoot in Hull. The words of the street art caught her eye, as well as the personal rubbish that had been scattered around by the wind.

How to Disappear Completely

“People might walk down the tenfoots without a second thought. But I think that there’s a real beauty in slight decay and rusting of objects,” Chrissy enthuses.

“I quite like the aesthetic of silvering wood, rusting locks and peeling paint.”

She also tells us that she is no way criticising the tenfoots:

“I truly enjoy walking through them. I’m not trying to highlight that they’re a mess, just recording what I see. And if that’s fly-tipping, so be it.”

Chrissy Collinson

After taking photos, Chrissy transforms them into beautifully detailed and vibrant oil paintings. Each image reflects how the artist sees the tenfoot as a piece of art.

She comments that urban alleys are a place to escape from the world for just a few minutes:

“I think that tenfoots give you a chance to be away from the noise of the local traffic. They seem to bring it down a decibel or two, which is quite relaxing.”

She further explains how tenfoots contain their visitor by design. Their high borders and boundaries divide the surrounding properties and provide a reliable path for residents:

“When I walk through, there’s a stillness that you would not experience elsewhere.”

All Turns to Rust II

The paintings are fascinatingly beautiful, whilst reminding viewers of familiar walks to work or with their dog. Perhaps it will inspire you to admire the beauty in your local tenfoot next time you pass through?

Art from the Tenfoot runs at Artlink until Friday 31 March. For more information, please visit artlink.uk.net.

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Published: Tuesday 14th March 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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