Subsequent to my attending Frank’s talk regarding his Glastonbury murals, I returned to the town again the following day to visit the Summer Fayre organised in the Bauhaus style Zig Zag building and the Life Building. I had tried unsuccessfully to visit both buildings in the late afternoon the day before, but was encouraged to return for the Fayre the following day. I often feel myself being pulled here, and always enjoy returning. I do not fully understand this motivation, but do enjoy the sense of chaos and abandonment found within both buildings and the potential they both have for art and work projects, activism and the portrayal and inclusion of alternative life styles.
This equivocation is of course a veiled reference to the very nature of Glastonbury itself. I find it sometimes a chimera of a town, where it’s reality is often impermanent and, somehow similar to the sense of maya in India, Glastonbury seems to present with alternating depths of what is cogent and real. This is a fascinating quality and its demeanour can quickly change depending upon who you speak to, and where that conversation is held, and your own state of mind and receptivity and sensitivity and honesty at the time. But perhaps the maya is entirely in my own mind; after all, what is reality?
I spoke to a number of people that afternoon, of angels, of beauty, of creation, of trauma. I wandered through habitation sites of chaos and disorder. I spoke to therapists who were not therapists and nurses who were not nurses, taking off my shoes to enter pristine spaces where peopled healed, or fortunes were told. Throughout the chaos there was beauty and order I could not sometimes grasp, only hesitate to comprehend, a collective summation of people and lives in almost permanent transition in a landscape where the discarded, the convoluted and the collected was normality; perhaps all of this is the ‘collective outrage’ referred to below in the window writing.
The buildings remain in a state of transition. They are formerly industrial buildings not used between 1980 and 2013 and currently fall far short of acceptable health and safety standards which greatly restrict their usage. Someone told me almost £6 million is required to complete their conversion. Employment workshops apparently provide support to an associated travelling community, some of whom live in vans on land rented to them by the owner of the Zig Zag building. A popular resource is recycling clothing donated to the centre, which is then sold to people for 50 pence an item. A kitchen also provides food too.
As with yesterday’s images, these are all taken on an iPhone se 2020, which enables invisibility at the cost of quality. But as a tool for recording ‘snapshots’ I remain impressed. In between the images below I have included quotes about the nature and activities of the collective as described on the Zig Zag website http://www.zigzag.org.uk/
“Welcome to zigzag.org.uk website. 23000 sq. ft. on three floors with wonderful light. Built in 1934 and known as the Bauhaus by the Morland factory family who used it for manufacturing sheepskin slippers, gloves and coats. Left derelict between 1980 and 2013, it is now hosting exhibitions, events and workshops. Props are also available for hire. Please contact Chris Black 07804821374. … ”
“Late spring in Zigzags metal welding and fabricating workshop saw the creation and making of Totally Tatted Walkabouts Cage of Curiosity!Set loose at festivals this summer with its makers and creators- Stephen Duross and Morgan Pandolfino.“Totally Tatted are two eco artists and performers who are passionate about transforming trash into treasure. They recycle waste into wearable wonders and free the imaginations and limitations of all they encounter.
Tarsias the Rope Master and The Whipstress saunter the streets of festival land, showcasing cobbled couture and acquiring new playthings! All their outfits are made from the tat and waste left behind at events. Discarded bicycle, car and truck inner tubes become ball gowns, frock-coats, top hats and tails.
These quirky eccentrics from another time and space revel in accosting unsuspecting festival goers, enticing them into their mobile cage, the price for their release is their souls!
Can be adapted for a younger audience to promote eco-awareness and responsibility.Bringing Magic to the Mundane…..”
After the success of Somerset Art Weeks, the Zigzag creatives will be having a winter holiday.Join us at the Glastonbury Frost Fayre on Saturday 30th November from 10 am to 7pm, where we will have stall filled with gifts and wonders for solstice, yule and Christmas!Oli Crafts will have lots of winter warmers on offer from crotchet hats and monster mittens. Beautiful handmade coats, cardigans and up-cycled fashion.Paddywak Stoves and Trailers will be wheeling her wares to the Fayre. There will be hand made wood burning stoves and beautiful willow charcoal for sale.The Magical Menagerie will be coming to town too! Crotchet animals and creatures for little(and large people) bees, unicorns, jellyfish and more.We2Wyrdwood Botanicals will have lotions and magical winter potions for offer to see you you through the dark season.The Feral Ephemeral Fairy will be bringing handmade paper, natural inks, walnut candles and other pleasures for you to enjoy.Please come and say hello and hang out, try, buy and enjoy
“Zigzag is in the current issue of The Land – an occasional magazine about land rights.
Robin Howell, a friend of Zigzag has written an article “Land and the Housing Crisis…On the roots of the current housing crisis – and how to solve it. ”
The article has startling and depressing facts on the housing crisis in the UK and how this has come about however Howell also offers us solutions.
“…stop selling publicly owned land for housing. Stop it at Government level and local government level. Suspend the sale of council homes. Stop the sale of Housing Association homes. Don`t stop building. Just stop selling the freehold of the land which is already ours.”
He also comes up with creative architectural ideas for short term solutions to housing needs.
“Housing providers all over the country are failing to offer enough adequate, affordable accommodation, especially for the single. Converting containers into homes is not new, nor necessarily a long-term fix. However, as a short term solution they are structurally sturdy, cheap, transportable, and stackable into confined spaces, ideally suited to the urban landscape.
In 2018 Robin Howell began work on a pilot scheme in Somerset to show that containers can deliver an acceptable, replicable, fully costed one bedroom home, the rent for which can be covered by the LHA (Local Housing Allowance for those on housing benefit)…”
“Following on from Somerset Art Weeks artists conversations, we will be meeting again to discuss the artist or creatives role in society.
Is it enough to fill the world with beautiful things, or is there a message needed to be heard? Can these ideals come together in playful interventions.
Messages on abandoned bill boards, stopping traffic with a clown procession, handing out hugs!
If you have ideas or thoughts on this, please come and join us.”
Art and ActivismWe will be having another open artists conversation.From hand stitched banners to Banksy on The West Bank, arts and crafts have aided, added, subjected moments and movements in time.Come and join us as we discuss the artists role in society, is it simple enough to just fill the world with beautiful things or is there a need for artists to speak out.Find us on the top floor gallery.
For Somersets Art Weeks, Blanka will be available to teach you the techniques of continental crotchet and knitting.Blanka will be in her ground floor workshop in the Zigzag building. Come and find her and discuss what you want to learn.Booking is not necessary yet if groups are over 6 then she may have to slot you in another day. If you have a particular day you want to come then give her a ring on the number below.On display will also be her makings under Oli Crafts, beautiful handmade coats, hats, cardigans and more. She also works with up-cycled and recycled materials to create slow fashion pieces. All are available to buy.Commission are also welcome, if you have a special occasion piece or even want a simple alteration come and have a chat.
“We are all over the 27th of April from 11am – 10pm, smashing out another FREE day of positive vibes, art & music!For a second year we going to be the second venue to the Style of Somersets – Skate Park Paint Jam!The Zigzag Building team are going to open up `the yard`.There will be kids workshops run by local artists Julia B & Aeon Love.This venue will be open all day as a chill-out, solvent free space with music, poetry & a treasure hunt.20 beautifully hand painted empty spray cans will be hidden around Bridies Mound and a walk to the site has been planned for the afternoon. This is chance for people to visit this historic & spiritual site…and find treasure!The music and good vibes will continue on the Sunday as well.Come play with us!Styles Of Somerset hosted by Rogues Gallery, Glastonbury.”
“For two weeks The Zigzag Building in Glastonbury, Somerset will be open for Somerset Arts Weeks Festival 2019.
Over the two weeks there will be a mixed media group show on the top floor gallery.
Performance and workshops in Interactive Theater Pandoras, currently residing on the second floor of Zigzag.
On the ground floor Oli Crafts is displaying all things up-cycled fashion, crotchet and knitting.
There is also more art, music, performances, discussions, screenings, workshops happening. See Whats on for more details”
S.A.W Grand Opening Party:
Music, installations, art and dancing
DATE: Sun 7th Aprbridge building!!
We will be having an open discussion on male and female experiences in and of the art world.If you are a practicing artist or even a supporter your opinion is important.The discussions will be held yet this is an informal event so please drop in whenever you feel.Find us on the top floor gallery of Zigzag.
Zigzag will be joining Styles Of Somerset this year.
We`ll be in the events new area – The ZigZag Car Park!
They`ll be Kids Eco Workshops using water based paints so no fumes.
They`ll be eco-graff from different artists.Dance!
and the Chill-Out Dome.Bring yourselves, sunshine, good vibes.(keep paint inside the park, respect each other & the area)Styles Of Somerset hosted by Rogues Gallery, Glastonbury.