The Turnpike CIC was a bold, independent not-for-profit arts project with community at its heart, based in Leigh, Greater Manchester.

This web archive, titled Could this be paradise? reflects on our 5 years in Leigh, highlighting the community voices and artists who have worked with us to shape our organisation.

We want to say a huge thank you to our Turnpike family; the team members, volunteers, artists, community members, peer organisations, funders and supporters who have invested their energy, creativity and ingenuity with us over the years.

Touch AR: Brass Art

For the past five years, the importance of touch and gesture have been at the forefront of Brass Art’s thinking and creative practice. Touch AR grew from an idea of a gallery exhibition into a multi-faceted, multi-site artwork in the light of Covid-19 restrictions.

The series of artworks in Touch AR address the past, the strange present, and times yet to come. From the Wigan Borough's legacy of industry and coal mining to the recent renewal of local wetlands through the return of extinct, native species - there are signals for hope within this imagery.

Touch AR mixes 3D scans of the artists’ hands with 3D models and collaged images from the artists’ collection. This imagery is drawn from the local history of Wigan and Leigh, and their twinned town of Angers through its famous Tapestry of the Apocalypse. It includes examples of successful environmental regeneration within the local region and uses detailed images from historic illustrated books and prints held at Chetham’s Library, Manchester.

Brass Art worked remotely with software designers to create immersive artworks to be activated by the public. The Touch AR app requires you to use fingertip touch to explore new artworks with your screen devices and trigger the animations and sounds.

Touch AR is dedicated to the memory of Michael Powell, late Chief Librarian at Chetham’s Library, Manchester. This project was part of Wanderland, a creative partnership between The Turnpike and Lancashire Wildlife Trust.

About Brass Art

Brass Art is the collaborative practice of artists Chara Lewis, Kristin Mojsiewicz and Anneké Pettican. The trio use light-based technologies to re-animate objects, create digital doubles and shadow-plays in practices of sculpture, installation and drawing.

Engaging with archives and sites of special interest, Brass Art explore novel ways to bring unexpected or overlooked things to light, and to life. Whether unearthing forgotten objects in a museum store, unfolding subterranean maps in a 17th century library archive, or laser-scanning the interiors of famous writers’ rooms, Brass Art bring unexpected elements together into a dialogue often with surprising results. For Touch AR the technology of augmented reality has enabled the artists to bring their 2D artworks to animated life in a real world setting.

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