What started out as a conversation over coffee, has mushroomed into a reimagining of paradise (warehouse style). Frustrated by the sterile experience of attending to traditional galleries, artist and 3D maker, Jenna Jardine is driven to create work that appeals to the natural curiosity of human nature. In May 2014, Haringey Arts met Joe Wright, a local architect renting a studio in a nearby warehouse. Enthused by the community he had planted himself and his business within, he was keen to get involved. Shortly after Haringey Arts connected the two – a pallet obsession was born.
What’s particularly interesting about Pallet Paradise is the unique combination that comes from artists and architects collaborating. There isn’t a clear distinction, the process isn’t linear, it isn’t an “us and them” experience. Architects are story tellers through structures and light, artists manifest ideas through physical mediums and both create conceptual interpretations within environments. This interrelationships was a learnt experience during the making of Pallet Paradise. At times a fearful experience, not knowing where roles related, where leadership was placed. At others it was joyous, allowing ambitions to flourish feeding each other’s collective sense of creating. One thing for certain, collaboration of specialisms breathes life into the process and that remains the heartbeat of Pallet Paradise and warehouse live/work.
During the early stages of discussion, the focus on alternative living and reimaging the warehouse live/work community was at the core of all thinking. An appeal was sent out and numerous artists replied with their own imaginings. Many people have come and gone through the collaborative process that followed. It takes a certain resilience to present work collectively and shape something as a collaboration. It is not a criticism of those who left, rather an acknowledgement of the self awareness of those who stayed. Eight artists and three architects remained, along with other technically gifted minds. All of whom play their role in telling the Pallet Paradise story.
The original plan was to stage the event in a giant pallet maze – the ambition of which was scaled back after a pilot event was hosted in May 2015. Pallets stacked up on their side do create instant impact, but what was discovered during the pilot was the intricacies and subtleties they offer in equal measures. Only through play were the collaborators able to discover a different voice, a subtly of tone and an intimacy that they wanted to explore. As you navigate Pallet Paradise, exploring whichever path you want to take, you’ll feel a range of experiences. By making the installations integral to the physical structures, the audience engages more in a multi-sensory experience than as a passive bystander.
Pallets, cable ties and gaffa tape are our building blocks as warehouse dwellers. As a community we have sprung up in Haringey and now represent a live/work population of over 1,500 people in the borough alone. Living in mainly former textile factories, the community has revitalised what was once a no go area. This is not a speech on urban regeneration, rather an expression of the unique energy that exists when a similar demographic lives side by side. It is a rare opportunity and creates an intense dynamic allowing ideas to flow and opportunities to play out. Where else in London can your lifestyles and careers be immersed in such intensity. Pallet Paradise is born from and filled to the brim with this energy; an asset we all want to nourish and protect.
Welcome to Pallet Paradise.