Overbury Cotton Reel

South African, Jenna Jardine has been living in the Overbury Road warehouse community since 2009. Hard to pin down, Jenna has an appetite to work in as many art forms as possible. Whilst resident in the area Jenna has formed a number of collaborations with other residents and often creates large scale installations through ‘Monkey Jar’, a company she runs in partnership with Richard McGrath a former warehouse resident.

Jenna and Richard were one of four artists  in Manor House who were commissioned to create a destination sign by the local landlord. Instead of approaching traditional sign makers, local residents were given the opportunity to pitch their interpretation.

The Approach
Jenna wanted to create a sign that reflected both the textile heritage of the area and the new vibrant wave of creative people that now call the area their home. The sign is a 3D installation based on a scaled up Cotton Reel. Jenna used 50m of rope to around half of the Cotton Reel and the other half is covered in 136 handmade Perspex pyramids. On the end of the Cotton Reel are two Perspex signs which display the destination sign ‘Artists Village, A Space for Creatives’. The sign is illuminated and creates a really compelling welcome to Overbury Road during the darker hours.

The Outcome
Jenna Jardine is incredibly thankful to the Landlord for this opportunity. “We would never have considered such an ambitious and experimental project without the funding from Haringey Arts and the Landlord. Rarely does a client give you as much freedom to create new work.”.  The ‘Cotton Reel’ sign was launched on New Years Eve 2013 to a crowd of over 150 people – Jenna explains “I was amazed so many local residents turned up – they clearly loved it as so many have posted their own pictures on Facebook”.

Jenna is now a core group member of Haringey Arts, she’s also working with other warehouse residents to create a show that plans to perform at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and she is working on a paid contract for another warehouse based business as an illustrator. Looking forward Jenna explained “This really is a unique place in London, it’s amazing how many opportunities there are for someone to find work and make connections on your doorstep”.