Posts Tagged ‘Faye Bunclark’

The Grain Escape Goes Global


The day of the performance came and we had a strong clear insight into our plans. We had previously taken all the cakes we had baked and the necessary furniture to the library before hand so in the morning all we had to do was ‘pop up’ the café. Everything we had brought together to form the café worked well, from the initial presentation of the space to our standardised uniforms. The attention to detail was key. We had someone at the door giving the participants name tags and allocating them a class similar to that of ‘Duckie- The class club’. Once allocated they would either be seated and obtain first class service or essentially work for their cake; showing the class difference. When entering the café, we would often split group members up and assign them different stations. The response was what we expected; people would ask ‘why’ and state that they felt ‘different’ when they had to work to be seated. However this is what we wanted them to feel. The participants seemed to enjoy the historical aspect of the café and intrigued to learn what it was specifically used for since some of the original workings of the building are still visible.

 1     1374  2

We had a strong structure to the performance, with a change of stations every thirty minutes, with a whistle to signify the change. Then on the hour we would all line up and go out side for a cigarette break to signify the working aspect of the warehouse. It was these elements to the performance which gave it the authenticity.

Many performers can take a space and make it their own, many of which either do this successfully or not. I believe our performance was a success, taking into account the background research throughout; the outcome of our performance was a success. The carefully thought out structure and attention to detail helped progress our space beyond our expectations. It didn’t only transform the space itself but transformed our attitudes to it. ‘The empty space encouraged the actors to see themselves not only as improvisers lending themselves to their inner impulses but as artists’3 . The transformation both physically within the library and mentally in us helped us create something with an imaginative, artistic flair.

We explored many ways to give the space a place of meaning. By exploring many routes and playing with our ideas we managed to develop our idea whilst integrating the historical aspects we wanted and keeping it creative and fun. ‘Exploration is a prerequisite for place-making; it is, I think, another form of play; conversely, play creates place’4 . The Key word in this is ‘play’ we had fun with the space and identified what worked and what didn’t. This is something that we will continue to do not just within a certain space, but with idea’s as it is a great was to develop and create something spectacular.


  1. Photo taken by Faye Bunclark, 2013 []
  2. Photo Taken By Rim Petros, 2013 []
  3. Peter Brook, 2008. Empty Space (Penguin Modern Classics). Edition. Penguin Books. P52 []
  4. Biggs, E. 2009, Everyone play: Sound, Public Space, and the (re)making of  place, Princeton University, P77 []
Posted: May 13th, 2013
Categories: Library, The Grain Escape
Comments: No Comments.

Leaving A Mark

cafe(Pictures – Univeristy of Lincoln library, Twitter, 3rd May 2013)
A pop-up cafe is temporary; there for one day only, no one knows where the cafe will pop up or when? When we brought The Grain Escape to the library on Friday 3rd May we gave nothing away that would indicate a fully -functioning cafe will be occupying the free space of the library from 9am till 5pm.  I am currently sat in the library at this present moment reflecting back to the 3rdMay, and when I walked past the free space earlier the space is now empty again with no sign The Grain Escape was ever there.  When re-entering the free space I noticed a single grain swept up against the skirting board and this  now serves as my own piece of history because it is the only remnant in the room that documents the 3rd May. The Grain Escape holds a place in history; memories have been created for everyone who was there.  I think this also represents the building’s own history, first built in 1907 as The Great Central Goods and Grain Warehouse, no one in the library today will be old enough to remember the building as a factory but the steel beams on the ceilings and the photographs serve as the only recollection of the library’s former state.

Madeline Bunting introduced the artist The Chewing Gum Man who is seen on the streets of London for painting “a picture on the discarded gum that litters the urban pavements.”(Bunting , 2007) The pictures have a personal connection ,for example, the spot where he is working might be the very same place two people shared their first kiss. The artist claims by painting the discarded chewing gum  he is “humanising an anonymous urban environment.” (Bunting 2007)In relation to the library, and through my earlier observations ,I discussed how the library is a place mainly for independent study where minimal conversations take place, [unless the library users already know each other]. So, it can be argued the library is an anonymous environment. The aim of introducing a pop-up cafe was to break down the social conventions of the library and create a social environment by adding personality to the space. Just like the Chewing Gum Man who uses images to humanise the city,during Friday we asked the customers to stick their names tags on to their cup and then peg the cup on to the washing line positioned on the back wall.
Leave your markLeave your Mark Washing lineLeave your mark

(Naomi Shaw, Great Central Library , Friday 3rd May 2013)

This created a visual collection of people that visited The Grain Escape ,but equally the physicality of placing a cup on the line is documenting an existence of someone who visited the library.  By naming the washing line Leave a Mark it functions to record who visited The Grain Escape on Friday 3rd May 2013.

Bunting Madeline, Policing Of The Artist , Guardian , 2007

Word count : 430

Cafe Voices

We decided to include an audio-devise into the cafe, the audio is used for documentation purposes. However, when listening to it back ,it suggests the cafe met our aims and specification that we had when having the initial idea. From listening to the conversations taking place between customers it suggests a communal environment was created. Social class was a common subject matter. Additionally, a cafe atmosphere was established, clearly showing that we successfully managed to change the free-empty space.

Word Count: 80


Our Utopia

 We decided to create a backdrop and label it as OUR UTOPIA. We would then ask the customers who ,we said, were working class to write what their utopia would be or one dream on the white board and have a picture. This corresponds to the notion that manual labour is hard and that often an indivdual’s dream is a source of escapism.
On refelection , and the end process of our cafe, we had angled the socio-political message towards class and industrializition in which lends itself towards Marxist concept of “class and the capatalist mode of production.” ( Strangleman  2009 p.812)

Below are example pictures taken from the day – (Photo images by Charlotte Mooney, Friday 3rd May 2013, Great Central Library Lincoln)

austrailiafranceteacher8less scary place

zoo keepercomfort

Halford, S, & Strangleman, T 2009, ‘In Search of the Sociology of Work: Past, Present and Future’, Sociology, 43, 5, p. 811, Publisher Provided Full Text Searching File, EBSCOhost, viewed 11 May 2013.

Word count: 97

The final touches


(Rim Petros, Friday 3rd May 2013, The Great Central Library)

Jane Lindon wrote an article describing the experience of visiting Jenny Lawson’s Bake Me A Cake. The article observes Lawson’s exhibition.  I have quoted Lindon’s opinion regarding the visual aspect of the cafe as she  notes, the cafe clearly “demonstrates the thinking and the doing; the theory and the practice; and, significantly, the meta-discursive nature and the multiple modes of knowledge drawn in through the research process.”
In terms of The Grain Escape and transferring the free space, our specification stated that: “We aim to make  the cafe visually enticing . But we also want the added detail to  represent the research we have undertaken over the weeks of developing our project.”
Below are the added detail that we included in the cafe’s end result that represent the devloping process of The Grain Esape.

The statistics  that we sourced from the library’s staff memeber, Lesley, were presented onto the blackboard positoned on the cake counter.

(Naomi Shaw, Friday 3rd May 2013, The Great Central Library

We placed a notice next to the tables that included the names of library users that told us their favourite cakes.


(Naomi Shaw, Friday 3rd May 2013, The Great Central Library)

The grain reprsented the research undertaken to find out the history of the building
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(Naomi Shaw, Friday 3rd May 2013, The Great Central Library)

The carved sign “The Grain Escape” symbolises labour and manufacturing through the physical exercution of carving the words out of the wood.
our utopia

 (Charlotte Mooney , Friday 3rd May 2013, Great Central Library Lincoln)


Word Count: 240





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