Emerging artist to unveil new work ‘reflecting sardonic humour of Northampton’

Northampton Is My Fate
Northampton Is My Fate

A photographic image that could be seen as a proud celebration of Northampton or a self-effacing swipe will be unveiled in the town tomorrow by an emerging British artist.

Sayed Sattar Hasan has hired an advertising billboard in Cotton End to showcase his work under the banner of Northampton Is My Fate.

He first used the phrase in a piece created for the exhibition, Third Space, at the NN gallery earlier this year.

NN has continued to work with Sayed to develop the new artwork, which will be on display from October 6 to October 18.

A spokesperson for NN said: “The huge photographic image could be interpreted as a proud celebration or a self- effacing swipe at Northampton, reflecting the sardonic humour of the town.

“Hasan’s interest in home, belonging and circumstance reflects a contemplative approach to looking at relationships with the places we find ourselves, in the unpredictable journey of life.

“The piece may be seen as an unexpected anomaly in the urban landscape for passers-by to encounter and make sense of on their own terms,” the spokesperson said.

The concept will be further brought to public attention through the distribution of Northampton Is My Fate badges and postcards at Northampton train station intermittently between October 7-10.

In exporting the slogan beyond the boundary of the town, the ephemeral objects have the potential to become honorary distinctions associating a person to Northampton, or cryptic messages for curious travellers to discover and disseminate further.

The artist constructed the slogan using rubble collected from the demolition site of the Greyfriars bus station in Northampton. Before its demise (March 2015), the Brutalist structure nicknamed ‘the mouth of hell’ was regarded as one of the ‘ugliest’ buildings in Britain, but for many people it was simply misunderstood, much like the town itself. In its new incarnation, the debris forms part of a work exploring both the physical and emotional regeneration of people and places.

Sayed said: “Home towns can feel like starting places where futures are imagined elsewhere, but who’s to know where you end up.

“In a world of turmoil where people risk their lives to journey somewhere better, and global cities that financially cripple people trying to live in them, Northampton, isn’t that bad.

2After recently moving back here, I started to view my relationship with it (Northampton) in a different way. Wherever I dream of being, Northampton is part of a constellation of places, people and things that has a bearing on my life. These connections are important to me, so I use my artistic practice to explain why.”

Northampton Is My Fate is one of the offsite projects investigating ideas of movement called Filaments of the Dandelion Clock taking place across Northampton summer–winter 2015. Other Filaments artists participating include Tessa Farmer, Liz Ballard, SeeNN and Nicola Conibere. It is part of NN’s Ways to think about diaspora season.