Films commissioned by Cheshire West and Chester Council and made by artist Patricia MacKinnon-Day to celebrate the opening of the new Chester Market, have been selected for the 2023 Time Space Existence Venice Biennale exhibition.
The films titled ‘The Start of All Imaginings’, are a series of short films that chronicle nine Chester Market traders’ journey from the old to the new market which opened in November 2022.
Combining interviews and viewer responses with behind-the-scenes footage exploring the realities of being a market trader and their personal experiences; traders express their excitement and anticipation about moving to a new market space and what motivated them to became traders.
The films also explore the importance of markets, how they contribute to a sense of place and what this means in the context of regeneration and how markets can survive and evolve. Traders featured include butcher Geoff Hughes, fishmonger Steve Cartridge, brothers Shaf and Siaf Sharif from Guroma, Martin Taylor from The Sandbar, Stuart Fenney from Nice Bites, Sirikorn Jones from Thai by Thai, Ray Moriss and Lara Gergis from The MRKT Café and Purely Pots’ Lisa Dean. The films’ soundtrack also features Chester Cathedral Choristers and its Saturday morning singing club, with words and music arranged by Grace Crook and Tim McLachan.
This year’s Venice Biennale has been organised by the European Cultural Centre and will be titled ‘Time Space Existence’ from 20 May – 27 November to promote best practice in urban landscapes, community engagement and sustainability – all of which have been key guiding principles behind the design of the new market. The Chester Market films will be shown in the historic Palazzo Mora and will include exhibits by artists from over 50 countries.
Artist Patricia MacKinnon-Day said: “I am delighted to have been selected to show my films in Venice at such a culturally influential event. My films offer an insight into the day-to-day realities of a market trader’s life and their personal journeys into the wonderful new market, interwoven with responses from a mixed demographic of individuals living in and around the outskirts of Chester including North Wales, about the importance of markets, how they contribute to a sense of place and the community as a whole.
“Venice also is a fitting place to celebrate this work as one of the greatest historic trading entities where its powerful merchants defined the social and cultural systems of the city.”
Patricia’s Chester Market films will also be featured as part of the forthcoming Chester Contemporary Arts festival in September and are also available to view online:
A Market Trader’s Story:
At Home with The Market Traders: