The piece is one of a number of pieces made by the IP1NPNY group during a session where they met the work of Max Ernst, explored and identified 'involuntary paintings' in the area around Aikman Avenue shops in New Parks, near New Parks Library where the group is based, and then made frottage, rubbings, of and from them.
The works were made on the day before King Richard III was reinterred in Leicester Cathedral and are collectively called 'The King Richard III Municipal Services Memorial Collection'. Many of the memorial collection feature sewerage manhole covers and other service access plates. This particular work 'OSWALD ROAD ST' is from the road sign for St Oswald's Road directly opposite New Parks Library. On maps, and when people speak of this road it is as St Oswald's Road but the road sign is missing an 'S' hence just 'OSWALD'. Carl decided to alter the order of the words during the rubbing, the frottage process and to move it from an horizontal to a vertical reading.
It is a voluntary artwork out of a feature initially identified as an 'involuntary painting'.
The New Parks community involuntary painting group is linked with a group of artists in New York who exchange comments and encouragement with them via the internet.
Involuntary Painting 1 New Parks : New York is a project conceived by artists Millree Hughes (New York, USA) and Paul Conneally (Loughborough, UK) with and for Soft Touch Arts and New Parks Library with support from Arts Council England.
Note: Involuntary Painting is a term invented and coined for use in this context by Millree Hughes and further developed by Hughes with Paul Conneally:
'If an alien landed on Earth programmed with all the knowledge of modern art and painting what might they as they wandered around mistake for a painting?'
These mistakes are what Hughes and Conneally call 'involuntary paintings'. Surfaces and objects marked by time, mould, human and natural activity as stand-ins for the pigment, ground, support etc of voluntary painting, voluntary art.