Sometimes projects come along that really help you to connect back with your own subjects and themes while at the same time exploring new territories, this is really the sweet spot for me, and it has been an absolute pleasure to work on a new project with the fantastic young people at Creatives Now.
Wide venn diagrams covering mapping, psychogeography, mass observation studies, poetry, local history archives and finally a window installation have been rich veins to explore that have not only allowed me to share some of my process with a new group, but also gave me the opportunity to be led and developed by a group of young people keen to make a creative impact on their town. The ultimate in win win. Overheard speech, book titles from archives and poetic responses to field work all came together in a rich and intriguing cultural soup which had almost endless possibilities- it is always fantastic to be in the middle of a project and almost have TOO MANY ideas on where it could go next!
I really think the opening of empty shop spaces to creatives (as well as inviting local groups in to explore collections) is a real way forward to town centre regeneration- look at Stockport, Glossop and beyond. In come the arts and there follows this mysterious and difficult concept to pin down…a vibrant culture. Bury and Radcliffe take note!
The final piece we created “The Anatomy of a Town” was a combination of found text, sculpture and an attempt to reimagine the town centre as something new. For me, it was also great to be working as an artist and workshop facilitator, a side of my practice which I continue to develop through collaborative projects and my work with Factory International (where I am keen to keep young people and local artists front and centre). Got a project? Feel like collaborating? Have an empty shop you think some artists could work in? Need a poet or artists to help articulate your project? Get in touch