Bridges Project so far...
We have recently delivered a series of workshops to produce artworks based on the stories of participants lives. Artists involved in the project included installation artists Lou Grey, Marina Moreno and Emma Myers, poet Andrew McMillan, dancers Medea Madhavi and Cleo Lake and the Stand and Stare Theatre Jukebox.
Overall the artists delivered a total of 33 workshop sessions comprising 11 full-day and 22 half day sessions. Sessions were held on weekday evenings, daytime and weekends. The Trinity Centre was the base for most of the activities apart from some of the dance (held at Medea's private studio, Kuumba and Malcolm X Centre) and theatre jukebox workshops which were at the Watershed. We also used our second premises, Arts West Side, for Andrew's workshop with older people. The artists engaged a total of 120 participants, 98 of which were under the age of 16.
The first workshops were delivered in partnership with youth-led arts organisation Boom Satsuma, a new partnership relationship that has developed specifically as a result of this project. Poet Andrew McMillan worked with young people in Bristol inner city school Metropolitan, North Somerset schools Backwell and Nailsea, St Mary Redcliffe and Temple, The Meriton school for young mothers and Ravenswood school for children with learning difficulties in Nailsea.
Lou worked with four participants to create peep-hole model boxes. Emma Myers worked with four participants to produce a shoe sculpture. Marina worked closely with one participant to produce an installation piece.
Workshops by choreographer Cleo Lake who worked with Bristol Jamaican youth-group Jamafrique and Stand and Stare Theatre Jukebox were excellent examples of intergenerational dialogue with participants ranging from ages 7-50 during their sessions. The respective workshops targeting adults attracted a dedicated group of participants for each session. Medea worked with Hans Heffe a musician to produce a dance piece with four people during an Iranian dance and music workshop.
The artists worked together to help participants produce outcomes for the interim exhibition. We hosted a launch event on 17 September 6pm-9pm, which featured the adults and young people who had worked with the dance artists Medea Madhavi, Cleo Lake, a dramatic preview of the final show and introductory speeches by the artistic director and project coordinators. The work exhibited consisted of installations by artist Lou Gray, and Marina Morena the Theatre Jukebox by Stand and Stare. A composite poem created through workshops with schools was displayed on large boards by Andrew McMillan. There was also an accompanying video installation produced by partner organisation Boom Satsuma.
The exhibition and selected workshops were documented by Bristol media company First Born Creatives and by UWE photography student Marton Gosztonyi. First Born are also using footage from the workshops and exhibition to create a final film documenting the whole project.
We worked with the artists to pinpoint communities that they would like to work with and which also fell into the target groups identified in our Arts Council application. These included older people, BME and refugee groups and young people not in education or training. At least 20 percent of our adult and youth participants were from Black Minority Ethnic background. The predominant range of our participants fell between the age ranges of 25-50. Adult and young participants spanned the regional, occupational,class and educational diversity of Bristol and North Somerset. We have also engaged two long term volunteers as part of the project who worked with us to support the workshop and exhibition process and will be working to engage more volunteers in roles to support the project.
We are looking to host more workshops in partnerships with local artists and are working towards developing the final show to preview in early Summer 2013. If you are are part of a community group or an individual who would like to take part in coming workshops or activities, please contact Edson and Nick firstname.lastname@example.org