A Space to Be

By 19th November 2021 November 24th, 2021 Creative Practice

I had a informal meeting this afternoon with the ever-lovely Sam Metz. They are currently working for Scarborough Museums Trust on a new community-based project called ‘A Space to Be’:

As we adapt to a world that is simultaneously still experiencing and recovering from the pandemic, we have recognised that communities might look for support to regenerate. A Space to Be will launch in February 2022 as a community space in Scarborough Art Gallery aiming to provide a warm welcome to visitors and community groups. This is a year-long pilot project (February 2022 – February 2023) will support Scarborough Museums Trust to become a more democratic, inclusive and relevant space for everyone. The project has a focus on local community groups, families and children as well as general visitors to the gallery.

– Scarborough Museums Trust website

I’ve been invited to do something in there alongside the local Scarbs community. We chatted about the aims of ‘A Space to Be’, the overall brief, budgets and timeframes, how I could help, where my practice is at the moment, and what I could do / deliver / coproduce. It’s really encouraging as well that they’re really interested in practice-based research as well. I know want to do something that is relevant to the things I’m researching and exploring within my practice (either directly or indirectly)… so something based in nature, the environment, or reflections on one’s sense of connectedness to the Earth. I babbled onto Sam about the ideas and concepts and unarticulated thoughts that inform my work (God bless them…) and what could be drawn out of that at Scarbs. I’m keen to work with the coastline there, it’s stunning and I’m sure the community there will certainly have an opinion on it!

Part of the brief is also to make some sort of mark on the room – a framework or ‘thing’, relevant to the project, that can be used or referred to by later groups or projects.

We bounced some ideas around… Could we go foraging somewhere to making ink from natural materials? Mindful drawing in Nature? Storytelling through natural objects?  Can we build and sit around a bonfire so we can make our own charcoal to draw with? Sensory drawing? For this projects legacy ‘framework’, how about painting a wall in the colour of the most popular ink made in the workshop(s)?

The next step: Sam is going to chat to their boss and set up a meeting – either irl or over Zoom – to meet each other and work out what’s what in a bit more depth. I’d like a day trip to Scarbs but my availability is terrible these days! I’m also going to be compiling a ‘menu’ of things I could do – they can pick whichever ones are feasible in terms of risk, access, the space, funds, and so on.

It’s very exciting 🙂

Image copyright: Scarborough Museums Trust.

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