It has been quite a while since our last newsletter and during this period we have been creating some extraordinary public art work through our Pentagon project. Inspired by the 5 Ways to Wellbeing, five socially engaged artists have created highly engaging and unusual public art pieces inspiring dialogue, debate, community development and a huge amount of fun!
All of our Pentagon Artists were fortunate to attend our recent International Residency where we hosted Darren O’Donnell from Canadian company, Mammalian Diving Reflex. Darren put us through our paces, took us well out of our comfort zone and quite honestly through some of the most terrifying and exhilarating work I have done in years. We hope to work with Darren again in the future and thank him for an eye-opening 2 days. If you haven’t seen it already, click here to watch the film that was made about this event.
In other news, we were very pleased to see the launch of B&NES Creative and Cultural Strategy last month at The Holbourne Museum. I was on the steering group for the strategy and it is great to see that it has been launched and adopted by the current administration. There is much work to do in bringing it to life and embedding it within our sector, however we are very happy it is here! http://cfba.org.uk/bnes-councils-cultural-and-creative-strategy-review-2015-2020/
We were also very happy recently to host Hannah Hull for a co|Create event entitled, “What is Socially Engaged Art?”, held in partnership with Bath Artist’s Studios. Hannah is an expert in this field not only as a practising artist, but also as a scholar and critic. Her presentation of the historical building blocks that have led to this art movement was fascinating, as was a description of her own work in this field. It was an inspiring event that resonated with all of the artists that attended. A video of her talk with be shared on our website and Facebook page in a week or so.
The series continues on Monday 23 November at 6-8pm at Bath Artists’ Studios where Bristol-based socially engaged artists Ali Brown and Rebecca Swindell share their work and inspiration. I look forward to seeing some of you there.
Finally, it was great to be invited to a lunch with Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, where I was able to tell him about the work Creativity Works delivers in Bath and North East Somerset and beyond. We chatted about recent advances in arts and health work and our socially engaged approach, some of which, I hope, may be of use when he meets the Chief Exec of NHS England soon.
(Director, Creativity Works)