A new commission by Julie Myers and Maria Anastassiou
Since summer 2016 we have been working with the residents of two roads in Queen’s Park, Bedford to explore the concept of home and the place where we live. Working with artists Julie Myers and Maria Anastassiou from the outset, the project has developed into a long term creative community programme called Clubhouse, which will run until Spring 2018.
In-Situ Cinema July 2016
It all began in July 2016 with In-Situ Cinema , when young residents of Chester and Carlisle Roads in Bedford took to their local streets in a film-making project about the place where they live. Over a period of four weekends they worked with artists Julie Myers and Maria Anastassiou to explore their neighbourhood and create a magical and irreverent film about life on their two roads in Queen’s Park, Bedford.
From revealing hidden spaces and favourite places for play, to collecting the neighbourhood’s sounds and memories from residents young and old, the film explores the two roads with the children as our guides. All the local residents from the two roads road were invited to stop by, join the group activities and chat about what it’s like to live in their part of Bedford.
The artists worked from a circus-style black and white cinema tent that was pitched each weekend on a small green on the corner of the two roads. The tent was a space for film making, for gathering and for showcasing the films and soundscapes and it became a photographic portrait studio too.
Supported using public funding by Arts Council England and by housing association bpha, the project was hugely successful so in partnership with bpha, we looked at how we could continue and develop the project.
“I think this was fun because these things don’t happen around this area and you can learn different things here.”
Animating Environments Winter 2016-17
Over the winter months we worked with Maria Anastassiou to develop the programme and a second film making project entitled Animating Environments. Through a series of film and animation workshops in November 2016 and February 2017, the young residents delved deeper into their ideas about the hidden spaces and built up world around where they live. They explored the use of cut-out collage stop-frame 2D animation techniques using both found and drawn images, combined with simple sound effects, to create colourful, vibrant worlds inspired by their two streets.
Introducing Clubhouse 2017-18
We are now working together with the residents on a longer-term creative community programme until March 2018, inviting the community to come together to explore and celebrate the place where they live, and take part in a film project about a year in the life of their two roads.
In this new programme, artists Julie Myers and Maria Anastassiou are inviting residents to share their stories of life on their road and develop an inter-generational film about place and the concept of home. Working on location on the two roads, the artists have created a portable scaffold tower to locate the film-making activities. Each month and through the summer residents are being invited to meet at the Clubhouse on the greens on the two streets, to take part in all aspects of making the film, including script-writing, story-telling, filming, animation, sound recording, set design, special effects and editing.
Alongside the film-making project residents are being invited to explore new ideas around community and coming together in shared activities. Again, meeting at the Clubhouse, ideas for this spring include a walking group, a nature garden, keep fit and adult literacy classes. As the project develops residents will be invited to run their own community activities.
Watch this space and see the project unfold
Clubhouse April 2017 to March 2018
Clubhouse is supported by a grant from money raised by HealthCourage through the Health Lottery, plus additional support from housing association bpha and Arts Council England.
But check back soon for updates
Julie Myers makes work in response to people and place. Her work combines traditional techniques such as photography, filmmaking and drawing together with mobile and web technologies. She looks for accessible, everyday ways that people make sense of their environment through memory, personal experience and the representation of story. These concerns have been extended though collaborations with school children, senior citizens, scientists, computer programmers, gardeners, architects, on-line participants and others.
An award-winning artist filmmaker who is interested in using old and new technology, along with archived images to make her work. Her work is also collaborative, working together with different people and different communities to make new and exciting work that opens up a conversation to explore new ideas.