For three days of the October half-term, Clubhouse took over Bedford Hockey Centre for a packed programme of filmmaking, craft and sports activities designed by a working group of residents of Chester and Carlisle Roads in collaboration with the project’s lead artists Julie Myers and Maria Anastassiou and the BCA team.
In those three days, the hockey centre was transformed into a Clubhouse filming and sound studio and the artists hosted green screen and sound effects workshops for the young residents involved in the film. In the sound studio, the young people used different everyday items including dried beans and chopsticks, to create sounds that reflected their ideas in the film. The green screen workshop gave the young residents an opportunity to experiment with making their own special effects using footage taken on the two streets.
Alongside the filmmaking there were craft activities inspired by the working group’s ideas about what they would like to make happen in their local area for their neighbours, during the half-term. The group developed a number of ideas including painting plant pots for their elderly neighbours, hosting a board games café, and designing football shirts to be worn for a Chester Road vs Carlisle Road friendly football match.
Throughout the three days of activity, many regular and new residents from Chester and Carlisle Roads came to the hockey centre to take part. The sports activity led by local coach Daniel Bedeau included quick fire matches of rounders, football and basketball; the hip-hop dance taster sessions delivered by choreographer and dancer Si Rawlinson proved to be a hit with the parents and brought new meaning to threading; and the preparation of football shirts and banners to be used for the Friday night football match added to the excitement and anticipation for the game.
The week finished with an inter-generational football match with teams for both roads dressed in their hand-designed football shirts, and spectators cheering on with hand-made banners. After a thrilling game featuring a combination of some spectacular skills as well as some slightly more suspect football from the not-so-sporty of us (!) the final whistle blew with Carlisle Road winning 11-10.
The project continues until March 2018 and will culminate in a public presentation. Watch this space to see how Clubhouse evolves.
Clubhouse is a year-long art and community programme supported by a grant from Health Courage through the Health Lottery, plus support from Arts Council England, bpha and Bedford Borough Council
Photos by Cat Lane