HOOS art intervention: 20 September (part 1), and 4-5 October (part 2), 2014

1. In the grounds of Brixton’s Windmill, Windmill Gardens, SW2 5EU (Open House weekend)
2. 49 Grange Walk, Bermondsey (ACAVA open studios weekend)

The first in an ongoing series of community engaged art installations to raise awareness of the value of artists, their community contributions and need to find and use space.

Under cover, reproduced fragments of artists’ works were hung in grids. On the reverse of each fragment, the following text was printed:

There’s more to this.
This artist gave this fragment of their work for a limited time, and free of charge, to raise an awareness of:
• the value of an artist’s work
• the control they may or may not have over their imagery
• their need to find and use space to be creative
• how local artists transform communities with their contributions.

Visiting members of the public were invited to take away a fragment in exchange for their written solutions to current artist issues, ranging from engagement, to support, to finding space.

Amongst the contributions of art fragments and hand-written solutions, images of vacant commercial spaces from surrounding local areas, were interspersed.

Suggestions for artists (some repeated) from the public included:
• A collection of various business card contacts for people who could potentially advise on finding space
• A website to promote local art and artists
• Contact universities and schools to use their spaces during ‘down-time’ for workshops and exhibitions
• Organise exhibitions for young people on estates
• Organise art projects for early-years children on local estates (it is felt, art outreach starts with older children)
• Help bridge artistic community engagement between local people and heritage and cultural sites (theatres etc.)
• Organise activities for parents and babies
• Spread the word: persist with carving out the smallest amount of personal creative time – start and be consistent
• Utilise pubs, indoor markets and other undercover spaces at Xmas time to sell art
• Work with schools to find creative ways in to all subjects, to improve learning – exchange services to schools for space
• Encourage tertiary students, while studying, to connect with media bodies for prospective creative opportunities
• Utilise public transport and office spaces more to show art
• Use art to address social problems and possibly fund such programmes through NGOs
• Artists should embrace technology and free services to promote their work
• Improve community understanding by showing outcomes and measured results form art projects
• Arts funding needs to exist, to invest in artists, and to balance artist contributions with giving back to the artist
• More opportunities need to be made available to mature artists. Too often, what is accepted as ’emerging’ from training, into an art career is ageist and excludes those nearer/over 40
• Combine art and sport to progress learning and break barriers.

Further networking is required and suggestions sought, as to how to support artists in the implementation of community engaged projects.

HOOS is following up on business contacts referred to.
Other suggestions to engage younger people is being considered as are plans to tap into alternative spaces, as mentioned above.

Head Out of Space (HOOS) thanks all of those who contributed fragments of their art work/text to the initial two installations. We exchanged great art for a range of ideas, which will be followed up. Findings will be published here in due course. Let’s continue to raise awareness of artists’ valuable contributions in communities and their need to find and use space to be creative.

Head Out Of Space poster

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