The Great Escape
This summer was a busy one. As part of Lewisham’s first festival of Creative Ageing we embarked on two mini ‘camping’ trips into the wilds of London with 10 elders from the Albany’s over 60s club, Meet Me. Our spot.. under the beautiful trees in Greenwich Park. Accompanying us on each trip were brilliant Meet Me volunteers & an artist, who came along to document the trip, take our ‘holiday portrait’ and lead a holiday themed activity. On the first we were joined by Merlin Hayward, musician and movement artist, and on the second – Lakeisha Lynch Stevens, theatre practitioner. Together for a few hours we had all the fun you can have on holiday, albeit an hour from our homes. Songs were sung round the caravan, bbq’d sausage baps eaten, multiple cups of tea drunk, silly games were played, postcards were written, stories were told, fancy dress was adorned, buggy trips enjoyed and many many laughs were had! And on the 28th September all our holiday memories were brought back to the heart of Deptford as part of the festival’s outdoor trail.
Thanks so much to our Great Escapees, The Albany, Entelechy Arts, Royal Parks Greenwich & all other staff, teams and funders at the Age at the brilliant Machine festival, it was an honour to be part of it
Brockley Open Studios & the Hillyfields festival
I collaborated with Brockley Open Studios at Hilly Fields Fayre on Sat 22 June this year. This brilliant organisation is all about opening doors, and building on the creative community that thrives in the quiet streets of SE4 and SE14.
The event fell on Windrush Day and Refugee Week, with its 2019 theme ‘you, me and those who came before’. At the caravan we invited people to map a significant journey they’ve made or their parents and grandparents before them. The stories people shared were fascinating, heartwarming and often harrowing.
I’m also excited to share I’ve got a busy summer ahead with 3 funded projects; each is about collaboration, taking people to places they don’t normally get to go and place-making through sharing.. food, creativity, music, stories and memories. They are all about celebrating being with others, in nature, in London! Can’t say too much more but watch this space for more info..
Room with a view: Telegraph Hill Festival
An immersive, subversive installation that played on attitudes towards migration in the complicated times of post-referendum Britain.
For this event, the caravan was transformed into a bird shelter; with nesting eagles, hummingbirds, swan bills, ospreys and other bird life from around the world streamed live through each window via a series of wildlife webcams.
Other parts of the installation gave a creative voice to refugees from AFRIL’s Helping Hands foodbank in Lewisham. Framed 19th C world maps displayed their routes to the UK in gold. Vintage British postcards were up cycled by the group with butterflies and feathers and messages written on ‘from exile’. Visitors to the caravan were invited to write back.
Thanks to AFRIL for the collaboration and to Explore.org for providing access to their amazing range of webcams.
You can find their webcams and films documenting social campaigns here:
Open Space: Brockley Open Studios
A participatory installation that ‘opened up’ and cheered up space for guests
For this project I worked with Brockley Open Studios local schools and a women’s refugee group to explore local spaces that were either inviting or hostile. Through the process we created a collective kalaidescopic artwork from coloured gravel that combined the idea of the British garden path with the Hindi idea of Rangoli – a welcoming ritual. People were invited to contribute to this throughout the day.
for the people: Croft Fest
For Croft Fest the interior of the caravan become a miniature Zen Garden with works by Brockley based artist Kaori Homma. Origami making took place at the table outside.
Home from Home: Telegraph Hill Festival
The caravan appeared three times at the festival over the course of a week with a photographic installation, which saw the caravan wallpapered in local resident’s objects; a live music event with songs from the road performed by candlelight and screenings of animations by child refugees in Calais. Through these events I aimed to explore the idea of home through notions of comfort & freedom, displacement & refuge. This was a collaborative project with works provided by Art Refuge UK & Cafe Art.
CARAVAN ARTS works with artists, local communities & places to create temporary, site specific & immersive works within & around the 13ft space of the vintage van.
For more information contact Sarah on email@example.com