This week we reflect on our work bringing communities and artists together.
We often expect artists to have something to say, with a distinct voice. But in the three projects featured here, we find artists listening to others. Using photography, film and even an artist-made meal, Scarlett Crawford, Ruth Beale and Wendell McShine share their platform with others as they explore ideas of community and society, race and equality.
Our music playlist this week also responds to this theme, while our family activity encourages you and the family to get together and host a stay at home dinner party. We're also signposting you to an event that was to have taken place at Bluecoat this month involving socially-engaged artists.
Scarlett Crawford: First Waves
In 2018, marking the 50th anniversary of the Race Relations Act, Scarlett Crawford presented a bold new series of photographs made with young people in Liverpool, expressing their feelings and thoughts about the Race Relations Act and its legacy. You can read more about the exhibition at Bluecoat here.
This was part of a nationwide project commissioned by UK Parliament, where the work was later exhibited. First Waves also included a video of the participants. Find out more about the artist's work here.
Art: Connect - Wendell McShine
Mexican-based Caribbean artist Wendell McShine was our Liverpool Primary Care Trust artist in residence in 2012. He worked with members of Blue Room, our inclusive arts programme, and young people from the Pad in Norris Green. Aimed at improving their health and wellbeing, he led workshops in animation, mask-making, drawing and graffiti.
Watch a short documentary on the project here, the outcomes of which were exhibited at Bluecoat.
Wendell said, ‘This enriching exploration into the personal stories of (the group) is an attempt to bridge the generational gap and promote self-discovery and community togetherness.’
Ruth Beale’s discursive lunch brought a group of under 30s together to discuss ideas of good society, democracy and equality.
Collaborators Fairland Collective, An Endless Supply and Sufea Mohamed Noor helped to design tableware, a futuristic menu and games to stir conversation and debate. The Good Society Sunday Lunch was commissioned by I4P (now Institute of Social Responsibility ISR) a think tank run by Edge Hill University which researches and advocates for good society. Ruth's work fed into the report Civil Society and a Good Society which you can read here.
Proximity: new directions in art and social repair
Proximity is a symposium that was to have taken place at Bluecoat this month involving socially-engaged artists.
Organised by Migrant Artists’ Mutual Aid with artists mayfield brooks, Mary Pearson and Jennifer Verson, it has now moved online, where they will be joined by Yasin Dunan & Merve Kurt, Priya Sharma & Salma Noor, Aleasha Chaunte, and Seke Chimutengwende.
A range of contributions are available in advance of a live online event taking place on Sat 13 Jun, when there will be an opportunity to discuss themes of performance, social repair and peace-building in our new world.
Taking this week’s themes of community and society, race and equality, Bryan Biggs’ playlist focuses on songs of freedom and emancipation, of group solidarity and personal liberty.
While compiling this playlist, the events in Minneapolis were starting to unfold and, as the world responded with horror, indignation and solidarity, the selection took on a new urgency. While celebrating these songs, the reality is that the injustices that many of them railed against are far from overcome.
As a charity, we rely on the income generated by our cafe, bistro and events programme. While our building remains closed in line with guidance from Public Health England, we're losing a huge portion of our income.
Do you regularly visit Bluecoat for a coffee or lunch? We would be so grateful if you could consider donating what you might have spent. Your support will help us to reopen as soon as possible after the restrictions are lifted.
Image credits: Art:Connect Liverpool Project, 2012; Scarlett Crawford First Waves, Bluecoat Installation View, 2018; Ruth Beale, The Good Society Sunday Lunch, 2017; Manuel Vason with Migrant Artists Mutual Aid.