My work in community arts provision spans a 30 year period as an arts practitioner managing projects and facilitating workshops within a culturally diverse area of London. I also taught courses in adult community learning for 8 years. I have an arts practice which incorporates social and visual methodology examining the value of local histories and lived experience of people through storytelling. Projects often involve an initial extensive research approach, incorporate multi-disciplinary methods and involve collaboration with the public, other disciplines or artists. Dialogue is central to my working process, realised through attendance at community meetings, volunteering or incidental conversations with individuals. This allows me to identify where artistic activity can be beneficial and develop appropriate creative strategies. My current work is embedded within housing, local community activism and food solidarity.
The Farm: Narratives of Home
A Situated Practice on Broadwater Farm Estate
My work in housing activism began in 2015 during which I created SA63-Home (2015) is a series of altered estate agent signs installed on public park land that had been targeted for development by the local council in partnership with a property developer. I then developed project SA62-Home (2016-17), an ‘incident room’ installation of drawings, photo-documentation and transcribed interviews with resident’s responses to the redevelopment proposal. This was followed by SA61-Home (2018), a documentary film based on an elder resident’s own experience. Since the campaign against this redevelopment was won, I focused instead on celebrating the people’s lives and sense of community on the estate. The Farm – Narratives of Home (2019) is a story telling project in collaboration with local spoken word artist Abe Gibson and residents who contributed narratives. It culminated in a film, sound piece and an evening event that involved live projection onto the side of a residential block, spoken word poetry and an ‘open mic’ opportunity. It was opened by Middlesex University Chancellor Dame Janet Ritterman, Haringey Councillor Zena Brabazon and attended by 50+ people.