Listening to the Future is a project developed by students and staff of Plymouth College of Art inspired by Tate Exchange.
Listening to the Future
"We began the Listening to the Future project as our response to the Tate Exchange theme of LOVE in early 2020, and have seen this develop through the rapid changes in situations we have all faced, not least through those at Tate which have meant a re-direction in our energies towards the new MIRROR platform for the project. Facing the uncertainty, we set out to apply the principles of Listening, Offering, Validating, and Empathising on an individual and communal level. The students took to heart the precept that only by acknowledging the other can one become aware of one’s own self, as a distinct and whole human being.
As we entered the lockdown period, the students selected for the project were asked to form collaborative groups, to work together online and to make their work where they were: at home, in their community, with family, friends or neighbours nearby. With the committed input of PCA staff Natalia Eernstman, Chris Bailey, Richard Webb and Sarah King, and outstanding mentoring and guidance from external curator Simon Morrissey from Foreground Projects, the process has been one of regular online meetings to support emerging ideas and workshop approaches. The objective was to create experimental and collaborative digital outcomes that could be hosted on the MIRROR platform.
What has emerged from this experience is an innovative, thoughtful and highly creative series of works, made against a headwind of adversity and difficulty while responding to the initial brief and taking it into uncharted territory. The works presented here are testimony to 'love and care in days of isolation' and one that we believe presents a manifesto for mutual understanding in terms of the emerging future of our society. We would like to congratulate everyone who has taken part and extend our thanks and appreciation: this wouldn't have been possible without your massive commitment, persistence and creativity".
Stephen Felmingham - Head of School | Critical + Cultural Studies
Creative Change - loving, growing, cooking, sharing
Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.
Creative Change is a collaborative project based out of Union Corner in Stonehouse Plymouth. Union Corner is a space for the local community to come together for events, workshops and to try out new ideas to improve the local area run by Nudge Community Builders.
For Creative Change we worked with the established regular group Soup Corner to bring the community together to engage in conversation around ideas of social change.
Union Corner is a multi user community area owned by Nudge Community Builders with an outdoor garden space that this project sought to regenerate. Through working with Soup Corner volunteers, attendees and other volunteers we wanted to create a space to be enjoyed by all (developed through a creative process, conversation and storytelling) to produce social benefits including enhanced connections and networks, improved local image, a stronger sense of place, identity and heritage.
As the Creative Change group we wanted to incorporate our diverse range of creative skills to address a real life challenge; reviving a communal space where people from all walks of life can pop in, get a bowl of soup, have a a chat and engage in activities including arts and crafts, gardening, and creative writing.
With an initial focus of directing our effort towards developing the garden, our aim was to help the community to create a relaxed, open, welcoming space and make it their own.
Our mission is to use art as a tool to support better health and wellbeing. We interviewed visitors, attendees and service users, met with Nudge and ran a series of gardening workshops run by Sarah Voysey. Participants got stuck in and planted the seeds for the garden, including carrots, beans, parsley and sage, all of which we hope will be used as produce in future soups!
Collin Porter and Stella Olivier created an illustrated gardening guide to provide quick tips on how to take care of the plants and the artist and poet Chrissie Haffenden created poems inspired by interviews with the attendees.
Our driving force, Sarah Voysey, was regularly on site, engaging with attendees, tending the garden and hosting workshops, while our resident sculptor and gardening expert Collin Porter, selected which plants worked best for the climate and conditions of Soup Corner. A lot of the plants that were chosen are highly nutritious, and in the future we would love to share recipes.
Giving our attendees a voice, and sharing that voice is an essential part of our work so it was important to us that workshops and activities were appropriately and respectfully documented.
Artist and digital whiz Stella Olivier designed the gardening guide and is currently developing a website for Creative Change that will be published later in September, while Louise Sharland had the pleasure of writing up the team’s hard work in public statements and newsletters, and will be working alongside Chrisse next year to run some creative writing workshops.
In the future we hope to share more of what we do by making our workshops public, as well as sharing recipes, gardening tips and images of the space. Like all the plants in the Soup Corner garden, we hope our project will continue to flourish and grow, offering people in the Stonehouse area and beyond, a collective, pleasant environment filled with love, life, learning and laughter.
Creative Change team:
Sarah Voysey - Team management, On site work, Workshop coordinator
Colin Porter - Garden Research, Guide Author, Networking assistant
Chrissie Haffenden - Poetry & illustrations
Stella Olivier - Illustrations, Team Management, Design, Research
Louise Sharland - Writing
Calvin Bedford - Photography
Amie Carr - Support and Project Coordination with Nudge
The attendees & volunteers of Soup Corner
ART tea - making art whilst drinking tea
ART tea - making art whilst drinking tea is a project exploring the act of creating art whilst drinking tea at home.
The project details a collection of responses to an open call inviting participants to create a small postcard sized artwork. Using the simple act of drinking tea, we invited them to take a moment and capture their feelings whilst doing so and to communicate a little part of themselves.
The responses are diverse, from rug making to painting with coffee, similarly the interactions were from a wide age range. The project gave participants the opportunity to connect, have a cuppa and to take time away from their daily life. The greatest value in reaction was the freedom of mind that creating art gave each participant. Also, the opportunity of human connection during a time when life was all about isolation and seclusion. The artwork serves as a record of this unprecedented point in time.
The final outcome of the project has been realised as a website with the support of artist Katy Richardson.
ART tea - making art whilst drinking tea Team:
Becky Dodman Wainwright
Website: Katy Richardson
Love in Peace and Sound
Looking at the theme of love, through the form of place and sound; using sound to create a meditative experience whilst being confined to home spaces. We were trying to find a collective voice for both our experience of lockdown and the voice of the local area. By expressing what we love about our lives we aim to create a sense of hope at a time when it is of limited availability.
Love in Peace and Sound Team:
Samuel MurrayHonor Jackson
Other 'Listening to the Future' project participants are: