Last year I did a community garden project called 'Old Town Bloom', it was my first foray into community engagement type things, as I hadn't ever wanted to engage with the community (or ever realised I would want to). Who knew actually leaving the studio and talking to people would be so enjoyable. I also didn't envisage spending nearly six months covered in compost, but that is what happened and I loved it. I used my iPhone to document every step of the way and it has literally took about six hours to upload all of them to flickr, so enjoy the slideshow below!
In a nutshell, Hazlehurst Studios (myself included under that banner), Super John and members of our local community, created a pop up garden in an unused space (working on some backdated posts about that, but in the meantime look at all the shiny pictures, taken by Niki Carlin and read the blog over on Hazlehurst Studios 'Old Town Bloom in a nutshell and Friends of Old Town Bloom).
It was really well received and many people have posed the question.. What are you doing this year? To say that I am chuffed about this, would be a massive understatement, the project was such a steep learning curve, that I was totally unsure how it would turn out.
Back to the question posed by the local community 'What are you doing this year?'... Well the answer is, not quite sure yet. We have lots of ideas, but unsure how we should proceed. The royal 'We' is Hazlehurst Studios by the way, being a part of the studios enables myself and the other artists to work together on community projects. Hazlehurst is a not for profit CIC, which makes thing easier for magical form filling and all that fun stuff, especially when going after wee pots of money for community engagement projects.
So in our endeavours to create something not only lovely in our local community, we also want to build on the great connections we made last year and that leads me to Big Lunch and Big Lunch Extras.
I had heard about Big Lunch before, but hadn't the reason (or inclination at the time) to investigate further, so when pondering about the next community project, my gaze was once again drawn back to this idea (via spotting a tweet), this led to finding out about the Big Lunch Extra program and becoming a part of it.
The main motivation to joining BLE is the search for knowledge, instead of stumbling around putting together another temporary community project, we want to put together something more substantial that brings the community together.
I recently attended my first Big Lunch Extra event in Preston, so my next blog post will be about that and how it leads to the marvellous Eden Project.