/ The Encyclopaedia of Us – living newspaper Emerging from This is Old School’s Artist Investigation in HU3 is The Encyclopaedia of Us and we describe this as a living newspaper.
It is not like other newspapers. It is co-produced between the community, Three Ways East, and an Artist Investigator and for every article contained in it, there is an accompanying call to action. Actions may be small and aimed at nurturing the individual or family, or they may be bigger, acting as a clarion call for collective action to solve local challenges or create new opportunities. For example, we might want to look at challenges like food poverty or environmental neglect or we might turn content into workshops, gigs and congenial experiences that nurture connection and well-being. The newspaper production process offers inherent opportunities for community learning and engagement too. We take this approach because the EofUs is intended as an engine for community development and co-defined social progress in the area.
Three Ways East currently and deliberately focus on this project alone because we wish to challenge the prevalence of short termism in sectors that deal with harsh inequalities and complicated lives. We have coalesced a Creative Council amongst organisations and residents and agreed a focus on cultural, social, and emotional wellbeing as the starting point for all work. As creatives we believe that this will lead to outcomes for culture (greater cultural democracy, habits of engagement, positive early experiences and building routes to careers in culture) as well as health, education, entrepreneurship, environment, and economics, in time.
/ This is Old School
This is Old School formed the Artist Investigation phase of the project and took a creative approach to the question of how communities and places can best flourish.
In December 2018 we commissioned an Artist Investigator to get under the skin of the St Andrews & Docklands Ward in Hull (isolating the ‘immersion and investigation’ skill set that artists practice). Artist Investigator Kate Genever, through resolute curiosity and gentle provocation developed connection and dialogue on the front line, excavating rich material and endless clues.
We set out in a state of not knowing what the outcome would be, in contrast to most business and public sector models and yet a much-relished state of being for artists. It’s a great example of how a concept that is commonplace within the arts could be brought into social development sphere.
After two years of collaboration between the community, Three Ways East, and the Artist Investigator, the Encyclopedia of Us was born and the story continues ...
/ Swerving East 2013-2014
Reimagining Multiple Sculptures
Inspired by the public response and success of Hull’s Larkin with Toads in 2010 and the growth in popularity of animal sculpture trails across the UK, the Three Ways East team devised Swerving East, a project that commissioned artists to consider what else a sculpture trail could look like.
With a vision to create a trail right across Hull and the East Riding, the team at Three Ways East commissioned four artists to come to Hull and East Riding, take their inspiration from the landscape, history and people, and offer up new ideas for creating a sculpture trail that was unique to the area.
The process was ambitious - the artists were challenged to devise an artwork that could both be created in multiple, and that invited a response from other artists. We wanted the artist’s proposed sculptures to capture the ‘essence’ or spirit of Hull and East Riding. We asked that their ideas be delightful, simple, inspiring and extraordinary, but also asked the Artists to be artistically ambitious whilst retaining fun, quirkiness, colour and a family-friendly appeal. In addition, the idea they develop needed to appeal to other artists - maybe something they could decorate or transform in some way.
Four very different Artists each took a voyage of discovery across the East Riding and Hull. During their time in the area they experienced the amazing diversity of landscape, community, heritage and aspirations that made the area so unique.
An exhibition sharing the outcomes of the research commissions showing the ideas and approaches devised through the commissions toured the area in summer 2014.
The Swerving East Artists and their creations were:
HOW ARE YOU LOOKING
Jason Taylor - Outlooks - How are you looking?
A Derbyshire-based designer-maker with a fun and quirky take on reinterpreting everyday objects, Jason was inspired by familiar objects and creates public artworks that are interactive, enticing and entertaining. His practice involved encouraging and working with people to evolve ideas from everyday objects through play and fun.
“Strange to know nothing, never to be sure
Of what is true or right or real”
Ignorance. Philip Larkin
“East Riding is full of contrasts, tensions, beauty, divisions and potential. No one place can be neatly summed up, neither can a person - it’s complicated. Depending on where you are or live, you might have a different outlook on life. So I wanted a sculpture that wasn’t just one thing but also could encourage different outlooks and connections
Taking the idea that Hull and East Riding are many places rather than two, I liked the idea of the design being made up of multiple parts so you could build different sculptures to make them unique. I considered creating a giant jigsaw of some sort, but that became too complex. I then discovered tessellation shapes – these are shapes that can fit together in many ways.
Using the shapes I made my own sculpture and found that when looked at from different angles, I first saw a boat, then a person and then a giant head but now the list has grown - How are you looking? What can you see?
These shapes will be used by to create different sculptures for the trail. On one side each shape will have an incomplete picture – like a jigsaw. As part of exploring the trail you can collect the different pictures to make up one or many images, and I hope make more connections with Hull and East Riding. I’ve called them ‘outlooks’ as the word has lots of meanings, like the sculptures.”
Del Whitticase - Scrimshaw Rickshaw
An outstanding artist, based in Scotland, who works sensitively with communities to make beautiful public art. Del had been working on socially engaged projects for 10 years. During this time he had completed a variety of permanent and temporary public art projects and commissions in a wide range of locations in England, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Canada and Alaska.
My approach to this project began with me spending as much time as I could in Hull and East Riding, getting to know the places, the spaces and the people, particularly the people. This helped me to build a picture of what is specific about the area and what approaches might be appropriate. From this initial research I identified where I felt the creative potential was. During this process themes presented themselves that led me to look into and develop the most interesting areas in more detail.
A project like this is all about find and creating links between the objectives of a project and the interests of the community. My job is to develop those links into something inspiring and engaging.”
Seran Kubisa - Gift Cubes
A versatile artist, based in Hampshire and France, Seran works with colour, film, light sculpture, sound and architectural projection. Her work has documented objects and collected fragments for analysis from her sitting room, a French village, Coutts Bank and a city. Commissions include ‘Treasure Island: A Forensic Investigation of a City’, and ‘Mystères des Mémoires’ an installation in a cave in the Mid-Pyrenees, France.
“In my investigations I examine the celebrated as well as historic and personal stories. I like to see connections and allow room for jewels that haven’t surfaced before to be revealed. I look at the layers through time and examine what connects from the past until now.
Gift Cubes brings together two ideas. The first was sparked by my first experience, which was of generosity. People have kindly shared stories and information generously which informed my concept of gifts, trade and generosity. This generosity can also be found in great historic people who have influenced the area and even the world.
The second was discovering the profound relationship between Hull and East Riding - SHEEP! The monks of Meaux Abbey founded Hull for their trade of wool to Europe. Boats have transported crates and boxes from the Humber to the world. I saw these as gifts to the world.
The Gift Cubes can hold ideas and objects made by artists or passers by, the gifts can be shared and transported between sculptures, and can be objects, stories, music and photographs, changing and growing over the life of the trail. “
THE STUDIO OF CINEMATIC ARCHITECTURE
HIDDEN & TREASURE
The Studio of Cinematic Architecture - Hidden and Treasure
Studio Of Cinematic Architecture is an art and design studio based in Hackney, East London. The studio was founded by artist Gabby Shawcross and architect Tughela Gino. Interested in the cinema of the everyday and the animated relationship between people and place, they believe playful, visually engaging and accessible works of art and architecture transform, improve and regenerate the built environment. Their projects include permanent public artworks, interactive installations and responsive environments that explore moving image in architecture. Interventions respond to the movement of the body in space - meaning is revealed from specific view points and integrated sensing and display technology enables architecture to observe and participate in life.
“We toured Hull and East Riding and became captivated with the range of landscapes – city, town, farm, industrial, fishing, wilderness – that we came across. We also fell in love with the buildings that stood out in the landscape – lighthouses, spires, bridges. We approached the project as an opportunity to do two things that celebrated these landscapes. To create multiple spaces to inhabit and interact with, and to capture these multiple views of Hull and East Riding. We hope that interacting with the sculptures will engage and delight people.
Our sculpture is a small building or belvedere; part room, part furniture, part picture window. It frames a view and becomes a place to see the urban and rural context afresh. Looking in, you will discover unique artist’s interiors; looking out, integrated digital cameras capture views across the district changing in time for an online exhibition. We hope it will remind us all to look again at the way we all see Hull and East Riding in our everyday life and encourage visitors to the area also see the place in different ways.”