The next in the series of the Festival Echoes commissions funded by Arts Council England is Stoke Lockdown Stories by Samantha Jones. Samantha, a recently graduated artist living and working in Stoke-on-Trent was commissioned by Festival Stoke to create artworks in response to Covid-19, working within the government guidelines.
Samantha writes about her Echo commission:
“My aim as an artist who doesn't originally come from Stoke is to find how the current covid-19 situation had affected the city and its people.
I will also be asking people from the Stoke area to send me their stories of lockdowns. These can be uplifting ones or ones where people have struggled, and from these stories I will pick a select few which I will create illustrations from. These combined with my photography will be created into an online gallery where people can view the images and watch the resulting film.”
The ‘Stoke Lockdown Stories’ video and photo gallery can be viewed here
We are delighted to announce that in response to the large number of excellent applications we received for the Festival Echoes commission ‘Creating Art in a Different Landscape’ we have taken the decision to increase the number of commissions from the six originally planned to a total of 14.
Having started in May with the superb ‘Heroicus Rex’ film by Martin Gooding these will now run right through the year until January 2020.
With agreement from Arts Council England we have been able to reallocate the funding ring-fenced for the Mysterious Moth event (postponed from 16th May) and add it to the immediately available Emergency Response Fund awarded for the Festival Echoes programme.
The range and quality of the artists’ proposed projects makes for an exciting and varied programme,which will have broad appeal. There’ll be aerial acrobatics and immersive soundscapes, contemporary and classical dance, and projections. There’ll be music and words rooted in the here and now, and mystical imaginations taking you on a journey. They’’ll be outdoors by the sea and then on wild moorland, but also in the artist’s front room. Several will be quirky, others reflective or purposefully playful with the chance to join in at home. Festival Echoes will be available to view and listen to right through summer into winter. Keep your eye out on our social media channels and website for more information.
In the longer term our plan is to rework Mysterious Moth into an even more extraordinary interactive event for late 2021, building on the creative ideas and foundations already in place and working with existing and new artists - we’ll plan to secure new funding next year to make that happen.
Festival Echoes is funded by Arts Council England
We're excited to announce the first of our Festival Echoes - artists creating in lockdown . Lasting 20 minutes artist Martin Gooding asks:
"What happens to the heroes when the heroic thing is to stay home?"
The film was made over the course of the month of May 2020.
Martin made the film within the limitations of his house - filming on his phone, utilising scrap materials to build props and costumes and only using locations he could access without leaving the house.
"While on lockdown I've been rereading a lot of the forerunners to modern European theatre, Homer, Sophocles, Aeschylus etc and I'd like to take influence from here to build the narrative and form of my film, using monologue, poetry, song and music. I intend to tell a family friendly story exploring the theme of 'Isolation' that will be at its core a comedy.
The question I want to ask is: "What happens to the heroes when the heroic thing is to stay home"
The film can be viewed on Youtube
About Festival Echoes:
We have asked six artists each to produce a piece of artistic work, each over a period of one month, which can be viewed online, within the guidelines and restrictions of lockdown.
The project is supported by funding from Arts Council England from their Emergency Fund
Theme: Creating Art in a Different Landscape
We are delighted to announce that we have four artist opportunities as part of our Arts Council England Emergency Fund programme. These will form part of the six-month Festival Echoes programme from June to November 2020.
PLEASE DOWNLOAD THE FULL COMMISSION BRIEF OF WHICH THIS IS AN EXTRACT:
Festival Echoes is a series of one-month artist commissions from May – October 2020
Four open commissions are available: July, August, September, October
Artist Fee: £1,250 (includes up to £250 for materials and expenses)
Theme: Creating art in a different landscape
For each commission an artist will create work, of any art-form, in response to the theme.
The artwork must be available to view by members of the public online and/or in public space and then broadcast online as video, photographs or audio content.
The artist may prepare something specifically for online presentation or, alternatively, something that can be photographed or filmed in situ and thereby seen online.
Each commission to run for one month between July and October
The work must be completed by the end of the calendar month for presentation at the start of the following month.
The artist may present their work online as a developing project during the month of creating.
Following completion, the artist will prepare a short evaluation of their experience in written and visual format, this will hopefully help with self-reflection and feed into the development of Festival Stoke.
We are looking for proposals that:
Commissions are open to artists and creative practitioners irrespective of geographical location who are resident in the UK.
We thought you'd like to know a bit more about the stunning banners that have appeared in Stoke town centre.
SURFACES is a series of six large, bright and bold, fabric banners created to hang along the main street of Stoke-upon-Trent. The banners are designed and hand-stitched by Rhiannon and the designs use abstract imagery inspired by two of the most striking buildings in the town centre:
About the Artist:
Rhiannon Hunter lives and works in London. She is a visual artist whose work responds to physical and psychological connections to belonging. She is interested in relationships between places, people and environments. Her work spans mediums to include print, collage, drawing, sculptural form and participatory research that involves working with individuals and groups. She trained in Fine Art Textiles at Goldsmiths University, London and has written for arts journals and exhibited internationally.
Rhiannon has worked and exhibited in Denmark, Sweden, Perth and Melbourne Australia, London, Brussels, Manchester, and several boroughs of London, including Peckham, Hackney and Bethnal Green.
Sadly someone has pulled down and stolen one of the Twelve Essence heads. The one pictured is a sculpture of Christine Thorley and was sited outside Wetherspoons. 😔. It must have taken some effort to remove and then carry off. The Police have been notified and we hope to get it replaced if possible.
If anyone saw anything or might know something please do get in touch. Please also keep a look out in case it’s been ‘dumped’ somewhere.
One of the good things is some of the lovely comments that people have put on hearing the news:
We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded funding by Arts Council England as part of their Covid-19 Emergency Response Package.
The funding will ensure that we can continue with our festival programme and strengthen the organisation for the future.
Keep an eye out for our Festival Echoes artist commission opportunities, which we will be publishing in June and look out for more art coming your way over the summer months.
Mandy from the Tourist Guides reviews the Mapzine (Map of Stoke Town) part one.
The Tourist Guides are performed by Scratch and Sniff Theatre for Festival Stoke.
We were hugely disappointed that the new TOURIST GUIDES for Stoke, the delightful Sandy and Mandy, had to take their lovely pop-up tourist kiosk home, days after launching in the town. 🙎🏻♀️🙎🏾♂️
But not wanting those super-trendy outfits, and Mandy's gorgeous glasses, to go unseen they've been busy preparing some entertainment for you online instead so that you can view from the safety of your home.
We hope this will brighten up your day in these difficult times.🤩🥳
The Tourist Guides are performed by Scratch & Sniff Theatre
Following the fun launch day of our Spring programme and the sudden developments to restrict social contact the Festival Stoke team members have been busy working out how we can still deliver the lovely events we had planned for the Spring. Thankfully, the superb outdoor Art Street artworks were installed in time and you can see them around the town centre of Stoke.
Sadly, the Tourist Guides are not able to go out and about with their pop-up tourist kiosk, but they are working on creating some online performances for you to enjoy at home.
The brilliant Mapzine will not be available until people are able to go out and about in shops and public spaces, but we will keep them safe in their box, so you can pick up a copy later in the year.
Art Stop workshops are being rescheduled, hopefully beginning in August and running through to October.
Our showcase performance event Mysterious Moth thankfully can be rescheduled for the autumn, and the artists and performers will be busy working on make it a super-special event in the meantime. (In a safe way of course).
Obviously this depends on how the coronavirus situation develops but we hope to bring you some more lovely, bright and fun arts activities before the year is out.
And do keep your eye on our social media feeds for upbeat and positive content. @festivalstoke
Take care everyone and stay well.
The Festival Stoke Team
Festival Stoke is a collaborative of creative people working together to make good things happen.