Here at Lancaster Arts we have been reflecting on how we, together with artists, can best contribute in these times. We want to highlight this as an opportunity to take a pause, reflect and notice, look around us, say hello to those we don’t know, explore artistic practices and ask questions.
We came up with the idea of a programme called Breathing Space.
1. A sufficient buffer of time or space that allows for freedom of movement or relief from a given source of pressure or stress.
2. A pause to rest or to think over something.
We want Breathing Space to do two things: help people connect with each other and support the freelance artistic community in the northwest. This is a programme in four distinct parts that are all led by questions, and will take place from May to August.
There will be many ways to take part and we will be regularly posting these opportunities! This is a programme for everyone in different ways: some aspects will be for everyone to take part in, some will be directed towards artists, some for our volunteers and some for the students living on the campus at Lancaster University.
Breathing Space consists of the following projects:
Walking/Moving/Seeing has three Lancaster-based artists from different arts disciplines responding to our one hour of daily exercise. These artists are: Louise Ann Wilson, Jenny Reeves and Darren Andrews.
Is There Anybody Out There? will start with a call-out for artists from across Lancashire to re-consider their practice from a position of social isolation and will prioritise proposals from D/deaf and disabled artists. Each creative enquiry will specifically address how we can make connections with each other during social isolation.
Catalyst for Conversation offers a series of exciting opportunities to take part in online workshops and discussions led by artists, our creative team, colleagues and friends.
In May, we kicked off the series with, How to Survive as an Early-Career Artist, led by Ellie Barrett and Saul Argent, directors of Graft. This was followed by From Nova Scotia to Morecambe: Creating Work for Non-Arts Spaces, a conversation with artists who create and present work in places that you might not expect to find art – from the street to libraries to shops.
In August, we’re hosting In Between Time: Self-Care for Performers & Performance Artists with Victoria Firth and Ellie Harrison, about the importance of self-care, particularly for those in between projects.
Details about the Catalyst for Conversation series can be found here and will be updated regularly with the latest conversations.
Making Frames Making Frames is a project that engages with the students living on the campus of Lancaster University during the Covid 19 lockdown. Through the exploration of subjects such as connectivity, a series of short films will be made. This is a collaborative project between artists Jonny Randle & Josh Cannon, the students and the Lancaster Arts team. If you experienced the campus during lockdown, take a look at the project page to find out how you can contribute your content and responses.
Illustration Credit: Lisa Lorenz