What roles can artists play in growing a more sustainable society? How do projects maintain integrity within their communities whilst producing quality artistic outcomes? How can utopian ideas be turned into practice? What is the role of Public Art?

These questions and many more, were raised in our first Public Art (Now) workshop in Liverpool. Amy Franceschini, of Futurefarmers, who instigated “Flatbread Society” in Oslo, joined Homebaked Co-operative Anfielda community bakery and social enterprise which grew out of the 2010 commission, 2Up 2 Down, by artist Jeanne van Heeswijk.

 

The workshop gave 30 delegates the opportunity to get under the skin of two art projects, which have used bread-making, community baking and food production as an alternative approach to urban redevelopment.

 

Georgina Bolton, Programme Coordinator said “It was an incredibly special day. Two extraordinary art projects came together to exchange stories of homegrown determination, resilience, and community vision. We all learnt a lot and here’s to pushing forward with our collaborative ‘recipe for success’!”

 

Below, read our notes on the Recipe for Success which was written in the workshop:

Understanding of place
Historical / Political / Economic Context

Trust
(Re)building it with communities
Between artist & producer / commissioners

Language
Use of defining language such as “the artist”, “the audience” and “the client” can create barriers

Be bold
Just do it. Change will have taken place even if you have to stop.

Engage people
Where do the people go? How do they use their space?

Imagination
Art is not linear. It engages people and acts as a catalyst that results in outcomes that might not be anticipated.

Economic sustainability
Will it last? Is it meant to? Can some of the public art money be diverted to maintenance?

Give permission
Step away from the project and let others take over. Have interim contracts that protect but allow freedom

Commissioning
Strategise. Honesty on all sides. Why is the art being commissioned? What is the expectation? Professional approach. This is where the producer can act as a “translator”.

 

Read our specially commissioned reports from our bursary winners Clawson + Ward and Francesca Cavallo on the Public Art (Now) blog.

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