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Growing Art

Willoughby Road Allotments
An Arts Council England Funded Project

As part of the Growing Art project, I am one of two professional, socially-engaged artists—alongside Kathleen Smith—funded by Arts Council England to embark on a year-long residency at Willoughby Road Allotments in Boston. Our mission is to assist the allotment and its community in achieving their goals through creative means, thereby demonstrating the value of artistic activity within communities.

Following discussions with allotment holders and local residents, Kathleen and I, from Making Up Your Street, have developed a list of activities aimed at supporting the community's objectives. Our overarching goal is to cultivate a more welcoming and relaxing atmosphere at the allotment, encouraging diverse participation. Throughout the residency, we will host free workshops and creative events, create signage, trails, and murals, and work towards attracting more visitors through market stalls and transportation services.

We are collaborating closely with allotment holders, conducting workshops and creative and functional installations. Additionally, we are sharing allotment stories through a monthly podcast and an augmented reality trail, providing insights and facts about the growing environment.

Art Power

Mansfield Museum

Art Power is a socially engaged project currently underway at Mansfield Museum in the East Midlands of the UK. Supported by the Esmé Fairburn Foundation for its initial two years, the project has involved forty-four women with lived experience of trauma.

The project organized five groups, each meeting every two to three weeks, utilizing the museum’s collection of social history, which includes ceramics, paintings, jewelry, and taxidermy, to spark creativity, curiosity, and a sense of belonging. Various freelance artists, including Laura MAbbutt, have been enlisted to bring expertise in creative activity along with an art therapist. As of December 2023, one hundred and fifty workshops have been conducted culminating in an exhibition opening on International Women's Day 2024.

Watch a film about the impact of the project here.

Nature Machine

Level Centre - 2023

A Brew Projects collaboration in "Nature Machine," the exhibition featured "Cabinet of Curiosities," a large wooden structure housing smaller artworks for visitors to discover through touch, sight, and sound. This immersive experience combined our expertise in craft and design with our experimental approach to digital technologies.

Inspired by trips to Derbyshire's landscape and Bakewell House Museum, "Nature Machine" celebrated the region's biodiversity and local history.

The project was also an opportunity to pilot our 'Exhibition in a Box' which was designed to allow those who could not visit the exhibition, an experience close to that in the gallery with handlable objects, sensory elements and a mini projector to experience all elements of Nature Machine in a chosen space.

We hosted a series of free workshops and special events, inviting the public to create their own artworks to be added to the exhibition alongside the work of Laura and Beth, creating an evolving, collaborative installation.

We included a small accompanying display, offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the exhibition's creation and providing sensory samples for exploration.

City Centre Stories

Lincoln City Centre - 2023

City Centre Stories was an outdoor exhibition of crafted augmented reality artworks that could be found at various stops around Lincoln’s City Centre in 2023. Each stop explored a Lincoln business and portrayed the stories from its past as well as its present. Visitors could scan the QR codes placed at each destination and experience a combination of visual art and poetry. I created 7 augmented reality artworks triggered by the locations that were inspired by and worked in collaboration with poet Georgia Preece, to create audio-visual experiences at each stop. See the images below and watch the videos to see them in action and hear the poems by Georgia Preece that accompany each.