Two Talks

During the winter months as we make contacts and do some research to prepare our funding application, we also give two talks about the project so far as well as our future plans.

in december we go to METAL Southend’s Future park event and later on in the new year we make our way to METAL Peterborough,  where we are a double bill with Artist Ruth Catlow- which proves to be a great match and a pleasure to meet.

Its useful to hear people’s comments and questions and the time spent together planning the talks as well as processing the feedback is also very fruitful, as we refine ideas and concepts.

We also have a lovely e mail message forwarded the day after our talk in Peterborough which makes us very happy and encourages us to think we are on the right track….

The message says: ‘

I thought the artists were most thought provoking…
I liked their style of presentation, it was accessible and at the same time challenging one’s ideas and thoughts. Love to hear that process of conceptualisation described with such passion!
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Final for Now

We spend our last day of the Time& Space residency talking to Delaine Le Bas who is working in the main space on her To Gypsyland project. We talk about contested sites, accessibility, touring work and racism issues- which run through our respective works.

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We also visit the Museum, where we learn a bit more about Peterborough’s beginnings as a new town forty years ago.

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Here we also discover to our amazement that the city was a national centre for board games’ manufacturing including some ‘iconic’ games and even had its own game named after it.

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And finally as the clouds gather and the evening draws to a close – we spend some time on starting our grant application for a project in the new year. Watch this space….

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Dice Survey

We make up a die using words we’ve collected in past few days. The die is inspired by StoryCubes by Proboscis with whom we’ve worked before.

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With the die we head off into the centre to talk to people we meet. We ask to roll the die and tell us a place that comes to mind in and around Peterborough. Responses vary enormously and range from parking issues to erasure of Britishness…

Some people answer very briefly whilst other want to throw the die again and again or just go through each word in turn.

RESIDENT – ‘I’m not’ – we meet the same person again later and after asking us how we’re getting on, tell us about  The Dice Man –  a novel published in 1971 by Luke Rhinehart and tells the story of a psychiatrist who begins making life decisions based on the casting of dice.

Someone else says ‘too many eastern residents…they spend money but also send it home. The elderly are the more racist ones…they feel forgotten about…’

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GREEN – ‘There is nowhere near where we live. Have to go a long way to find open green spaces.’  ‘Not much of it here (in Cathedral square) thought its a beautiful place… that’s why we sat here. We came for the day on mission to find Catherine of Aragon…’

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CONNECTION – ‘Makes me think of EE, Thomas Cook, Central Library, and the fact that  there are lots more languages here recently…’

LINES –  ‘Double yellow. Lots more of these now. You have to really be careful where you park.’

‘Walton, where the trains go past. Perkins engines used to use the lines there for their diesel engines, now there is a big Morrison’s supermarket.’

NEW – ‘thats us. We just moved here three months ago.’ ‘The first day of the rest of your life’

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Questions and Poems at Dinner

We’ve been invited to a dinner Party at METAL. We drove through the fens on a blustery night to attend Delaine le Bas’ To Gypsyland project dinner.

White walls that Delaine will adorn during the week to come, surround the dinner table which seats Delaine’s many guests. We each say who we are and recall a place we’ve been refused entry to. There are also some pertinent questions under our dinner plates: “what are you most afraid of?” or “where is the edge?” – some people post them on FB to get responses,  others swap questions amongst themselves, some write their answers on the table cloth and others keep them to themselves.

After food and a communal fortune telling, some poetry is read.

When all is said and done we collect more ‘six words about Peterborough’ (see our previous post for some of them) and are delighted to be presented with three striking short poems by Damian le Bas (yes there is a family connection – we leave you to work it out) – here they are

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Words Words Glorious Words

We ask people we meet for six (the number of sides/ facia of a die ) words that best describe Peterborough. Here are some of them (keeping the repeats when they occur)

eclectic / river / cathedral / new / green / shopping / trains / resident / stone / roundabouts / wind / new / old / resident / lines / border / traffic / home / local / active / green / artistic / friendly / young / diverse / historic / apprehensive / friendly / young / diverse / historic / changing / apprehensive / borderlands / engines / flat / native / queensgate / march / fens / posh / cathedral / lido / shopping / town hall / ancient / potential / roots / magical / unsung / village / diverse / flat / underrated / history / roundabouts / east / penny / caramel / flat / deep / green / round / tory / housing / grey / car parks / rebels / old fashioned / cathedral / italy / john clare / great north road / connection / renaissance / squares / birds/ dead / baby / cobbles / cathedral/ Notre Dame of the East / Stamford rampart / antibiotic / fictive / fun / ring / road / family / fen / flattening / future / stand ground / show ground / sunset / static / solarizes / similarities

We will carry on adding words on our next visit.