Friday, 4 February 2011

Melissa Bliss Workshop

A couple of us were invited along today to a workshop today with a community artist working in the local millbank area. I wasn't really expectant of what the workshop would be so i went along with an open mind- it was actually more like a seminar/talk in the end about social engagement, but more about the projects that Melissa had worked on or knew of. She showed us a couple of interesting projects that she had been involved with- one that stood out for me was in Mablethorpe- the name of the town sounded familiar, i think my nan used to go there when she was younger on holiday, but anyway, the reason it was interesting was because she was allowed to come up with a piece of work that she thought appropriate for the town- also the town didn't receive that much funding because it is next door to Skegness which usually swallows up the arts funding; so apparently as a town they were quite pro-active in doing things for themselves- an interesting response, i think, of how a public reacts when it is forgotten- perhaps it's the English mentality of not complaining and just getting on with it. Hopefully i can add a little of her insight into my thesis- especially as i badgered her with so many questions about her intention as a community artist and what she thought of government funding and ethical jurisdiction of community arts.

She also showed us a project that i was particularly interested in because it is quite local to my home town and also it seems to appeal to the whole of the area as opposed to just minority groups or those that are proactive;  What will the harvest be? is based around a community allotment and gardens that everyone is entitled to keep nice, therefore the longitude of this project depends on the people that it is for. It reminds me of a project  i had in mind of doing during my gap year, although i think my garden was a bit of a far fetched idea for the contacts and know how that i had at the time- plus my fingers are definitely not green.

Melissa Bliss is documenting her residency in Chelsea and the Millbank project on Wiki (Which can be accesses through her website- click Melissa Bliss)

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