In-Situ began in 2012, when three artists, Paul, Kerry and William decided to root their practice in the place where they were living.
Each developing their own projects and approaches in a shared way, the early work was a crossover of ecology and biodiversity, youth work and dialogical work in place, exploring subcultures and personal stories.
In-Situ was the sum of its parts from which an interdisciplinary methodology emerged and guides our practice now.
The In-Residence programme began to allow time and space for artists to spend time in Pendle and work alongside In-Situ on proposed ideas that engaged with people, place and culture in Brierfield, Nelson and the surrounding area.
Something that shaped the character of the early organisation was the way that younger artists were invited to become part of what was happening. In-Situ supported developing social practitioners by providing internships for younger artists to work alongside activities and initiate their own projects.
In-Situ evolved as a changing non-hierarchical collective, working on projects that emphasised slow working and making a difference in the community by having an ear to the ground and building relationships in neighbourhoods. We also took our practice further afield, building links with projects in Texas (US) and Lahore (Pakistan).
It was always important that artists and practitioners be given flexibility, without working to a brief or deadline; seeing how things might evolve when many are able to contribute organically according to individual strengths.
“What In-Situ aimed to do from the outset was make all it’s work relevant to the communities living here and to achieve this we had to find the common ground, shared issues and concerns, reasons for celebration within and across diverse communities."
Socio-ecological artist and co-founder
Over almost ten years, In-Situ has developed as a practitioner-led organisation, embedded in the everyday life of local communities, and in response to the Pendle landscape.
For many years we worked out of Brierfield Library. Overtime and in collaboration with friends, family, organisations and community groups, we were able to undertake some significant ambitious projects by scaling up our way of working, and many smaller, quieter ones that nestled into the ordinary fabric or routines of the locale, increasing opportunities for people to have more experiences of art where they live and to meet artists in ordinary settings.
In 2018 we were awarded Arts Council England NPO funding, and also opened a building (The Garage) which serves as a base for the team, but also a space for community groups and events, artist residencies and Pendle Social Cinema screenings.