In-Situ is an embedded arts organisation. We began experimentally, as three artists working by being present and visible in everyday spaces in Brierfield and Nelson. Building long term relationships and welcoming other artists from a rooted place within the community; hosting within it and hosted by it. In-Situ has grown with an ethos of being present, grounded in-place as well as being radical, listening, testing and responding.
Now, our base, The Garage, sits empty, and the team are all grounded away from the place in which our practice is rooted. Working from home, we are getting to know each other’s home spaces as Zoom backdrops, as we hold team meetings on the digital platform from our separate locations.
We feel all at sea.
We are asking what does it mean for our embedded practice, to be physically distanced from the place in which we work? And how do we understand this contradiction?
How can we be useful or active from a distance? How can we have regular everyday contact? And what about those regular visitors who are not online or easily contactable?
Since 2012, our vision has been for art to be part of everyday life; for our art to be an art of action; for our art to contribute to society as a whole; for our art to challenge current thinking about the environment, people, place, and culture.
And so, we are using our responsive, exploratory way of working to continue through this time. We are planning a series of online talks and events, which will be called Testing Ground.
Here, we will continue engagement and relationship building with various community groups and artist networks, in partnership with Building Bridges and The People Speak, the artists behind Talkaoke. We are also experimenting with new approaches to early-stage projects around health and wellbeing and end of life. There will be more to follow soon on these new partnership projects.
As we continue to experiment and create spaces in which people can come together in intercultural conversations, we will also be reflecting as a team, and commissioning writing in response to this time, and how it helps us to better understand our embedded practice.
We are committed to supporting artists in Pendle and East Lancashire at this time and will be hosting a series of online talking events to create a network for artists and creative freelancers based in Pendle and East Lancashire. We are also fulfilling all existing artist commissions and will soon be launching a series of new artist commissions as part of The Gatherings with Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership.
We are also beginning a new residency with artist Isabella Martin, and have extended the term of her residency with us to a year to accommodate unknown time scales. Isabella will be exploring the traditional boundaries of Pendle Hill with communities as part of The Gatherings.
Our three Associate Artists long-term projects are continuing during this time and adapting to the current situation:
Our weekly sessions with students aged 11-16, led by Associate Artist Sophie Mahon with the In-Situ team, are continuing online and the group have been sent packs of artist materials to help them to continue with creative activities. This project is in partnership with Super Slow Way.
Pendle Peat Pie
Having secured partnerships with two award-winning food producers, Kerry Morrison was set to launch the pie Pendle-wide, in cafes and restaurants in June, as well as creating an artist film of a mass seed sowing on Pendle Hill to cultivate new peat. Adapting project timescales, and in recognition of the current impact on many business owners who had shown an interest in stocking the pie, she will now spend this time preparing for a later launch and seed sowing event and create a digital campaign for the sharing of Lancashire recipes. This project is part of The Gatherings, with Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership.
Future of Work
As part of his research with us, Andy Abbott is creating ‘Dreamwork: Pendle’ a ‘verbatim video game’ in which the player explores the Future of Work in Pendle. The content is generated through conversations, workshops and research with employers, young people and organisations in the area. You can watch the trailer, play a text-based demo version of the game, and contribute a character to the game through an online workshop here
Finally, Pendle Social Cinema, led by a brilliant group of volunteers, has launched Pendle Anti-Social Cinema – a weekly online shared screening on Thursdays at 7 pm, using Mubi and Zoom. A monthly schedule and joining details will be posted on their website and social media.
We hope that you will continue to follow us through this time and get involved in conversations on new platforms as we all experiment in finding new ways to connect, be creative and be useful. And lookout for some exciting opportunities for artists coming soon. If you would like to get in touch, please don’t hesitate via our usual digital channels.