Since the Project’s first art commission was complete in August 2018, during the Ventnor Fringe Festival, school children have had the opportunity to respond creatively to the Ventnor Giant mural.
Having trained as an Arts Award advisor through Lift the Lid, teacher Clare Wright has been working with a group of Year 6 pupils from Oakfield Primary School in Ryde, using the artist Phlegm as inspiration for their own work.
“Year 6 has been researching a world famous street artist, who has created the Island’s largest mural in Ventnor. It depicts one of the artist’s famous characters holding the town of Ventnor on it’s back or letting it fall into the sea. The inspiration for the mural was the architecture, geography and people of the town. As part of ArtsMark, Oakfield Primary is working with Lift The Lid, a new island wide campaign which aims to foster a sense of pride and passion in Island towns and their cultural heritage. The students’ artwork was temporarily stuck to the wall, under the mural, in Ventnor, before being transferred to our gallery in the school’s Creation Station”
Meanwhile, schools near Ventnor have been working with storyteller Sue Bailey on developing stories about the Ventnor Giant. We hope to share some of these with you in the next few weeks.
If you want to join in the creative fun, then join us at Sandown’s Hullabaloo event on 11 and 12 May, where you can take part in a storytelling workshop with Sue Bailey, or go and watch BearFace Theatre to see what they have developed so far as part of the Newport art commission, with Mountbatten, Barton Primary School and WOW Women’s Centre, based on a story told to them by Sacred Isle‘s Paul Wilson.
I can now tell you that the selection panel met on Thursday 1st November at the John Hansard Gallery, in Southampton, and chose the three remaining artists commissions for Lift the Lid, which will be completed in 2019.
A multi-channel film installation, a piece of community theatre and the launch of a community lecture series will all be created to celebrate the unique cultural heritage of three towns on the Island in 2019 as part of Lift the Lid. This follows the highly successful street art of The Ventnor Giant by Phlegm, commissioned in partnership with Ventnor Exchange and launched at the Ventnor Fringe in August 2018.
A combination of Arts Council England, Artswork and Isle of Wight Council funding will enable these projects to go ahead, resulting in community art works that can be accessed by a wide range of people.
Artist, Julie Myers explains her proposal for Totland: “Live from The Parish Hall – Totland is a series of thematic performance events. Inspired by the format of the Victorian popular science lectures the series presents current social and environmental concerns through the stories and experiences of local people, including, a child’s fossil collection, a walk with an astronomer, a slide show about light pollution, a set of old postcards, pin hole cameras, forgotten songs, a cup of tea at the old lifeboat house. Hosted by local residents the talks combine video, photographs, personal artefacts, archive material, music and refreshments. The inaugural event: LIGHT AND DARK will be presented and broadcast live from the Parish Hall in May 2019.”
BearFace Theatre CIC will be developing a co-created piece of theatre with the communities of Pan that will focus on its layered heritage. BFT said:
“Using participatory arts based workshops to discover and co-develop narratives as well as make material for the performance, we will be delving into Pan’s past, its present and importantly its future and our part within it… with our new project ‘We that breathe…’. With a mix of playful interaction, puppetry, original soundtracking and live music and a Dragon thrown in for good measure, BearFace Theatre will bring the finished performance collaborated with all who we have met to a space near you in Pan in September 2019.”
Dmitri Galitzine will present a new multi-channel film installation, shown in an old shipyard in East Cowes, during Heritage Open Days 2019 (from 13 to 22 September 2019). The film will be based around the Red Funnel Ferry and East Cowes dockyard.
Working over several months, the artist will document all aspects of the ferry’s day to day crossings, the harbour, passengers and crew. And in doing so, he will attempt to unravel what the ferry means to the people of East Cowes and the symbiotic relationship between them.
The artist writes,
“The ferry has been the island’s gatekeeper for over a century. And it is part of the fabric of East Cowes, its history and heritage. The identity of any islander depends upon the body of water which engulfs them. And it’s the Red Funnel that can get them across it, in East Cowes. For some, every day back and forth. And back and forth again.”
LtL Project Manager, Sarah Girling said:
“The hope is that all of these new art works will excite and inspire the people of the Isle of Wight to find out more about their cultural heritage. There is opportunity for lots of local people to get involved through schools and community groups, let alone being audience members. 2019 is going to be a fantastic year for arts and culture on the Island.”
The very first artists commission has been created as part of the Lift the Lid project, during Ventnor Fringe 2018. On the main road into Ventnor, keep your eyes peeled for the three-storey high mural, sprayed on the side on a building.
What is it? Who is he? The Ventnor Giant… a new legend perhaps? We think that there is a story to tell here!