The River Runs Deep is a National Lottery funded project and will focus on community art workshops in Lockwood, Huddersfield.
The project will work with three groups in Huddersfield to explore their feelings and responses to Spa Wood footpath and the River Holme, thinking about water, environment and human interaction in nature. The groups will work indoors and out to create artworks inspired by rubbish found along the River Holme and will come together to share their artworks on the footpath in the summer.
Alice Bradshaw is an artist, curator, researcher, writer and founding director of the Museum of Contemporary Rubbish. Alice works with a wide range of media and processes to express ideas about rubbish, recycling, consumerism and waste and will be the leading artist on this project alongside Rachel Massey artist and founder of Other Ways to Walk.
Alice’s comments on this project; “My interest in rubbish and its changeable value as both social object and art material is a long standing obsession. Rubbish is a temporary state before an item is reused, recycled or decomposed…the processes involved in deciding that something is rubbish and throwing it away are particularly of interest. The conversations we have about rubbish are something I place great value on”.
The new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK, will see the continuation of community engagement in Spa Wood following the success of the Our Holme project in the area last year.
The River Runs Deep original project plan was to deliver a series of creative workshops with three local groups: Support 2 Recovery, Thornton Lodge Action Group and Adel View Care Home. Unfortunately, with Covid19 lockdown and ongoing restrictions this was no longer possible so an alternative version of the project was developed which would reach many members of the communities along the River Holme.
Local artists developed a bespoke activity pack which was distributed via community groups. The activities followed the Five Pathways to Wellbeing, which has recently emerged as an important way to boost wellbeing through nature connection.
The activity pack inspired people to develop a connection to nature with a range of activities to encourage them to notice the details and changes in the natural world. The activities were designed to do on a local walk, bringing a new dimension to their permitted hour of exercise. For those who cannot leave the home the activities hopefully inspired by the view from their window, their yard, a picture, or their imagination. All of these approaches are proven to have clinically significant impacts on improving wellbeing.
Participants created responses to the activities and decorated a blank postcard with words or images inspired by their favourite nature discovery. These postcards were returned and after the closing date a prize draw took place. We are pleased to announce that Desire is the prize draw winner! Congratulations Desire on winning a supermarket voucher.
When Covid19 restrictions are under control and people have free movement we will host a face-to-face creative workshop in each community setting, leading up to a celebratory event on the river footpath.
This is Desire’s poem…