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#BloomingBricks at Porty Art Walk

As part of Porty Art Walk 2016 we were happy to invite participants to create their own #BloomingBricks - little bundles of seeds, soil and recycled paper bringing the nooks and crannies of Portobello (and beyond) to life with wildflowers across the city!  

Already part of the Porty Art Walk in 2015 with Stop+Sea, HERE+NOW were thrilled to be invited again to contribute to the Porty Art Walk curated programme of art works and installations across Portobello on Saturday 3 Sept 2016. 

With our stall on the Promenade and only a stone’s throw from Portobello’s historical kilns, the last two surviving pottery kilns in Scotland, we wanted to create a visual reference between our project and an interesting chapter of Portobello’s local history which provides an interesting and important local landmark.

With buckets of soil and clay, plenty of wildflower seeds, a briquette press and lots of energy, we were up and running at 12noon, ready to involve as many participants of all ages as possible. We were pleased by the enthusiasm and interest showed throughout the afternoon by everyone involved and were able to make over 70 Blooming Bricks to be scattered around Portobello, but also going as far as Fife and Glasgow.

We were overwhelmed by all the support and positive feedback received during the day and would like to thank all participants for taking part to Blooming Bricks. We would also like to thank Porty Art Walk for making this project possible, and Grow Wild Scotland and Kabloom for the seeds. 

We think Blooming Bricks was a great success and hope to see plenty of wildflowers popping up all over Portobello during the next Spring.

Did you take part to event and made your own brick? We would love to see their new homes and little seedlings popping up! Take a look at #BloomingBricks for updates and share your images, we would love to hear from you!

HERE+NOW AT HIDDEN DOOR FESTIVAL

HERE+NOW were thrilled to be invited to form part of the programming for Hidden Door Festival 2015. Hidden Door is a not-for-profit arts festival that takes place annually in Edinburgh in abandoned or hidden locations. This years festival took place in a derelict building off King Stables Road near the Grassmarket in Edinburgh.

HERE+NOW programmed the Hidden Door Cinema space on Friday 29 with a series of short film screenings, exhibition and participatory installation along the theme of 'Connection to Place'. Films included PEP Talks, Joyce, Inshriach Bothy | A Sense of Place, and Hold Me Dear | The Film. The exhibition included photographic and short story works contributed by individuals worldwide about a place they treasure as part of the Hold Me Dear project as well as photographic prints from Jenny Humberstone and Ian Humberstone's artist residency with The Bothy Project.  We also invited Hidden Door attendees to share a place they personally treasure as part of a live evolving participatory installation in the space.

For those of you that missed out on Hidden Door Festival or the HERE+NOW exhibition, we've a few of our photos below, including the HERE+NOW team having their portrait drawn by the talented James Sayer. These are also available via our Facebook page.


 

C.I.C-ked into shape!

So as you may have read, or heard from us, we are a not-for-profit Community Interest Company. But what does that mean?!  Generally when we think of ‘communities’ we think of a collection of people that function succinctly to benefit the whole group. Or if we looked it up in a dictionary we’d find;

Noun

1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.

2. the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common.

At Here + Now we think that communities can come in many shapes and sizes and the one that we serve is focused on the concept of ‘sharing or having certain attitudes’ and also has geographical relevance as we work with communities that either work, live, play, pass through or connect in anyway with a place.

The place acts as the nucleus of the community. We are working to help, support and collaborate with both the people that create the community and also the place that links them together. A Community Interest Company is a new form of business enterprise and it may appear quite jargon-y on the surface but in reality we are working at Here + Now to benefit people and places. Easy, peasy!

Have a great weekend and keep alive and C.I.Cking !! (sorry I couldn’t resist!)  

MAKING THE CONNECTION

We are excited to be running our first ever 'PEP Talk' event in Canonmills on 24 April.  Hosted by The Yard, and with a series of speakers, performers and artists in the nearby old railway tunnel outdoors all around the topic of 'Night in the City' and more creatives uses of city spaces, this promises to be an inspiring event not be missed (register for your free ticket)! 

But this more than just a fun evening out.  This is an event inspired by our discussions with people local to Canonmills over the past few weeks, and a great way to meet other local people and organisations to build on these discussions, ambitions and opportunities.  It is a catalyst to help activate activism. To build on the desires, ideas and aspirations that diverse people in the community already have, by bringing them together to make connections with one another, be inspired by speakers along a relevant theme, and generate ideas and actions together.  You can start or join the discussion ahead of the event via the PEP Talks Facebook page or using #PEPtalking

The theme 'Night in the City' for this first PEP Talk came out of this initial feedback from local people prior to the event.  This included frequent mention of the old railway tunnel and how it felt scary to walk through at night, and how the tunnel had great potential for more activities and community events.  The PEP Talk event programme has been inspired by these ambitions and opportunities local people have for the area, and will act as a way to make connections with other people interested in developing ideas and possibilities for their local places, all whilst having a fun, informal evening in an unusual city space!

If you'd like to join us at this first ever PEP Talk event, please join us on Friday 24 April at The Yard in Canonmills.  Register here for your free ticket. 

 

HIDDEN DOOR FESTIVAL CINEMA 2015

At HERE + NOW we are excited to have been invited to curate a temporary participatory installation and evening of short film screenings as part of Hidden Door Festival in May 2015.  We'll be exhibiting a visually dynamic hand-crafted  installation attendees can add their personal reflections to plus projected films during the day and evening of Friday 29 May within the Hidden Door Cinema Space.  

On Monday there was not only good news - that Hidden Door has been officially given the go-ahead to use the currently vacant Kings Stables Road buildings for the festival -  but we also got a sneak peek of the venue!  

There's something always so interesting about buildings which have laid dormant and under-used for a period of time.  Monday was no exception and it was great to have the doors unlocked to a series of interesting spaces, from the 'peely paint room' to the large warehouse like hanger.  I even stumbled across a newspaper from 2006, which must have lain undisturbed on the dusty floor for almost a decade. 

Great to get a look at the triple garage space with will become the Hidden Door Cinema too and where we will be exhibiting our films and installation - all along a theme of connection to place and sharing of place-specific memories and stories.  Make sure you come and take a look in May! More details will be coming soon.

STALLED SPACES INTERVIEW

Back in December, HERE + NOW's Curatorial Director and co-founder Jenny Humberstone was asked to present her previous work activating stalled or vacant spaces in Australia at the Architecture + Design Scotland 'Stalled Spaces Seminar'. 

Jenny presented her work developing 'Secret Cinema', a series of outdoor cinema events in Melbourne and Brisbane, which worked with both local volunteers as part of the Urban Fabric collective, together with local businesses, artists and film-makers.  These vacant city spaces became catalysts for connection, activity and community through a variety of short film outdoor cinema events and exhibitions which brought together key stakeholders from the local area. 

Architecture + Design Scotland interviewed Jenny about what she had learnt from organising these Secret Cinema events and how this related to the Stalled Spaces initiative in Scotland.

Other highlights from the Stalled Spaces Seminar included Bobby Niven speaking about The Bothy Project and Walled Garden in Glasgow, and Andreas Lang of Public Works speaking about participatory methodologies and co-production in London.

 


RESIDENCY AT THE BOTHY PROJECT

Here + Now's Curatorial Director - Jenny Humberstone - is currently on location in the remote hills near Aviemore doing an artist residency with The Bothy Project.

Jenny is spending a week amidst this beautiful landscape in a small off-grid bothy, designed and built as one of three such structures across Scotland as part of The Bothy Project. Living in such a well-designed structure - which fulfils the necessary most basic needs to create a haven for simpler living - fire for warmth and cooking, shelter from the elements, a safe protected place to sleep - immediately surrounded by such stunning landscape away from the usual lights, bustle and noise of more urban places - drives a great deal of inspiration. A great place to contemplate the role of man-made intervention in the landscape, the relation of people to place and how the meanings and relationships we develop with a place (either individually or as a community) evolve over time, and the way modern digital instant of technologically dependent lifestyles inherently create a different outlook of the world compared to a more grounded experience of place. Plus of course, the immersive and inspiring experience of living within a landscape where you are much more acutely aware of every sound, from the distant rushing of the river to the owls at night, the movement of the heather and tree branches in the wind, and the greater impact the pattern of the light of day and moonlit darkness of night has on what you are able to do.

Jenny is working alongside her brother and musician Ian Humberstone at the bothy to create a primarily analogue photography series, field recordings and documentary film snippets. The result will be a short compiled film aiming to represent both their interpretation of the genius loci of this particular place, but also their subjective and contextual experience of their week.

More on the blog soon!