All Ages Walker residency
Skimstone Arts worked with Newcastle City Council’s Arts Team as part of their Let’s Meet in the Middle project, showcasing the work of artists and communities from across Newcastle produced as part of Newcastle Art Team’s 2017/18 artist-in-residence and arts connect programmes.
Old locks, keys and candlesticks inspired imaginative and crafted poetic prose and monologue responses as to the mysteries of their owners, purpose and place. Observation, memory and new connections to the found objects enabled the pursuit of exploring language, characteristics and interplay within the collaborative process.
As we searched for meaning, we developed a sense of playful exploration and through a collective song making blues, about a weeping willow, began to consider themes and ideas from Waiting for Godot (Samuel Beckett) and Theatre of Absurd. What is meaning? How do we see the world in its present form? What do we wait for and why?
Waiting… is a playful film short constructed of individual, improvised interactions shot on green screen, where ‘travellers’ meet and share on a park bench, beneath a weeping willow. Each scene was created using either humour, pathos, melancholy or hope to signify our sometimes human frailty of waiting. Scenes explore our recognition of nature, absurdity (human as creature?), and special and fleeting relationships and are accompanied by the soundtrack of an original song, Weeping Willow Blues.
All the artworks focus on the actors/ performers/ writers and musicians of all ages from participants at St. Anthony’s, Assisi House and The Bostey, Walker to question and explore meaning, ideas, skills and techniques in the present. This has supported individual and collective musical, written and theatrical contributions, regardless of living with dementia, stroke or life challenges, to pursue rigour and discipline of crafting within the artistic process and the joy of community collaboration.
Claire Webster Saaremets worked as Artist in Residence with participants from three settings – St Anthony’s Day Centre, Assisi House supported living and The Bostey Youth Centre.
All participants and staff at St Anthony’s, Assisi House and The Bostey, Roman Vaughan -Williams – student, Peter Saaremets – Musician, Tian Abrie – Film maker.
“Marvellous seeing the reaction and participating of the service users who do not normally interact with others. Service users feel that they have achieved something that they thought they would never be able to fulfil because of their individual disabilities.” Lynda Watson, Day Opportunities Development Officer, St Anthony of Padua Community Association.
“I felt like a star.” Doreen, participant.
Newcastle City Council
March 2018, Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne