A Radio Experiment
How do you get right into peoples front rooms, into their homes, their cars, their workplaces (but legally!)? Is Community radio an effective way to get people interested in the arts, and also to directly experience new artworks? As part of the Out of the Ordinary programme for Ideas Test (Creative People & Places: Swale & Medway), FrancisKnight devised Art Transmission, a radio experiment to support and inspire clubs, groups and societies to step out of their comfort zone and work with an artist to try something new.
The partner organisation for Art Transmission was BRFM (Bridge Radio – a community radio station on the Isle of Sheppey), and in particular, Daniel Nash: Arts & Community Presenter for BRFM, community catalyst, and artist. Three commissioned artists Jim Whelton, Jane Pitt and Kate Chapman worked with The Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway, Minster Golden Gloves Amateur Boxing Club and Sheppey Horticultural Society to make new art for the airwaves which was aired on Daniel’s Monday Night Community Show.
FrancisKnight also commissioned photographer Simon Martin to document the artist involvement.
Daniel Nash Collaborator - Art Transmission
Daniel Nash is an artist, community catalyst and presenter on The Daniel Monday Night Community Show that is aired on BRFM 95.6 every Monday 7-10pm. Since launching his show in November 2006 he has interviewed a wide range of guests with a focus on the arts in Swale.
In his art practice he uses the medium of concrete to produce large scale sculptures, enchancing the surface texture and manipulating the light and shadow that is cast across the surface.
Jane Pitt and Minster Golden Gloves Amateur Boxing Club
Jane is a multi- disciplinary artist from a visual and live arts background with a particular focus on sound.
She is particularly focused on creating participatory and interactive work for outdoor and non-arts spaces. This direct connection with people produces experiences that are co- created developing ways of engaging with people including the vocalizing method she calls ‘Sounding’.
Her projects have covered site specific vocal sound commissions to residencies and installations.
Minster Golden Gloves Amateur Boxing Club is the brainchild of local businessman Terry Dodd. The desire of the club is to provide friendship, respect and achievement for young people on the Isle of Sheppey. Using a state of the art sports venue the club runs programmes for all ages on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.
For Art Transmission Jane created a sound piece in collaboration with members of the club that draws out the rhythms, rigors and passion for the sport. Recording speech, ambient ‘Field’ sounds (footwork, ropework etc.) associated with the sport and vocalised sounds in dialogue with the club. Her radio piece focused on the timed bouts that reference the rules of amateur Boxing (either 2 minute or 3 minute rounds depending on the boxer’s experience) to create emotion, tension, excitement and interest as the listener goes the Rounds and lives the Bouts.
Jim Whelton and The Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway
Jim Whelton is an audio artist and sound designer. Over the last fifteen years he has produced experimental radio shows and written original scripts for Resonance104.4 FM, ORF Austria, CKLN, Toronto, Dutch National Radio, Radio Corax Halle, Sao Paolo Biennale and for various internet radio stations.
A number of his sound and musical pieces have formed part of interactive displays in the Tate Modern, Science Museum, National Horticultural Museum, National Trust of Scotland and most recently for the new Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth. He can also be found performing live experimental music and making short films when time permits.
The Stitingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway operates over almost two miles of the original main line from Sittingbourne Viaduct station to Kemsley Down Station and crosses one of the first and longest reinforced concrete viaducts in the world. The line was formerly owned by Bowater papermaking and was used to carry raw materials and finished products between the company’s two mills and Ridham Dock. This steam railway is run entirely by volunteers who work together to keep the service operating and open to the public between April – December each year.
For Art Transmission Jim explored the acoustic spaces within the yard. He has also recorded a wealth of anecdotes and technical detail from the volunteers.
Kate Chapman and The Sheppey Horticultural Society
Kate is a writer, producer and director with twenty years experience working in theatre, radio and the arts. She has worked with Nottingham Playhouse, Birmingham Rep, Derby Theatre, Curve in Leicester, Royal and Derngate in Northampton, Talking Birds, Women and Theatre, Kali, New Perspectives and Eastern Angles. She has produced and directed radio drama for BBC Radio 4 and commissioned to create audio journeys in parks and city centre. She is currently associate producer with Monty Funk Productions.
Sheppey Horticultural Society is a long established society that has been running for over 50 years with a current membership of 220 enthusiasts. They manage two allotment sites on the Isle of Sheppey with a main shop on their Richmond Road site. The shop acts as a social space for members to meet and exchange advice as well as selling essential pots, poles, seed potatoes, and a selection of seeds.
For Art Transmission Kate worked with the members from both sites to create a series of sound pieces from their allotment plots. Plot holders were encouraged to talk about the sounds that they could hear from their plots.
‘Digging for Sound’ features a plethora of noises that can be heard at the allotments – the boot on the spade, the wind whispering through the trees, birds chattering, a watering can being filled and the clink of a teaspoon against a mug – interspersed with people talking about their hobby.
Simon Martin Art Transmission Photographer
Simon Martin is a young documentary photographer based in Sittingbourne, Kent. He recently graduated from Middlesex University with a degree in photography and was shortlisted for Saatchi galleries new sensations award as well as being one of Saatchi onlines best of 2013. His interest lies in capturing british life from the individuals who regularly play bowls in their local club to the competitive world of crazy golf enthusiasts and he is currently following the training of Royal Marine Cadets between the age of 13-18 years of age.