Dartford Creative was a 12-month arts programme funded by Dartford Borough Council and Arts Council England, exploring ways in which artists and local people can get involved in arts and cultural activity in Dartford. It was facilitated by Icon Theatre and built on the learning and success of the pilot project delivered in 2014-15.
FrancisKnight were appointed to project manage a series of temporary art in public realm commissions, responding to Dartford’s heritage and future built environment. FrancisKnight offered mentoring and support to four artists as part of the programme enabling them to develop their practice and explore site-specific commissioning and community engagement.
In the next 10 years, Dartford will be undergoing a series of large building and regeneration projects, with significant changes to the built environment of the town centre. These small-scale interventions were the first steps in highlighting how the arts and artists can contribute and inform these projects.
Clare McEwan - Carving the View
Clare McEwan is a textile artist and designer living in Dartford, Kent. She works with a range of fine art practice and design to create imagery for both product and place.
For Dartford Creative she created Carving the View, two installations capturing the viewpoints and architecture of the town centre. Using photography, mono-printing and drawings of Dartford, Clare presented two large scale works making use of the lenticular process - allowing multiple images to be viewed from different angles.
Annie Ho-Cooper - 1>100 The whole is greater than the sum of its parts
Annie Ho-Cooper is a fine artist who uses material objects such as textiles and linens. Her work has a deep interest in memory and identity issues, questioning the ongoing relationships between individual memory and collective memory, as well as between personal identity and community identity.
Annie's commission of 100 memory boxes, invited the public to contribute to 100 years of Dartford history from 1917 - 2016. Set in one of the shopping arcades in the town centre, the installation collected individuals stories and anecdotes which contributed to the bigger story of the community setting.
Nadia Perrotta - Francesca e l'Aquilone
Nadia Perrotta is an artist who works mostly, with installation and creative writing. Drawing on her own Italian heritage, Nadia's work follows the story of an Italian girl called Francesca who stumbles across a new place. The stories, reproduced and featured as a newspaper tabloid, was created with a group of young people who accompanied Nadia on walks along the river Darenth, discovering Dartford's own Roman heritage.
A community event Festa degli Aquiloni (Fly your kite Picnic) took place in Dartford Central park.
Sidonie Carey-Green - Place: Unexpected
Sidonie Carey-Green is a dance artist and filmmaker working in Dartford and throughout Kent.
Place: Unexpected explored the hidden sometimes forgotten spaces in Dartford offering the viewer something beautiful or unnoticed in its place. Sidonie worked with local dancers to create site-specific dance performances and guided walks within the town centre, central park and the heath. A tunnel installation was also created using video projections in a public pedestrian tunnel within Dartford Central park.
Photos by Simon Kelsey