IN-SITE - Chatham and Rochester Riverside
Creative collaboration to engage the public in regeneration
Client: Medway Council
Artists: Stuart Bowditch, Daisy Farris, Nicola Flower, Caitlin Heffernan, Jane Pitt and Christopher Sacre
FrancisKnight were appointed by Medway Council to project manage IN-SITE, an engaging and interactive public art project along Rochester Riverside and on Sun Pier, Chatham. The project also provided continuous professional development project for artists working in the public realm, shaped through learning and development. The aim of the project was to contribute towards a wider framework of commissioning public art so it's part of the regeneration and future development of Medway.
Between January and August 2015 six artists were commissioned to work in pairs to create temporary work before development begins on site working with communities that live by and use the Riverside locations.
The artists included: Stuart Bowditch, Daisy Farris, Nicola Flower, Caitlin Heffernan, Jane Pitt and Christopher Sacre.
Their artistic practices included, sound, dance, illustration, textiles, installation and sculpture.
During June - August 2015 the waterfront areas featured a range of events and activities for the public to get involved in. The final work was shared in a Creative Seminar held on 8 July 2015.
© Mike Snarr
Jane Pitt and Caitlin Heffernan
Jane Pitt is an interdisciplinary artist from a visual and live arts background with a particular focus on sound, she has been paired with Caitlin Heffernan who is a visual artist working in installation.
Jane and Caitlin's initial research has led them to Acorn Shipyard, the last remaining ship building business along the site and the Freemen of the Medway, members of the Rochester Oyster & Floating Fishery Guild (ROFF) who embody the River Medway.
Having discovered oyster shells on Rochester Riverside they produced a series of floor based stencils incorporating the oyster image. Their events invited roller skaters, scooters, pushchairs and wheelchair users to explore text and floor based topographical drawings along the riverside pathway. Visitors were also invited todiscover the meaning of the words with a collective sounding out of OOZE ZANG, a sonic celebration of the text work that appears in various topograms across the site including the wharf wall.
MUSH BOUNDS GADS OOZE CRICK WRACK SLAPPY OOZE
Jane and Caitlin discovered various Kent dialect words, throughout our research, relating to the site and the river. They selected some which represent the specific landscape of Rochester Riverside and also have good sonic qualities for vocalising out loud.
Stuart Bowditch and Christopher Sacre
Christopher Sacre is a visual artist specialising in sculpture, he was paired with Stuart Bowditch a recordist, artist and musician specialising in sound. During their research time Christopher and Stuart led a series of walks around the Rochester Riverside development site gathering contributions from participants on the sights seen and the sounds heard, which has informed a detailed map of the site and surrounding area.
Their project 'Aperture' is an ear trumpet and and eye lens, one end for listening and one end for looking through. With an accompanying map of 15 locations indicated by yellow place marks, the public are guided to vantage points to explore the site.
Nicola Flower and Daisy Farris
Nicola Flower is a visual artist working in textiles and illustration and has been paired with Daisy Farris a dancer and choreographer.
Through their research, Nicola and Daisy uncovered stories and anecdotes about a local flamboyant character called ‘Bluebell’.
She's Like a FoRest FiRe....explores Chatham and Rochester High Street and the landscape of the River Medway including Sun Pier. With Sun Pier becoming a room in the landscape, they created a film and dance piece performed by the Daisy Farris Dance Collective that explores the character's personal and emotional attachment to the area.