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Craftivists Network groups worked together to present a community art installation for Root 1066 Contemporary Arts Festival.
After months of hard work, 12 organisations from across Hastings and Rother that support vulnerable adults in the community came together for a huge event on the STADE as part of the Root 1066 festival in October 2016. Movement was developed by the Craftivist Network with artist Caroline Le Breton and coordinated by arts organisation Culture Shift and Hastings Furniture Service. It was one of the ROOT 1066 commissioned projects.
The project created a platform for many individuals who are challenged to access the cultural life of the town to take part in a major arts festival. Part movement of people, part protest, the project took at arrow as a symbol for the direction people wanted their lives to follow and the things that mattered most.
Movement began as a procession along the Hastings seafront from the Azur to the Stade with groups joining at different points. They were accompanied by the Open Door Drummers, part of Hastings and Bexhill MENCAP, led by Jamie Harris. Every person in the group carried a spear they had made and each group made banners to make clear their concerns and wishes. Judy Rogers, the mayor of Hastings was in the parade.
On arrival at the Stade, the whole space was set out as a large community tea party, with tables arranged round a stage, chairs of all sorts and sizes provided by Hastings Furniture Service, refreshments from the Roebuck Centre and craft stalls. Each group ceremonially placed their spears in bases on the Stade to decorate the space.
Inside the Stade Hall was the most beautiful and mesmerising installation of 380 silver hanging arrows, made by participants and installed by artist Caroline Le Breton. Each arrow was inscribed underneath with the thing that mattered most to that individual. Words included; home, heath, homes, opportunity, to be needed, to be positive, love, travel and much more.
The arrows hang twinkling and casting shadows on the floor resembling both a flock of birds and clutch or arrows. Children lay underneath enjoying the biggest mobile they had ever seen. There was the opportunity for people to make their own ingenious balancing arrows.
Outside a series of entertaining and heart-warming performances filled the afternoon with the Open Door Drummers, Seaview Choir, Hastings Voice Squad and Delta 7, a band from Eastbourne of musicians with learning disabilities supported by Culture Shift. In between the performances Rhythmix who managed the stage and music, offered short taster sessions to flag up their new free 8 week music programmes for young people on Hastings and Rother.
In addition a number of stalls sold products made by Craftivist members; Roebuck Centre, Active Arts and Hastings Furniture Service.
500+ people attended the event on Sunday with a further 170 on the Monday to see the exhibition.
Participating groups include Roebuck Centre (Autism Sussex), Active Arts and Open Door (Hastings and Bexhill MENCAP), Glyne Gap Faculty, Hastings Furniture Service, Little Gate Farm, Parchment Trust, Beeching Park and Conquest Day Centres, Greenwood Respite Hotel, Seaview
The project was supported in cash and in kind by a number of local businesses; Sussex Plumbing Supplies, restaurants Mama Putts and Bella Vista, M&W lettings and Brewers as well as receiving a grant from Hastings Borough Council.
Feedback from visitors:
Watch the amazing team of volunteers put up our installation:
Video by Lee Shearman
Some photos by Indiana Hamilton-Brown