New article by Loraine Leeson In Times Higher Education, November 2022.
Artists can’t solve the world’s problems, but they are well placed to ask questions that enable ideas and creativity to emerge. And the local knowledge of communities holds a wealth of answers
Blog for the research project Spaces of HOPE: The Hidden History of Community Led Planning in the UK.
How can images and aesthetics support community led campaigns? In this blog, Loraine Leeson draws on her experiences with the Docklands Community Poster Project, describing how certain images can become a powerful ‘currency’ for communicating issues and arguments to wider audiences.
6.30pm Sunday 22nd May online
Loraine Leeson talks about her chapter “Active Energy: Bringing Local Knowledge into the Public Realm” for the recently published book Ecoart in Action.
Register for the event here
The event provided an overview of Ecoart in Action: Activities, Case Studies, and Provocations for Classrooms and Communities. Compiled from 67 members of the Ecoart Network. Ecoart in Action stands as a field guide for ecoart practice. It provides adaptable strategies for engaging a wide range of learners within a variety of learning environments.
Recording of this presentation by Loraine Leeson and other authors of the book can be found here.
February 1st 2022 saw publication by the Ecoart artist network of Ecoart in Action: Activities, Case Studies and Provocations for Classrooms and Communities.
Loraine Leeson’s chapter ‘Active Energy: Bringing Local Knowledge into The Public Realm’ takes the Active Energy project as a case study of arts and pedagogy.
The arts are an excellent means of celebrating, communicating and consolidating ideas, but artists do not know everything and can work to greater effect with experts in other fields. These might be local people who are in touch with the needs of their community, professionals in other disciplines, or groups and institutions that can offer contextual knowledge. Collaboration creates insight, where each witnesses a multiplication of their own set of skills and experience when interfacing with others as part of a team. A function of the artist’s role in these situations is to nurture and facilitate this process in a way that allows for the diversity of expectations and enables each party, including themselves, to achieve their goal.
Leeson_Active Energy_Bringing Local Knowledge into The Public Realm_2022
Jade Spencer has written an article entitled The People’s Plan for the Royal Docks for ERA magazine to find “inspiration in the current moment’: ideas for what Mark Fisher called ‘an alternative modernity’, piercing the neoliberal logic of development which risks defining our recent history”.
FEMINIST ART ACTIVISMS AND ARTIVISMS edited by Katy Deepwell examines different art practices through discussions on identity, gender, power structures and politics and contributes to dialogues between feminist thought and activism in relation to visual arts
ACTIVE ENERGY: COMMUNITIES COUNTERING CLIMATE CHANGE by Loraine Leeson.
The article outlines the development of the Active Energy project and the organic way in which such projects can gain longevity if they are rooted in community and not subject to the overarching constraints of commissions or funding bodies. Through supporting concerns identified by senior citizens in East London, Active Energy has been able to address urgent ecological issues and discover new ways that crucial local knowledge can have an effect both locally and with a constituency far beyond its own borders.
Loraine and the Geezers contribute to a book edited by Richard Povall of art.earth that asks how can we cross disciplinary boundaries in relation to a question or idea. The book also explores transculturalism: professional disciplines have their own cultures and ways of thinking and working, but even in this globalised world, so do individual nations and ethnic groups. All of these cultural languages play into our work: this book examines how culture, practice and language can intermingle to create new projects that explore real-world questions.
Chapter by Loraine Leeson on The Things That Make You Sick.
When the closure of Bethnal Green Hospital was announced in the late 1970s, its medical staff occupied the site and continued to care for the patients. The chapter describes the making of a video, posters and exhibition for that campaign, followed by visual materials produced with health workers’ unions for the East London Health Project to inform the public on the potential effects of the impending cuts in health services.
Following the installation of a new wheel in the Olympic Park, Active Energy is featured once again in The Environment magazine.