The name Context Matters was chosen as a collective name for two artist residencies. A process curated by Donna Lynas of Wysing Arts Centre identified community groups who were eager to take part in this opportunity and play a central role in the selection of the artists.
This resulted in two artists being selected by two community groups in order to respond to their aspirations and challenges through art and dialogue.
Residency 1: Grennan & Sperandio and the Peterborough Street Pastors
Simon Grennan and Christopher Sperandio have created a series of comic strips in conjunction with the Peterborough Street Pastors - people who provide a helping hand and a listening ear to revellers on Saturday nights in the city centre. The strip, entitled ‘Street Pastor Stories’ has appeared in the Peterborough Evening Telegraph every Friday since February 2012 running through to July. It provides a rare glimpse of the personal motivations that move the Street Pastors to give up their own Saturday nights to go out and help others, and to illustrate some of the unseen community work quietly taking place in Peterborough.
Credit: Grennan & Sperandio
Residency 2: Joshua Sofaer and the Morland Court Resident Association
The project, ‘How Morland Court Got Its Name’ has been devised by Joshua Sofaer alongside the Morland Court residents with the purpose of creating connections between residents and within the local community in Werrington. Citizen Power has a focus on ‘place’ and this project is interested in thinking about how you might use stories and folklore about the name of a place to activate a change in social interaction. Joshua led a competition asking local residents to creatively respond to the question on how Morland Court got its name alongside a series of workshops designed to get the creative juices flowing. Working with the landlord, Hyde Minster, the project will culminate in a new sign for the building being designed and built for the residents taking inspiration from the entries to the competition. Joshua has created a booklet about the project available from his website.
Both the Context Matters projects have involved local artists as an integral part of the process through a variety of ways including a mentoring programme, running workshops and in the production of artworks.
The first case study, 'Creative Gathering; More purposeful together' illuminates this two-year programme in Peterborough which concluded with The Creative People’s Walk in July 2012 led by local artist, Tom Fox.