Artist Walk with Cooltan and Artangel

Developing a new project commissioned by Artangel and in conjunction with Cooltan.

Artangel projects are given shape by a particular place and time. They can involve journeys to unfamiliar locations, from underground hangars to abandoned libraries. Or sometimes they can offer unfamiliar experiences in more familiar environments – a terraced house, a department store or daytime television.

CoolTan Arts believes mental well-being is enhanced by the power of creativity. It’s a charity run by and for adults with mental distress. Cooltan aim to promote positive mental health/well being, bringing about a change in how participants perceive themselves, enabling people to gain greater focus and to re-establish their relationship with society. Cooltan aim to offer life long learning and enable people to achieve qualification and accreditation status in the coming year. They achieve this through quality arts education with professional outcomes such as public exhibitions, and social enterprise principles.

The project in made in collaboration with the commission of Saskia Olde Wolbers yet to be announced so will not expand on that yet.

But for my project I share this description:

This project will be a narrated walk that uses as a source of inspiration the Victorian row house situated at 87 Hackford Road where Vincent Van Gogh resided in 1873 whilst in London. It will explore letters written by Van Gogh about his experience here in London and also consider what it would have been like to see this city through his eyes, allegedly suffering from epilepsy, bi-polar disorder and delusions.

The project will explore walking around the area, passing Van Gogh’s former residence and invite people on to a new journey of discovery. This will be a one-to-one performance, in which one audience members walks on a narrated journey, which they can hear over headphones.

Guided by the product of the Cooltan workshops, the audience is encouraged to delve into an alternate reality of the city, and follow a course through our own chosen route where they will encounter the peoples, stories, rumours, and whispers that inhabit the architecture that surrounds us.

I will work together with participants on the narrative through interactive workshops that explore our own stories in connection to Van Gogh’s. As we learn about him we can learn about ourselves and share this in a special public walk.

The participant on this narrated walking tour examines their surroundings by creating interior visualisations based on their movement through the space. The world they create is influenced by the sounds and smells that come from the environment as well as introduced by what we develop.

Is they city what it seems? What happens when we stop taking it for granted and put ourselves in the vulnerable position of using our imagination publicly…

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