How did it go ? it went well, I think its fair to say that overall the project went very well the project took a bit of effort to get off the ground ,indeed even gettin gthe idea together was hard work,a few ideas were bandied about,good ideas but not the right idea , we settled on the Plastic bottle recycling.or acctually NOT recycling idea as it is a major issue and as luck would have it, at the same time as we started on our project the issue also bacme a national issue in the papers and on TV.
I dont want to go over old ground as most of what we did and how we did it is in older posts of my blog. so i will concentrate on our feedback from the event and after the event.
Our event has a website https://tmsproject2017.wixsite.com/tmsproject which should be open to the public soon,this was a requirment of the University module but is an essential record of our project from start to finish.
After our event we took a look at our “Message in a bottle” feedback collection these were plcaed together and photographed below
The 480/270 event proved to be a success. Although initially the number of future participants was slightly overestimated, on the day, there were times when all the spaces at the making table were filled with participants. Having supplied catalogues with examples on what can be created out of reusing plastic brought the community together and empowered participants to take action towards a plastic free life. Informing on the negative effects plastic has over humans and the planet might even have helped further promote the 3R’s : reuse, reduce, recycle by raising awareness towards this issue of great concern.
By blending creativity with usefulness, through the workshops conducted on the day, the project further promoted local connectivity. Being a public event, we encouraged everyone passing through the Packhorse Shopping Centre to participate.
Globe Arts’ plastic response became a valuable resource on the importance of educating the young generation, which in return, further helped educated members of the public that attended the event.
Connecting with Journey to Zero-Waste Huddersfield not only further promoted the event but became a conversation point on their group which once again, entailed raising awareness as well as helped further weave a network between organizations and members of the community.
By promoting the event on the Arts Council website, exposure for both 480/270 and The Making Space was established. The event was also promoted on their weekly newsletter which we hope helped keep the conversation going.
Considering the event was scheduled to take place early on a weekday, the attendance at workshops was still satisfactory. This was mentioned on the project’s promotional Facebook page by members of the public who would have wanted to participate but couldn’t due to work schedules.
Apart from raising awareness and bringing the community together, the value of the project can also be measured through the amount of plastic bottles we successfully collected for recycling. With the help of Kirklees Council,the contents of two 660l bins were collected for recycling 4 times throughout the length of the project.
Those were our reflections but we also got reflections from our hosts at the making space and below are our discusions and reflections by the Making Space ..(Again these are available on our website)
Meeting the Brief
Comments from The Making Space:
“Part of the brief is about connecting lots of different pockets of creative things that are happening. It’s quite important to The Making Space to have all these collaborations and join all the dots of things that are happening in Huddersfield. We also know it’s quite a difficult thing at times and it takes time to build those relationships. To do what you’ve done in the short amount of space is really good.”
“That was one of the things that I was both amazed and impressed at, was the scope of it [the project] in the time available.”
Social Benefits Of The Project
We took a lot of small actions which we hoped collectively would have a big impact and benefit society, these included:
A sociable making workshop where the issues surrounding plastic are discussed and recycling and reusing is encouraged.
Inviting other organisations to participate, celebrating the arts and independent communities in Huddersfield.
Providing recycling bins, with information on recycling points in and around Huddersfield.
Recycling our bottle installation at the end of the project. Following the circular economy model.
If we have managed to change two or three people’s mindset on using plastic, it’s the start of that ladder of awareness.
We found working in a group of six tricky at times. There were times when you felt you didn’t have a voice. Sometimes somebody would say something in a meeting that you didn’t quite understand but before you’d had chance to ask anything further the conversation had quickly moved on and you were left with the feeling that perhaps you’d missed something valuable. Sometimes an idea would be put forward and someone else in the group would say no. There are times when you need to let go of an idea and accept it’s not right for the project but there are also times when you have to listen to your gut and pursue an idea, perhaps by forming a smaller collaboration within the group with another like-minded member. Develop that idea and present it again for consideration.
The Making Space can relate to our experiences because they are a cooperative. They told us that it has taken them three years to understand collaborative working and they have now developed a meeting facilitation format. Their sessions are run according to those rules with the purpose of giving everyone a voice. They vote on ideas but also give individuals the freedom to pursue an idea.
Execution of the Event
We recognised as a group that we could have done more to attract passers-by across the threshold on the day. Some did give it a try, but the majority avoided approaching the public. The Making Space commented that this is something they too find uncomfortable, but it gets easier with practice and it’s worth pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Most people will respond.
In hindsight, maybe moving the low barrier, revealing the making area would have opened the space more to the passing public. The location of the Packhorse Centre means that most of the public use it as a short cut to get to where they need to be. The Making Space told us that the Packhorse Centre are trying to encourage people to stay in the centre so events like ours are of real value. They suggested it may have been helpful to say to the public, ‘It will only take five minutes’, because we don’t know what their time commitments might be.
We discussed whether we should have had a series of more specialised workshops instead of just having different items that people can choose from. Considering who came in, if we had done something very intricate it might have put people off. People did come in saying I’m not creative and then they took part and made something.
The Making Space thoughts:
“I think you got the balance write in terms of having specific things for people to make, also just coming in and making something. It depends what everyone is confident in doing, so you are catering for everyone in that respect. If you just have a table of plastic bottles, people would have had no clue as to what to make. But also, it’s just a suggested thing to make.”
How this project as benefited The Making Space as an organisation.
Comments from The Making Space:
“Definitely has in lots of different ways. It’s been good for us to work with university students. Fantastic link with the university. Also, a project that links with what we are trying to do, which is socially engaged things and trying to get the people of Huddersfield to embrace with more creative things in the town centre.”
“It’s been nice to have the space used straight away. It’s given us a re think that we need to get some things going and some ideas and what’s possible in this space.”
“It’s high on their agenda [the Packhorse Centre] to get more students from the university coming through here. So, the fact that we have done a project with university students, which is about getting people to come in, actually is a useful thing to be saying to them.”
“Inviting people is quite useful for The Making Space. That lets people know about us, lets people know that we collaborate with the university. That’s quite a big benefit for us. The press release, contacting organisations. It’s not just the people who came through the door to do the workshops on the day who now know more about The Making Space, that it exists and who we collaborate with.”
We asked if connecting with other organisations, such as Globe, makes it easier for them to approach these organisations in the future. They said that starting these relationships gives them the possibility to build on that.
Further Making Space comments:
“All that partnership development. These are processes that take a really long time. You did well to get people to answer your emails. If you had emailed me to say no one had got back to you. I would have said, OK, fair enough, that’s part of the course. That process of making personal connections is how stuff happens.”
“Huddersfield in general is quite bad for connecting up all the amazing things that are happening. It’s hard to make these collaborations. Creative Kirklees only works on a certain level. It doesn’t embrace people who don’t know about Creative Kirklees, and who don’t use the internet. It doesn’t cover everything that’s going on, things only get highlighted for one week. It’s really hard to make these collaborations because there is so many things happening.”
How The Making Space would build on this event.
“Do it in different locations, a portable workshop. In a library. Then you are capturing a different kind of customer.”
“You could spin the idea. Theming the same kind of concept. Puppets from plastic, sea creatures, making a plastic city. Spin the idea in lots of different ways but the concept is the same.”
“You could actually go completely the other way and get some makers who work professionally, to do things out of plastic and put on that kind of exhibition. That gives you a model where you can show some stuff where it’s like, oh wow that’s amazing! Then you can do a hands-on workshop for people who obviously aren’t going to be at that level. But you show them some of the simple stuff that you were doing on the day.”
“Having the professional model is like an aspirational thing. Oh, wow look what you cando withthat!”
“It can be quite scary when you see it at that level but then if you have a structure where you can say to people; if you could just pop in and do something for 5 mins, obviously it’s not going to be this but it could be this and show work.”
“It creates that link between someone who doesn’t think they are creative to going, oh, actually I took part I this workshop where there were these amazing models. You are connecting artists with members of the public.”
“You have done a very basic prototype of that already. Which could be developed in that way. Because if you think about it you’ve got all of those things.”
Did we demonstrate innovation?
Comments from The Making Space:
“In the time scale that you have had you have been innovative. It’s not easy coming up with an idea in the first place. That takes a lot of brainstorming and time.”
“For a craft workshop (because I’ve done quite a lot) I think you had a really good spin on it. In terms of it had kind of a sustainable / political stance to it and a lot of craft workshops don’t have that deeper message, they are just fun that you do on a Saturday afternoon. So, to have a workshop that’s got this purpose, or political or social engagement to it, is an innovative thing. Moving forward that is a really good angle to run workshops with because I think that’s where it’s going rather than being just something you do and forget about. It’s actually got a message, a purpose to it.”
Presentation at University
For University we put together a presentation which was part of our MA Module the presentation was presented to all out fellow MA year students,we each put together a few Power point slides each and took turns to present our Powerpoint slides and each said a piece at the presentation.
below is the complete presentation power point
Thats the complete presentation before we took questions from our peers and from our tutors
we each did a part of the presentation and below are the slides I provided and my speach presented with each slide
My slides and my presentation speech
480/270 Project presentation
Before we got our idea sorted out I went on a quick visual reconnaissance, to see what visual art works were on public display in Huddersfield
This slide shows a wide and eclectic range of visual art on display free of charge to anyone walking around Huddersfield, from large public artworks such as the abstracts above Buxton way, the two James Wadsworth Statues of Art and Literature which stand outside the Library, the more discreet “Mooning Man” who’s whereabouts is known only to the more discerning ones amongst us. Graffiti art and memento mori grave art. even local eccentric Jake Mangle wurzel has his artwork displayed. These images were later put into the two murals seen here, and later used in a collaborative work by myself and Assunta.
Once we had our Idea for the 480/270 project we set about finding out some facts and figures about plastic bottles, here are a few from the BBC website
More verifiable facts from reputable sources such as the Telegraph, and the Guardian newspapers, on the same side of the argument for a change, other quotes from website such as Greenpeace, The BBC and ecowatch make for interesting reading.
“over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century”
“Virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form”
“Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times”
“We are selling 20,000 more bottles every second”
“It takes 450-1,000 years for plastic to degrade.”
They say a picture paints a thousand words ……..
So here’s five thousand words
And I don’t think I need to say anything more.
Our presentation was practised about four times we timed each other so as to not go over the time alloted,we stuck to our prepared speach, we stuck to out alloted time and we managed to do a good job despite the nerves, we presented clearly and precisely, working as a team in a well rehearsed presentation.
when questions were asked we had answers, we had made a mistake in one of our quotes 😦 but as far as I know only the one.