I was delighted to work with In Certain Places as artist in residence at Testbed. The University Of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) were beginning a major redevelopment which will eventually see the site of the previous Fylde Building replaced with a new building and publically accessible square. In Certain Places had identified the need to explore how this would be adopted by the university and surrounding communities.
In order to do this, they established Testbed - a purpose built temporary space for research and community engagement and base for my residency and creative explorations. The temporary bespoke shipping container studio and performance space were designed by Ian Banks of Atoll. During that time working with groups from across the university and the city, over 17 different activities took place that investigated, articulated and tested out what the future uses of the new square could be. These included workshops, drumming performances, artworks and events. Lee Ivett of Baxendale Studios and Architecture BSc course leader at UClan, working with students, installed a temporary roof. The Test Bed blog examined the space as an entirety and destination while examining it relationship to wider debates about public spaces.
As part of my residency I was deligheted to invite More Music director Loz Kaye to work with me to develop Boombox - a continuation of our exploration of light, sound and performance.
It felt important to establish the space and announce its presence. The compound comprised a wooden deck surrounding a pair of shipping containers. I was immediately struck by the potential of both of these as LOUD percussive instruments. We were incredibly fortunate to be able to collaborate with Worldwise samba drummers who are based at the university. Using carefully chosen elements of their repertoire, a performance emerged including light, shadow and lots of noise.
We asked a lot and the performers were incredible. They did everything from awesome playing in the compound, to processing through the containers - taking plenty of opportunity to hit them! The evening finished on the hill behind the compound in an outline of the building that will soon be built.