Since March I have based myself (a couple of times a week) out of the fantastic West End Centre in Aldershot. As a cultural hub that has been in Aldershot since the mid 70s (when it was closed down as a school and taken over by artists and musicians!!) it is the perfect place to base my research!
I want to know what exists in Aldershot already, community wise and arts wise. What do people want, audiences and artists? What is missing? What has happened before? What could happen in the future?
I have joined some of the many sessions that the Westy runs over the past two months, the sewing cafe, crafty culture, senior moments, u3A discussion group, the probation team. The staff at the westy have put me in touch with people from local organisations, from forums as well as artists and creatives who live or work locally. I’ve had so many fruitful conversations already, started to see potential partnerships and exciting opportunities. I’ve also seen that the Westy is just this amazing creative and community space as well as a fantastic venue. It currently has a focus on music, comedy, theatre and workshops – all of which are awesome. What I would love to see going forward is a link with more contemporary art – or more accurately NON TRADITIONAL ART FORMS, specifically with the context of Social Art. For me Social Art is a practice that works both in and with the community, that looks at local social issues, that can cause debate, discussion, and can challenge or potentially influence local social change…… potentially.
Lets see artist and community collaborations, lets see installations within the town centre, in public spaces and buildings, lets make films, performance and live actions!