We recently went to Kidderminster to meet with Loz Samuels, who is the Arts and Play Development Officer at Wyre Forest District Council. She organises Kidderminster Arts Festival, which runs for 1 month through August every year.
We met with Loz as we wanted to find out a bit more about festivals run by local authorities. The majority of our previous festival experience has been working at large scale music festivals. However we are interested in broadening the audience of our work and creating more possibilities for ourselves.
Loz was a really interesting person to meet as we learnt about her previous experience as an acrobat and aerial rigger. This meant she had a lot of useful advice in relation to rigging our work, which was something we hadn’t expected. After making Big Knitting we were interested in the possibility of creating a climbable version however from Loz’s rigging experience she felt this would be a huge challenge and great cost which is not financially viable for us at this stage. This was really valuable information, as it will help us with rigging future work that we make.
We met Loz shortly after the Coventry 2021 launch and Loz was interested to hear about Big Knitting and see the photos from the festival. From this we discussed the possibility of future work with Loz and the Kidderminster Arts Festival. This has given us lots of ideas to go away with and develop. We spoke about projects that she has used in the past, one of these being the poppies project, which involved community participation. Residents knitted poppies, which were then displayed around the town. This idea of engagement and community participation to create site specific work is something that we intend to develop further within our on work, so it was great to hear how it has worked with other projects.
Following on from this we are now working on possible project ideas with community engagement in mind, blending this with the history or culture of the site and thinking about how this can be transformed into an installation.