Introduction

Dwell Time was initiated by myself and Vanessa Haley after our good friend lost his battle with bipolar and depression in October 2017. He had asked us to do an art project raising awareness about bipolar, depression and suicide particular in young men. We had initially thought about a film festival as that’s one of our shared interests (and may still materialise yet!)

Vanessa spotted an article in one of the local papers about Men’s Shed and we approached them with some initial ideas for collaboration. They invited the Penistone Line Partnership and Creative Minds to be involved and we discussed a couple of ideas. The idea to produce a free train newspaper with drawings, illustrations, poetry and stories reflecting on mental health was the first idea to take off.

Men’s Shed (in the process of becoming Platform 1 with charitable status) suggested that one of their board members artist and poet Lenny Szrama get involved and after our initial meeting we were very keen to have him on board.

We drafted the open call for contributions and decided that we would also publish every contribution on the website (whilst the newspaper will have a selection and editorial process) so we can be as inclusive as possible whilst maintaining our curatorial vision in the printed edition.

We are now in the process of publicising the open call and planning the newspaper launch for Spring 2019.

I started this blog to both document the process of making the newspaper and also as a place to compile my related research into the wider subject area of art and mental health.

 


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International Day of Happiness started off sunny and warm and was really a very happy day for me, and I think the rest of the Dwell Time team.

We arrived at Huddersfield station for a press photo and a pinhole camera team photo with artist Bob Clayden who had set up a giant pinhole camera in one of the decommissioned train carriages alongside Platform 2 which is now refurbished into part of the charity Platform 1’s site.

Bob and Rose used the train carriage pinhole camera and a suitcase pinhole camera (Zebra Cam: a zebra print suitcase made into a pinhole camera) to take long exposure photos of commuters willing to sit for around 10 minutes relatively still (reading the publication is conveniently the perfect Dwell Time).

As we sat on the platform seats, we met a woman boarding the Sheffield bound train who works for the Anthony Seddon charity and we swapped stories. The charity was set up in memory of some who who died from bipolar and depression, much like the founding reason of Dwell Time.

As Bob, Rose, Lenny and Vanessa continued to engage people in conversation and take their photos, I jumped onboard the train to Sheffield to go and see Amelia Baron performing Take 10 at Sheffield Train Station.

Amelia had been performing for a few hours when I arrived and we had a quick chat about how it was going. It was a lot warmer than we’d both anticipated so I went to get more water and then I took some flyers and publications up to Site Gallery, with a quick look around the show.

When I returned I had a chat with the British Transport Police who seemed really interested in our project. The officer I talked with said if we wanted to issue a Freedom of Information Request, we could find out that in the last year that; out of the circa 24,000 incidents they attended, around 16,000 of those were categorised as mental health. These are often people in crisis and at risk to themselves or other people (mainly to themselves). A massive decline in funding to mental health support services and both preventative and crisis services is having a serious impact here – and this is just the tip of the iceberg from the perspective of the services on the ground responding to people in crisis.

On a more positive note, back in Huddersfield we had one of our awesome publication contributors Ben visit us and take part in a pinhole camera photo. Ben wrote the piece The Benefits of Being a Sieve.

These are poignant words in a world where everything seems on the point of collapse. It’s a valuable skill to be able to let go of things and not carry around the burden of problems you cannot fix: being a sieve has the benefit of lightness and also the added benefit of being reflective.

So… in reflection of the day: We had a great mix of people coming; from friends to new faces who were interested in our work, as well as people just going about their daily commute, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. People from all over have consistently commented on how great quality the publication is both in terms of look/feel/print quality and content. One of the best quotes from today was from Kevin at the charity Platform 1: “This is one of the nicest publications I’ve seen in a long time.”

Thank you all ❤


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We installed the Dwell Time boards at five stations along the Penistone Line today.

These are art works which featured in the Dwell Time publication by Hannah Honeywill, Emilia Wilson, Richard Shields, Sue Gardiner and Dianne Murphy.

If you’re commuting between Huddersfield and Sheffield keep an eye out for them at the railway stations.


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We did the soundchecks back at our Penistone launch venue The White Heart today. Last time we were there the wifi was down so we were looking to hotspot one of our phones and skype call Anak in LA on for directors’ Q&A on Thursday. Luckily the wifi is back up so that’s one thing easier to sort out! We had a good chat with Anak on skype and sussed out the best spot in the room for the laptop for Q&A. The sound is better with another cable and we’re pretty much ready to go now. Just a printout to prep with event running order and artist/performer biogs.

It’s a weird feeling to think by the end of the week it’ll all be over and we’ll have launched our first issue. It’s been well over a year in the making! Our friend died in October 2017 and February/March 2018 we began initial conversations about something to raise awareness about mental health in his memory.

We also had a chat about future plans and what strategies we might take to develop the programme further. Some of this is intrinsically linked to funding but there are a few different strategies to consider. First things first after launch week: we will need a good celebratory debrief with the team!

We’re very proud of our publication and all the work that’s gone into it. It’s full of really great work and we’re immensely proud to platform all these artists. We talked about feeling a kind of parental ownership over these bits of paper: both keen for them to go out into the world to be discovered, but also a reluctance to let them be leaving; giving them away for free and how they may be (de)valued in these terms.

It was always our intention for them to be accessible and not exclusive to the art world; handing them out for free on trains and railway stations is at the core of our launch. Hopefully we will hear back directly about how it is received by the general public next week but it will also be great to find out how far they travel and who finds a copy left on a train table or in a railways station waiting room.


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Last week we went to our Penistone venue The White Heart to do line checks in advance of our launch next week.

On the way over we saw a double rainbow which reminded us of our late friend, who we’re doing all this in memory of.

Line checks went fine and we were pleased to find the venue has speakers so we don’t need to provide our own. We’re going back this weekend for another soundcheck with a different lead and mic, and testing the mobile/skype connection as the venue’s wifi is not working.

We tested the wine as well, which is also fine.

Most of this week and last has been taken up with print orders and the result is we now have some lovely new cards, five A1 boards for the Pensitone Line stations and 1000 copies of Dwell Time stacked in my living room ready to launch next week.

The boards will be displayed at railway stations along the Penistone Line and will be on permanent display from next week, with artworks by Hannah Honeywill, Emilia Wilson, Richard Shields, Sue Gardiner and Dianne Murphy.

The boards are not quite A1 and had to be redone to a different aspect ratio (when the printers informed us that their A1 was not quite A1) to get the maximum pieces out of the aluminum sheet. But as it turned out, this delay in sending the boards to print meant that a delayed sign off from Samaritans meant we could add their telephone number on the boards.

We’ve also had a logistics riddle of how to get two large chairs from Leeds to Sheffield on a very limited budget (on the train was not a viable option). Thankfully we have found a solution within budget but that did cause a lot of stress. A poignant reminder: Keep in regular communication with everybody to make sure nobody is struggling with anything on their own. It sounds obvious, and it’s also true of everyday life as well as managing art projects: Don’t assume that people are coping and always check if there’s anything that people need help with. Problems are always easier navigated when the problem is shared and there’s more people to brainstorm solutions – definitely a benefit of collaborative working.


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Dwell Time Launch

20th – 22nd March 2019

Huddersfield – Penistone – Sheffield

Dwell time: The time a train spends at a scheduled stop without moving. Typically, this time is spent boarding or alighting passengers, but it may also be spent waiting for traffic ahead to clear, or idling time in order to get back on schedule.

Dwell Time is an arts publication of selected contributions reflecting on mental wellbeing, published for the Penistone Line Railway in Yorkshire. An open call for art, poetry and real life stories was issued in 2018 and the resulting submissions published on the Dwell Time website. A curated selection of work feature in a free publication distributed along the Penistone Line in Yorkshire with a programme of launch events for Pensitone Art Week (16th – 24th March), International Day of Happiness (20th March) and World Poetry Day (21st March). Keep a look out for Dwell Time art installed at selected railway stations along the Penistone Line.

Featured artists: Amber Agha, Anna-Maria Amato, Teri Anderson, Mr Anon, Amelia Baron, Ben Barton, Chloe Belcher, Sue Bevan, Simon Bolton, Alice Bradshaw, Elise Broadway, Geoff Brokate (dir.), Spencer Brown, Emma Burleigh, Robert P. Clarke, Bob Clayden, Donna Coleman, Klara Cservenka, Paula de Sousa, Lita Doolan, Eddy Dreadnought, Oliver East, Roderick Huw Evans, Donald Falconer, Ben Gaffrey, Sue Gardiner, Vanessa Haley, Laura Harris, Andy Hollinghurst, Hannah Honeywill, Brian Horton, Janice Howard, Janina Karpinska, Saima Kaur, Brian Kielt, Mel Kirkham & Yasmin Baddley, Mary Lee-Slade, Alison Little, Nicolette Loizou, Make DO Theatre, Christopher Marsh, Nick Maynard, Patti Mckenna-Jones, Gill Melling, Nazanin Moradi, Cynthia Morrison, Diane Murphy, Ben NCM, Debbie Nicholson Wood, Henry Noyes, John O’Hare, Susan Plover, Laura Potts, Greg Przybyszewski, Andrew Pullan, Anak Rabanal (dir.), Bobbi Rae, Tania Robertson, Damian Robin, Katya Robin, Robert Roth, Amy Rowe, Robert P Ryan, Rachele Salvini, Rebecca Saunders, Jessica Russo Scherr, Julie Shackleton, Richard Shields, Lucy Simm, Marnie Simpson, Jackie Smith, Michael Szpakowski, Lenny Szrama, The Train Lady, Danny Verno Smith, Victor, Kate Walter, Brain Webster, Dan Weatherer, Emilia Wilson, Jon Wilkins.

Curated by Alice Bradshaw, Vanessa Haley and Lenny Szrama in collaboration with the Penistone Line Partnership.

Dwell Time http://dwelltimepress.wordpress.com/

Penistone Line Partnership http://penline.co.uk/

Penistone Art Week https://www.facebook.com/penartsweek/

International Day of Happiness https://www.dayofhappiness.net/

World Poetry Day http://www.un.org/en/events/poetryday/

 

Dwell Time Launch Programme

Join the Dwell Time team along the Penistone Line for a series of art, film, theatre and poetry events for the Dwell Time launch during Pensitone Art Week (16th – 24th March), International Day of Happiness (20th March) and World Poetry Day (21st March).

Huddersfield: Wednesday 20th March (International Day of Happiness) Dwell Time Publication Launch (Huddersfield) with Bob Clayden – Pinhole Camera at Huddersfield Railway Station

Penistone: Thursday 21st March (World Poetry Day): Dwell Time Publication Launch (Penistone) with Performances, Film Screenings & Discussions at The White Hart, Penistone

Penistone Line: Thursday 21st March (World Poetry Day): Dwell Time Poetry presented by Marnie Simpson and launch of Dwell Time Art Trail at Penistone Line Railway Stations

Sheffield: Wednesday 20th – Friday 22nd March: Dwell Time Publication Launch (Sheffield) with Amelia Baron – Take 10 at Sheffield Railway Station

 

Huddersfield: Wednesday 20th March

Dwell Time Publication Launch (Huddersfield) with Bob Clayden – Pinhole Camera at Huddersfield Railway Station, 10am-4pm

Bob Clayden has been turning unusual spaces into pinhole cameras for the last 15 years. He has used a camera shop, hospital kitchen, Victorian summer house and now a railway carriage.

Working with Platform 1, Bob and Rose Knight will use a section of the railway carriage overlooking Huddersfield Railway Station to make a pinhole camera as part of the Dwell Time project. This is slow photography, using traditional processing of silver based materials in a darkroom and only a pinhole as a lens. This photography is slow, and as far away from the modern day selfie as possible. To be in the picture you have to stay still for around 10 minutes, anyone moving just disappears into a blur.

On 20th March, Bob and Rose will be at the Huddersfield Railway Station on Penistone Line Platform 2 and, with the help of willing participants, will make photographs which reflect the time spent waiting for trains.

Bob Clayden https://sites.google.com/site/livingeyester/

Pick up your free copy of Dwell Time from Huddersfield Railway Station to take with you on your journey.

 

Penistone: Thursday 21st March

Dwell Time Publication Launch (Penistone) with Performances, Film Screenings & Discussions at The White Hart, Bridge Street, Penistone, S36 7AH. Doors 7:30pm.

Dwell Time present a free event at The White Hart in Penistone featuring a performance by make Do Theatre and two short films about mental health with audience discussion afterwards.

Extracts for Little Change by Make, DO Theatre performed by Jak and Melissa

Make, DO Theatre’s debut show Little Change aims to give a voice to people living with homelessness in West Yorkshire; changing perspectives, building bridges and offering practical and actionable advice to our audience on what we can all do to help. Using a mixture of poetry, verbatim storytelling, and physical choreography, the ensemble presents the audience with a collage of real-life experiences taken from interviews with the homeless community and the people who support them. On Thursday 21st March, the Make, DO cast present some extracts from the script, taken from real interviews, looking at how mental health can be affected by homelessness and the benefits system.

https://makedotheatre.com/

Let The Memory on the Vine Stay Sweet (2018) dir. Geoff Brokate, 31:21

After the death of her husband by suicide Gillian Brooks tried to make sense of the events and preserve memories for her children. So she wrote it down as a story. Now her words have inspired a film made by Gillian and her family with the help of award-winning filmmaker Geoff Brokate.

www.verddegris.org/

Dwell Time (2014) dir. Anak Rabanal, 15:00

Plagued by undiagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and disconnected from family ties, U.S. Army Special Forces Captain Johnny Mayweather takes the final steps towards yet another deployment.

Dwell Time Trailer: https://vimeo.com/154106795

Join the Dwell Time team to discuss the performances, films and the issues they raise and pick up your free copy of Dwell Time to take with you on your journey.

Book your free ticket here: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/dwell-time-penistone-art-week-19193491497

 

Penistone Line: Thursday 21st March

Dwell Time Poetry presented by Marnie Simpson on the Penistone Line for World Poetry Day

Take a moment from your scroll to work,

To hear from people on a different ride,

Take a moment to look beyond the blur,

And maybe then youll look inside

Join artist Marnie Simpson on the the Penistone Line trains as she presents recorded and performed poetry from Dwell Time. Dwell Time Poetry presented by Marnie Simpson https://soundcloud.com/user-193270158

Pick up your free copy of Dwell Time from Marnie to take with you on your journey.

Dwell Time Art Trail at Penistone Line Railway Stations

From Thursday 21st March, look out for Dwell Time art installed at selected railway stations along the Penistone Line by Hannah Honeywill, Emilia Wilson, Richard Shields, Sue Gardiner and Dianne Murphy.

 

Sheffield: Wednesday 20th / Thursday 21st / Friday 22nd March

Amelia Baron – Take 10 at Sheffield Railway Station, 10:30am – 4:30pm

Dwell Time Publication Launch (Sheffield)

“Take 10” is an interactive performance piece by Amelia Baron which invites passers-by and users of the railway station to take 10 minutes of their day to pause and have a face to face conversation. Amelia’s work primarily deals with mental health in modern society and through “Take 10” she hopes to engage with the audience on a 1:1 basis, enhancing their wellbeing through an everyday (non-clinical) conversation whilst also reducing the stigma of mental health issues, in particular depression and suicide. Working alongside Dwell Time and Penistone Art Week, Amelia brings her performance to Sheffield Railway Station on the 20th – 22nd March.

Pick up your free copy of Dwell Time from Sheffield Railway Station to take with you on your journey.

https://dwelltimepress.wordpress.com/launch-programme/


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