I’ve been working with a bunch of young staff from London’s major cultural organisations on Seven Days in Seven Dials; a week in the life of London’s Culture Quarters.
The staff are all part of the Culture Quarter Programme, a collaboration between nine big-name arts organisations which are providing 30+ young unemployed people between the ages of 18-24 the chance to gain six months’ cultural and creative sector experience (and that has to be better than being an intern!). The staff are working at Create KX, Design Council, English National Opera, Exhibition Road, The Hospital Club, National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Opera House, Somerset House and the V&A Museum.
We’re bringing in a crack team of podcasters, photographers and artists (some of them we worked with on the Empty Shops Tour earlier this year), and with the Culture Quarter Programme participants we’ll spend a week using a shop as a meanwhile studio & workspace. We’ll be using some new kit – I’m looking forward to seeing creative use of our Muvi micro-camcorder. It’s about the size of a memory stick.
We’ll produce loads of stuff – audio tour podcasts, short videos and photographs exploring the history of the local area; the artistic, cultural and historical links between the organisations involved in the project, and individual experiences of the participant’s day-to-day activities within their organisations.
Like Maurice Gorham says in Londoners, ‘You can see London through the eyes of countless greater experts and greater men, but there is always something that they have not seen, very often because it was not there for them to see.’
You can drop in and visit the studio to watch us making stuff daily from 10am-5pm on Monday 5 -Thursday 8th July. The exhibition then opens to the public from Saturday 10 July until Friday 23 July 2010.
Seven Dials is a fab location – loads of history, dating back to the late 17th century, is mirrored against the contemporary energy and buzz of modern day Covent Garden. Known to many as Covent Garden’s hidden village, it still feels like a village with its own community, characters and local shops.
We’re supported in this one by the owners of Seven Dials, Shaftesbury PLC – and by all the partners of course.