East Street Arts, since becoming a charity in 1998, have become leaders in the artist-led sector by empowering artists to be self-determined, take control, incite change and influence decision-makers to improve people’s lives and environments.

Working from the grass roots up, we value talent, ambition and innovation from a position of inclusivity and opportunity.

We work within a broad definition of visual arts that includes traditional disciplines of painting and sculpture, and more specifically public art, socially-engaged practice, crafts and digital (including film, sound and radio). We work to ensure on-going professional support is available for working artists.

Our reach is international, with us developing activities with partners nationally and across Europe, with new relationships currently being developed further afield.

Our work in Derby is part of a long-term relationship with the city where we have explored the provision of artist workspace, meanwhile regeneration strategies and supported the development of peer cultural networks.

Focussing on The Spot we are utilising a high-street meanwhile lease to repurpose a former shop into artists workspace, alongside delivering a sustainability and skills development residency for two Derby-based artists.

We hope that this short residency will evidence the impact of repurposing high street spaces for cultural use and award the artists with greater resilience in their practice following a bespoke skills development programme.


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had a chance to meet with thomas today.  we stood and talked around the residency and where and what we’re up to.  he shared with me how he’s in the throws of preparing for his ma show.  i very much enjoyed the conversation and exploring of ideas and what’s behind them.

 

 

i feel very much in flow now with the residency.  the research i’m doing towards the realisation of a response to the poem standing to give me thoughts and ideas of how i might work with a group to do something similar.

as the poem was anonymously published i am unable to share the process and thoughts with the author about what image goes where.   i’m missing that collaborative / co-production aspect.   i’m working on my own pretty much.  with the conversation with tom today, did come so things to consider and try.  i am enjoying the creative space that lone working is providing.

 

 

i have to say i am throughly enjoying the preparation of images for each blog post.  i’m seeing images that are new to my world and they are giving me great joy.

i’ve started to reflect also how the process i’m in is being split between the space and home.  the space is very much a place to work and create content.  if circumstances were different in a few ways, i think i could also do the post work on the files there too.  for now, like a lot of the pandemic, i’m working on the dining table at home.

the biggest factor is it doesn’t feel safe enough to leave items of value in the space.  it’s difficult to say but there it is.

 

 

while waiting for the bus this morning i started to entertain the thought of display.  certainly with the original timescale of three months in the space in mind i am of a mind that putting on an event with outcomes from the residency would be a must.  do i stage the poem film within an enclosed space and make limited invitations to see it?  time is short and we’re in the summer break.  i’ve experienced trying to stage an exhibition at this time of year before – more apologies than attendees.

i’m glad i’ve had the thought.  i’m going to sleep on it, see what becomes of it.


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there are two of us on the meanwhile residency.  our time together is currently taking the form of a conversation based on what we leave in the space as a result of us being there.  today i searched out thomas’ latest work.

 

 

what thomas has made creates a tension in me because of my continued rejection of bringing resources into the space.  what it has done is moved me to be a little more defined by what i mean by resources – i am after all carrying in equipment with which i am currently creating sketches with.

what got even more head spinning was later when i realised i was leaving three objects arranged in a space upstairs from where thomas’ work is.  the arrangement was on my mind after my last visit to the space.

 

 

i reflect we’ve both arranged a set of three on the floor.  thomas’ has carved his set from a material that is designed to be cut into a desired shape.  i have arranged three objects that have a specific known useage.

how might the two intentions be similar ?

if there were both to be presented as they are right now, how might their presence be viewed ?  what other work do i need to do to be able to repurpose found objects into a sculptural statement ?  might the expectation be that in presenting a work, some material has been altered in someway ?

yet this leads me to the notion of installation.  thomas’ is sculptural – agh but wait a moment.  in the picture there are the remnants of the process.

i’m going to stop the worm hole of enquiry there for now to add that if i choose not to work with materials that i alter, am i heading towards an installation ?

 

 

in the main space on the ground floor today i moved the two chais i’d previously placed.  this led me to a new thinking as i looked at a wall i have previously not faced and looked at.

 

 

i feel more comfortable now  when i sit to eat or make notes or to think.

 

 

today i’ve worked some more on the poem based video i’m researching.  it still remains a challenge and in the ideas i’m working through i hope i’m progressing towards something.  well i am working towards something and i wait to look at the rushes and develop them alongside the new readings of the poem i did today.

still the tension around the notion of resources remains with me.


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it struck me today how the 4 week duration of the meanwhile space is going to fly by.  there isn’t much room to hang about  – massive pun unintended.

fitted in another visit late late last week.  in it i roamed around the first and second floors.  having being so obsessed with the vast window over looking the spot, it was actually refreshing to look at the areas we’d only glossed over on the induction session.

the top floor shows signs of investigations.

my investigations have turned up the table there is probably serviceable.  in considering the leg relative to the top relative to the nut to secure them both together i started to do that thing of reading in human emotions into an inanimate object.  i explored the separation of the elements with photography.

 

while on the top floor i felt a playful urge to investigate the sounds the table leg would make against the surfaces of the top floor.  i wandered and the sounds and the wanderings in between made me feel very happy.

 

 

within the you tube description i’ve written about a realisation today around how i often have had an idea that i have turned into a video – and today i acknowledge that the above video is a sketch.

from the playful wandering and knocking to the sketch above i have put into some visual form something i thought about and did.

i’ll be honest with you – i’ve had this kind of process for a while and never really understood why there was such a feeling of anticlimax once i had the “video” together.  i see now that that first “video” is in real terms a sketch, something to draw on, add to, use as a basis of something esle.

i do find it easier to make the video that to draw a sketch of it.

it’s put me into a place of acknowledging in myself how i sketch and awful lot yet rarely go onto the develop further / build on the learnings made from making the sketch.

 

 

i’m finding the process of creating during the residency really challenging as it’s getting me back into the process of creating again.  with this comes conflict within me.  it’s been so long since i experienced this that it all feels new, overwhelming and bouncing off of the notion i should stop it all.

but i stop and breath.

i feel my feet on the floor, listen to my breath coming in and bring myself back into the moment.

i’ve expressed within the frame work of the residency that i fell i an lacking the means to communicate what i do because i don’t fully understand what it is i’m doing.

if i use the lens of the multiple sketcher to examine the above paragraph, what emerges is from not completing anything of real meaning i am holding myself in a stasis of continual unresolved sketching.

there is a nod here to my neurodivergence and how the condition i have has a recognised trait of not completing things.

 

 

in considering what to do for the visuals of the poem response, i’ve reconnected to some 360 video shot during the lockdowns of last year.  i want to try placing the tiny planet reframed videos next to the reading of the poem.  i am going to record again me reading the poem.

i’m finding the poem hugely challenging and i think it’s a good fit to try it within the residency.

we’ve had word today of the support aspect of the programme so i need to make time to read and digest what the offer is.

it’s week 2 of 4 and it feels really important to immerse myself in all of this as much as possible – acknowledging and sitting with all that it throws up for me too.

after a wobbly start today, i am ending the day feeling positive and with a direction for tomorrow.


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hello world.  andrew here from the meanwhile space in derby, a part of the on going work by eaststreet projects in derby.

before we get too far into the project a quick mention of how a meanwhile space might become let at anytime.  that is in fact what happened with our residency and i came into it knowing the time in the space was going to be limited.

i still wanted to make use of the space as for me coming into it at a time when i needed some time to play and reflect about where my practice and i am.

 

 

meeting liz and tom in the space last week has set in motion a short period of research.  we are in a huge amount of space with limited furniture and limited time.

it’s highlighted for me how unconnected i feel.  in time this can change.

to begin with i’ve been struck by the window that over looks the spot – an area of the city centre in derby.

 

after shooting the impromptu footage i returned with the intention of filming myself looking out at the spot.  the result of which is this sketch 17_7_21

i came into this residency in the back of completing a project that had lasted for 4.5 years.  as i discussed with tom and liz, the completion of it had left me with many feelings that i have been working through.

my initial reactions to the meanwhile space as it stood on the first day was around the bringing in of stuff.  i take a moment to reflect now – i think i made a snap decision to limit the amount of stuff i would take into the space.  this decision might well prove to be a difficult one.  after all what resources am i going to use to create something ?

i do have to share with you that this summer i do feel very adrift from what my practice is, i live with a feeling of being lost.

despite the difficulties i acknowledge the window and the ability to carry resources in with me has given me a starting point.

i have a connection to a community in york and one arm of that community has a website – a safe space – to express what it is like to be living with multiple complex needs in york at this time.  a poem has been published there and i’ve brought the notion of responding in some way to it into the residency.  here are a couple of short clips of my reading of the poem and sketch ideas for some visual accompaniment.  i’ll be honest with you – it’s not working for me at the moment but had to try it to find that out for myself.

 

in a short residency it seems important to move through ideas – or at least try out ideas quickly.  i have done the sitting and allowing myself to get bores idea that was my very first idea of what to do.  it has led me to note somethings to try.

at the back of my mind i’m sitting with how and why i want to work.  i’ve shared with the eaststreet team where i am and look forward to going through some sessions to help me.

i am sitting with a feeling that makes me feel quite uncomfortable.  that feeling is a teetering one.  teetering on the edge of wether i am an artist at all.  i have lost sight of what i make for me, what really gets me going.  i write that – sat at a solitary table knowing full well that when i’m in the presence of other people my outlook on life is a whole lot different.

 

 

something to try in the residency will be to send invitations to connect with groups in derby.  my being with others feels an important aspect of what i do.  thats at a personal level, what i can try to explore within the residency is how that works in a professional capacity.

 

 

so taking the lead from the above image, i’m going to try considering what i’m doing in a different way.  i am going to accept that i made a decision to resist taking lots of furniture and resources into the space and this is largely based on i don’t have a well established network in derby with whom i could use this with.  i am of course thinking of such activities as a camerados event.

to help me for possible future residencies i am going to begin reaching out to groups in derby and the one in the forefront of my mind is big local allenton.  now i’ve written that i can think of another group – i heard of being set up – need to find out if it has made it to fruition.

i’ve enjoyed the mindful near meditative aspect of sitting and looking at the world through the big window.  i have an observational work in mind complete with an idea of a timelapse to try.

the residency so far is giving me the opprtunity to consider things, do things and be reflective about it.  the reflectiveness is these early days is being a little dark and i acknowledge that.  as long as i hold my nerve, keep doing and responding from that doing i think this is going to be a benefical period – at a time when i really do need it.


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