The People’s Projects | Feral Spaces
The arts and learning project ‘Feral Spaces’ by CUSP Fellow Laurel Gallagher is shortlisted for public voting. For the 13th year, the Big Lottery Fund, ITV, STV and The National Lottery are teaming up to give the public a chance to decide how National Lottery funding should be put to good use in their local area.
Voting: 16–30 April 2018 at www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk
Feral Spaces has been selected to be part of a funding opportunity: The People’s Project involves a public vote based on short films broadcast on ITV Central West on 16th April (6pm).
Filming took place in March. Laurel Gallagher ran a morning of activities for 20 children aged 8-14 — running riot, climbing crumbling factory walls, spraying paint, cutting down vegetation, defining spaces, manipulating materials and sharing thoughts, feelings and ideas. “It’s like a children’s wonderland” exclaimed a visitor from the YMCA in awe at the joy a disused ex-industrial wasteland provides for young people. “I never knew this place was here” commented a teacher who has brought students from the local Co-operative Academy Stoke to take part.
The location is Burslem Port in Stoke on Trent; a disused section of canal alongside a demolished factory transformed, through neglect, into a natural wilderness. Laurel started working in this space in 2016, following an artistic vision of children escaping their urban lives and returning to the wild. The Feral Spaces project explores the question: how do urban children connect with wild spaces and what impact do wild spaces have on their sense of wellbeing.
The People’s Project voting is from 16–30 April 2018. If successful, the Feral Spaces group will provide art activities for young people, using disused local spaces and recycled materials, to promote appreciation of the local environment. Communities will then come together for a day-long festival to celebrate their achievements. Young people will develop and learn new skills, including team work and event planning, whilst getting involved with their local area. For more details, please go to the People’s Project Page.