The Shed // Open Wide
Postgraduate Reporter: Nikita Singh and Postgraduate Photographer: Catherine Holmes
Resort Studios, a creative collective based in the Clifftonville area of Margate, only 2 years young, is already becoming best known for its commitment to Margate’s community and support of the town’s regeneration. UAL’s Postgraduate Community organised a Pop Up Common Room event with them back in March where an exciting residency opportunity was announced, Resort offering to provide their double sided project space for a week in June and the chance of some funding from UAL’s Postgraduate Student Communities Fund.
After careful consideration, two projects were selected with the brief of sharing the Project Space; The Shed and Open Wide. The opportunity gave these young creatives from across disciplines and colleges, a chance to explore this seaside world, a new canvas to translate their found surroundings and create something collaboratively.
In June 2015, as torch bearers for a value oriented society, seven postgraduate students travelled to Margate. In the bright English summer heat, they looked to explore co-creation with the help of the local community.
Whilst Rita Byon and Antony Shum creating The Shed sought to captivate their local audiences through the coming together of existing communities, sharing of stories and materials, the Open Wide team consisting of Ewelina Skowronska, Christine Harisson, Shuruti Sasi Vengatesh, AeLee Ko and Jezella Pigott; opened their eyes to Margate’s landscapes looking for what might not be obvious at first glance.
For both the projects, the aim was not just to seek inspiration from the town or the people but also to explore how creative practices can document a place.
Through their exploration, Open Wide presented what inspired them the most. They welcomed guests to the project space with a small representation of a ‘Chalk City’, made up of chalk pieces scavenged by the sea. They also left traces of their interaction with people, their stories, and a hand drawn map on the floor (with chalk, of course!) turning the studio into a physical Zeitgeist of Margate.
Next door, in a beautiful sunlit room, were collections of very candid Kent, carefully placed upon a wooden structure. Here, Rita Byon and Anthony Shum proudly introduced The Shed. Rita described to us her experience of locals donating found doors and wood for the structure nearby. With each exchange came tales of history and gratitude.
Margate is on the shores of reinvention, creatives are moving to the area by the bus load, enjoying the light that was highly regarded and painted by J.M.W Turner, The Turner Contemporary Gallery, newly reopened Dreamland, welcoming small businesses and cafes and of course the growing creative community supported by Resort Studios and many other champions in the town.
If anything could explain the outcome of the five day creative adventure, it would be the Italian artist, Alberto Giacometti’s words- “The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity.”
Download the Open Wide Zine: (PDF) open wide zine
Disiciplines collaborated: MA Illustration, MA Fine Art, MA Drawing, MA Communication Design
We are very grateful to Resort Studios for their hospitality and friendship http://www.resortstudios.co.uk/
View the projects dedicated blogs: