Project X is in full swing, inviting a selection of young artists to come together and develop a new cross-platform project based on a brief set by our artistic directors. To find out how things are going, Project X participant Paddy Johnson reports back with some thoughts from week one…
I have had a fantastic first week working with a great bunch of people whose talents span across a diverse range of art forms. On the first day, we each performed a two minute presentation, stating our main influences and areas of interest. There are dancers, artists, spoken word poets, actors, musicians, filmmakers and lots of other creative individuals. I think this will be a fantastic project full of crazy and brilliant ideas.
The team building and short exercises we were tasked with completing were refreshing and encouraged us to get to know each other better and start the creative energies flowing. Everyone gets along really well and I have found the project invaluable in helping me build up more confidence in both my creative abilities and social skills. We saw some fantastic exhibitions and installations too, including the Cities of Hope street art exhibition in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, and Action Beat’s 24 Hour Noise Installation at Islington Mill. The street art was amazing and just goes to show how powerful the form can be when it comes to making political and social statements. The 24 Hour Noise Installation was certainly an intense and absorbing experience; Action Beat’s performance incorporated multiple guitars, booming bass and no less than three drummers in a sonic barrage of sounds and textures, incorporating spoken word improvisations and a variety of experimental techniques into their non-stop performance.
The Tuesday session was particularly effective in helping us to interact and build relationships with each other through team working games and exercises. A spoken word poetry organisation came in to work with us in the morning and helped us to get better acquainted through theatrical activities. We had to work together quickly in small groups within short time frames to come up with tableaus to represent a certain topic, theme or word.
We were presented with a question, a provocation that asked ‘Why make art?’, which prompted a group discussion into the reasons behind the choice to become an artist. Lots of interesting points were raised and discussed. Some people make art for the joy of it, others as a kind of cathartic relief from mental torment, some focus on art with a sense of technical precision, others project it straight from the heart, and it has to be said that the creative industries are businesses after all, and some people are in it for the money. This discussion made us all realise that it’s important to know why you’re making a piece of work and who for before you dive straight into it. It was also very interesting to hear what everyone had to say and the different angles people came up with to approach the question.
We were also given the brief; HOME currently offers a wide variety of entertainment in various forms; chiefly theatre, film and art. It’s our job to come up with a plan to merge those three art forms and more, into a cohesive whole when we take over the venue in August 2017. Sounds like a fantastic opportunity to work with other creative people, learn from each other as we go along and further develop our own skills throughout the journey.
Can’t wait for week two!
Project X research and development runs at HOME for three weeks in August 2016 and continues through to the programme showcase in August 2017.
HOME Digital in association with Virgin Media Business