Dreams & Realities, 2011 - 2012
The Scotlands estate in north Wolverhampton was developed as council housing during slum clearance programmes of the 1950s and 1960s. The estate has a population around 3000 residents and has a longstanding image of negativity, a high crime rate and multiple indicators of deprivation.
Here, 54% of residents do not have a qualification, and 60% of women are economically inactive (with 34% of the men also economically inactive). However, it has a strong sense of history with generations of families living in the area, with some families occupying one street. It was the focus of a participation programmed pioneered by a local NGO, Women of Wolverhampton.
Artists from Laundry were commissioned by WOW to build on work undertaken by Beverley Harvey with local groups using photography, film, audio recordings to challenge the ‘outside’ view of the Scotlands, rather reflecting on the views and aspirations of the residents - sharing their ‘family albums’. They worked with Scotland’s Tenants and Residents Association, Morton School, Berries Children's Centre, Scotland’s Adventure Playground and Low Hill and the Scotland’s Local Neighborhood Partnership.
Together they hosted an evening event at the local adventure playground showing the work in progress. An audience of over 400 people of all ages enjoyed large outdoor projections of photographs, light and sound, glow sticks galore, not to mention a splendid barbeque put on the Scotlands Tenants and Residents Association.
The event was part of International Women’s Week in Wolverhampton. This was followed up with an exhibition of local artists work curated at the Adventure playground to encourage a sense of pride and ownership.
Following this an exhibition was produced, which was premiered at the Civic Centre alongside a special seminar in the Council Chambers. “Outside In: Creativity and Tools for Social Change” brought together over 30 representatives of local and regional agencies to look at good practice in the field of arts and communities.
Project artists: Beverley Harvey, Brendan Jackson, Jo Loki, Helen Sweeting, Geoff Broadway.
The project was supported by Low Hill and The Scotlands Neighbourhood Partnership, Wolverhampton City Council, Arts Council England.