Broken Plate: Drawing on the Past, Looking to the Future

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An artistic collaboration between the University of Greenwich (Department of Creative Professions & Digital Arts) and local arts company Emergency Exit Arts that will trace the stories of the people and the built environment connected to the site of the University’s new Stockwell Street Building.

From 17 – 21 May the public will be able to view video projections on the university’s new award-winning building and interact with giant blackboards outside the building where they can express their ideas and views in writing.

On the evenings of 20 and 21 May the University’s doors will be open to Greenwich residents and visitors who are invited to experience a series of digital art installations, performances, storytelling, animations and hands-on arts activities created by artists and students. Local residents, businesses and children from James Wolfe Primary School have also contributed their memories, stories and drawings to the project.

This is an Arts Council England funded project.

Times: 20 May 4.00pm – 6.00pm, 21 May 6.00pm – 8.00pm.

Events are free and suitable for all ages.
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Background: The new university building in Stockwell Street, Greenwich, sits on a site once occupied by malt houses serving the pubs of Greenwich. Three deep wells were excavated during the construction of the building and numerous artefacts were uncovered, including a broken plate depicting redundant gravediggers sitting idle while a mechanical digger does the work. This scene resonates with the new building, a beacon of technological advance that signifies the passage of time and the passing into memory of former industries and practices. In response to the heritage of the site locally based arts company, Emergency Exit Arts, and the University (Department of Creative Professions and Digital Arts and Department of Literature, Language and Theatre) will create a series of interactive experiences throughout the building that will be open to the public over two evenings on 20 and 21 May.

Drawing on the history of Stockwell Street and imagining the future of the city has inspired work created by multi-disciplinary artists, filmmakers and designers. Their work will trace the stories of the people and the built environment connected to the site. From 17 – 21 May a digital collage, created by artist Jim Hobbs with graphic design students, will be projected at night onto the windows of the building’s foyer. In the day time people passing by will be encouraged to complete the sentence ‘Before I die I want to learn….’ by writing on giant blackboards. Artists have recently worked with local residents, businesses and children from James Wolfe Primary School who have shared memories, stories and drawings that have been incorporated into the installations and performances. On the evenings of 20 and 21 May the University’s doors will be open to Greenwich residents and visitors to take a look inside this amazing building and celebrate the innovation and experimentation happening within.

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Participating artists: Jim Hobbs (Creative Consultant), Jillian Wallis, Ed Currie, Alex Evans, Lisa Hayes, Zhan Wang, James Riordan, Rory Dempsey, Anna Bruder, Arjunan Manuelpillai, Nick Cattermole, with students and graduates from the University of Greenwich.

About Emergency Exit Arts: EEA has been a leading light in outdoor arts since forming in 1980. EEA is the company with the imagination and experience to deliver unforgettable theatrical and participatory events in public spaces using visual performance, processions, puppetry, music and pyrotechnics. The company is based in Greenwich and has a national and international reputation for inspirational, celebratory and participatory performances, happenings and events. Through our exemplary community and cultural engagement we create the conditions for artists and participants to work together to create extraordinary artistic experiences in public spaces.

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