Artists in progress – an update on Activate supported artists and projects they are working on:
Emma Williams – Work with Dorset Wildlife Trust
In 2015, Emma was awarded a Quest ‘New Paths’ bursary to develop a relationship with The Kingcombe Centre. Activate helped facilitate this project and also Emma’s subsequent G4A application to Arts Council England.
Following Emma’s selection to recieve a Quest Southwest ‘New Paths’ research bursary in 2015 and the relationship she developed with the centre, Emma continued worked with The Dorset Wildlife Trust and Kingcombe Centre.
In January 2016, Emma successfully secured Grants for the Arts funding, this has helped her research and develop a project with the centre; exploring how outdoor puppetry performance can bring to life the natural landscape and its wildlife.
This April, small extracts of that new outdoor puppetry creation ‘The Kingcombe Travelling Show’ was shared with Regional Managers, Trustees and the CEO of The Dorset Wildlife Trust. The audience also included representatives from Salisbury and Devizes Festival, the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and employees of The Kingcombe Visitors centre. The response was overwhelmingly positive and both the Dorset Wildlife Trust and Emma are planning ways to consolidate the relationship and complete the project. This will involve securing additional funding and organising a tour to Dorset Wildlife reserves and outdoor festivals in 2017.
Here’s Emma’s thoughts on the project from her website:
Last spring I received a bursary from Quest Southwest supported by Activate to develop a creative relationship with the Dorset Wildlife Trust at Kingcombe Wildlife Reserve. Dorset Wildlife Trust is the largest conservation charity in Dorset with over 25,000 members. They collectively manage over 42 nature reserves as part of our commitment to ensure there is a secure future for Dorset’s nature, its distinctive wildlife and natural spaces. I spent a four months researching Kingcombe and Powerstock reserves and the history surrounding the area
After much consultation we created a proposal for an outdoor performance entitled “The Kingcombes Travelling Show . Its aim – to engage and encourage new visitors to the reserves and deliver specific information relating to key areas of Dorset wildlife in a new and innovative way. Responding to the term, The Living Landscape, “The Kingcombes Travelling Show” is about a touring show family. They would travel across the county to different wildlife reserves and small festivals and perform short stories from their adapted living Van.
The concept was inspired by Kingcombe’s strong connections to the past but it also encapsulates the importance of the future generation. The family consists of a father and his two teenage children. These characters represent the contemporary vision of the Kingcombe and its role as a centre for future generations.
All aspects of the performance would be informed by the landscape and wildlife found at Kingcombe. Mr Kingcombe’s show coat would be made to reflect the the unique grass meadows of the reserve. The van would be an amalgamation of the structures colours and aesthetic surrounding Kingcombe. Built to resemble a small victorian show van the miniature living Van would be designed to function as a puppet booth providing a platform/stage to present the show. As a self contained performance with limited technical requirements the should has the potential to tour across Dorset to a variety of outdoor locations.
The short puppetry stories that the family perform would focus on significant areas on the reserves and important and vulnerable wildlife. The project is now in its first phase of development with a research and development planned for March 2016