Culture & Arts

Still/Moving Projects are inviting Mayflower Maker Volunteers to join them in leading conversations around their Mayflower 400 visual art commission ‘Speedwell’ which will be installed on the Mount Batten Breakwater from early September (exact date still tbc between 4th September & 10th September 2020) til the end of November.

Who are Still/Moving Projects?

An artists’ collective made up of Martin Hampton, Laura Hopes and Léonie Hampton, who work collaboratively with diverse communities to create site specific artworks. Their projects aim to create the conditions for shared learning and change through a close attention to people and place. More details at www.stillmoving.org

What is the work about?   

Still/Moving see the Mayflower 400 commemorations as an opportunity to reflect on the complex place in history of the Mayflower Story. ‘Speedwell’ seeks to bring the questions raised by the Mayflower’s journey into a contemporary perspective, concerning issues of migration, humankind’s relationship to the environment, and unequal social relations. We propose a large scale text artwork as a catalyst for a series of public conversations, events and related projects aimed at raising the quality of public discourse around the Mayflower Story.

The pilgrims who left England in 1620 turned their backs on the “Old World”. Turning away from all the social, political, economic and religious problems they saw plaguing Europe, they headed to what they considered to be unknown and unclaimed lands where they believed they could begin from a blank slate. The memory of the pioneering spirit that propelled them to settle what they termed ‘The New World’ must not be allowed to dominate our understanding of how this colonial project developed. The subsequent decimation and enslavement of the indigenous American population and the appropriation of their lands through the dubious use of legal and religious justifications remains an unpalatable but urgent counterpoint to the sanitised pilgrim foundation myth, exemplified by the way the Mayflower Story is told at Thanksgiving celebrations across America.

In the 21st century there are no 'new worlds' or unclaimed territories to turn to. We remain

constrained to the ever-more populated lands beneath our fragile atmosphere. The need to resolve differences through dialogue is greater than ever, while the very human desire to seek greener pastures elsewhere remains.

People make journeys in search of a safer and better life, and capital still flows towards new markets in the hope of finding lucrative opportunities. Environmental concerns are pushed aside in the quest for unending economic growth and the lure of prosperity or sanctuary fuels this ceaseless flux; mankind has never been so aware of our part in causing the precarious status of the planet and yet we seem to plough ahead relentlessly.

Project Speedwell proposes to articulate the tension of this condition through the creation of a large-scale illuminated text installation on the Mount Batten Breakwater.

 

What's involved?

We are looking for volunteers to speak with interested visitors and members of the public at two sites where you can see ‘Speedwell’; at Sutton Harbour and next to the installation itself on the Mount Batten Breakwater. 

Volunteers will have the opportunity to engage visitors by supplying them with a foldout poster/booklet which gives information about the installation and some written texts by collaborators. Visitors who visit the site on the Mount Batten Breakwater are invited to respond to the piece by writing their responses on aluminium tags. Whilst volunteers are there, they will support this process with visitors; talking to them about the tags, which will fit in the palm of one's hand, can be written on directly, and then tied to the structure. 

After receiving some remote online training by the team at the end of August, where you will get to meet the artists & engagement producers Flock South West, a rota will be sent out where you can sign up to shifts you are available to do. The artists will be at the site of the installation often, so if you choose to volunteer there will be plenty of opportunity to continue conversations with them directly. 

We are looking for volunteers who are:

  • interested in conversations around contemporary art

  • interested in conversations around the Mayflower 400 journey 400 years ago

  • interested in conversations around the thematics underpinning the artwork

  • confident in engaging with the public from all ages and all walks of life

  • happy to spend time outdoors in the fresh air for 3 hour periods (the length of one shift, with a break to sit down indoors or stretch legs, if already seated)

Useful things for you to know if you volunteer

  • You will have another volunteer with you at both sites.

  • There is a break room where you can take refreshments and replenish tags and poster booklets at both sites.

  • You may have to open or close the breakroom, which requires locking and unlocking with a padlock and key. 

  • You will always have the option to be seated or standing, moving, or staying stationary - depending on what you feel most comfortable with on your shift. 

  • If you are travelling to the installation by the ferry at Sutton Harbour, we are able to reimburse your costs.

Why get involved?

Training & dates

The mandatory training will cover background on the artists, the conceptual nature of the work and thematics that are referenced. We will talk through how to engage in constructive and meaningful conversations around art and the world that we as humans inhabit. We will talk you through how the work is designed and made. 

We will then cover practical elements, like the tag system, signing up to shifts and opening and closing the breakroom.

You will be able to sign up for online Zoom training slots available during the week of the 24th of August. If you are not available this week, but still interested, we may be able to make provisions to deliver the training with you either side of that week.

 

Shifts & Rota 

We are looking for volunteers to be on site from 11:00-17:00, which will split into two shifts of three hours 11:00-14:00 & 14:00-17:00 each day.

We hope to have you volunteering with us across all 7 days of the week but priority shifts will be Thursday - Sunday.

We would like volunteers for the full duration that the work is up, spanning a three month period from September to November. Any time you can give is valuable, and we hope to have some of you with us regularly for the duration of the installation being up. Most importantly, we need volunteers when the installation goes live and through the month of September and then again in the final week of November.

 

How to get involved?

  1. Sign into your account or sign up to the Mayflower Maker community
  2. For this challenge you are required to have attended a Mayflower Maker induction session 
  3. Accept the challenge
  4. Follow the instructions in your acceptance e-mail. 

Ideal Skills

  • Customer Service
  • Event Stewarding
  • Reading/Storytelling
  • Working with Young People

Ideal Interests

  • Creative and Arts
  • Events and Programming
  • Teaching and Training
  • Curatorial/Working with Museum Collection

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