So I’m Caz and today is my last day in the Biennial office after 4 years of working with the public art team as programme assistant.
I thought I might blog about some of the work I have been involved with, always in the background, I have had a fantastic 4 years and ‘it’s good to share’ or so they say.
I lent a small administrative hand with Dream in St Helens, my first ever experience with Biennial was chair racing down the office with the miners who worked in the former Sutton Manor pits, yes… seriously!
I then worked on the Visible Virals programme with a-ape, the phrases you can see painted around the city walls are a lasting tribute of that project but it also included a phenomenal ‘can shop’, a publication of photo’s, facts and figures along with a set of scales that tell you your weight via how many bags of sugar one person eats in a year or how much toilet roll one family uses each year amongst others.
I worked with Nils Norman on his parks project too finding all the banner sites for his posters (one of which is still up on the office wall).
I also worked with David Bade in Seaforth, even managing to make a book art piece myself to display in the Seaforth Post office window.
Kerry Morrison also worked from the post office, her ‘Wild and Productive’ project really inspired me into working with nature and engaging with communities with my own artwork.
Next came The Canal Project sourcing swan pedaloes to sail down the Leeds Liverpool canal was my claim to fame, swans that have been re-homed one as an ‘Open Source’ swan http://www.defnetmedia.com/swanpedalo.org/ and another that I found out only today, has been refurbished and relaunched in Dartmouth raising many smiles.
I worked with Raumlabor Berlin helping find accommodation for artists, sourcing materials for the amazing Jantar Mantar and researching local history of St Winnies school in Bootle. Then managing volunteers for the Urbanism project on the canal in 2009.
Working with Paul Kelly and Elaine Speight on the ‘Our Turf’ project in Wirral last year was fantastic, organising foraging walks and watching the way Squash nutrition work led me to making my own mobile allotment for my lastest art project.
I really got a feel for project management through this and realised that I may even enjoy that as a career myself.
I helped organise a really successful series of talks and conferences with Bruce Mau in Everton Park, in a local school and in a giant pink marquee of all things!
Property management also seems to have played a big part in my work, I have organised refurbs and/or paid bills for schools in Garston + Bootle, an old wine lodge (Turning the Place over), a post office in Seaforth, a shop in China Town, 2 artists houses in Bootle and Crosby and now a bakery in Anfield.
The latest project I have been involved with is project managed by Franny George. It’s ’2up2down’ by Jeanne van Heeswijk, a truly inspirational artist from the Netherlands. She is working with teams of people in Anfield and schoolchildren, who will be designing, building and refurbishing a row of ‘tinned up’ terraced houses over the next year whilst based at Mitchells Bakery (opposite LFC) and during the timespan of this project ‘Kemps’ restaurant will be starting to re-use the site as a social enterprise community bakery again. I will continue to watch the project unfold from a distance as I’m sure it will be a huge success.
Working part time for Liverpool Biennial has allowed me to bring up my young family, finish a Fine Art degree, complete a residency at New Ferry Butterfly Park and now finish my MA too and has also given me a wealth of experience of working in the arts as well as meeting many artists and making good friends.
It has been busy, sometimes frantic, especially around festival time but the team are truly amazing and the curators are inspired. My personal favourite festival pieces over the years being ‘The Gleaming Lights of the Souls’ by Yayoi Kusama and ‘The Mending Project’ by Lee Ming Wei, not to forget the serenity that was Sachiko Abe with ‘Cut Paper’.
I go on to be an activity and volunteer manager at a local heritage restoration project and also to concentrate on my own work as an artist. I shall miss working for Biennial but can’t wait to see what comes next for them.
Roll on Biennial 2012 and all it’s fabulous artwork.