PECT GREEN FESTIVAL 2018: POLY-TECHNIC
PECT Green Festival, returns on Saturday 11th August at Peterborough’s Nene Park – Ferry Meadows. This year, the festival will include exciting artwork with an environment theme created by artists who have been commissioned to produce pieces that highlight sustainability issues in fun, innovative and engaging ways.
Organised by the charity Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT), the Festival brings together community groups, charities and businesses in an annual celebration of ‘green’ initiatives in the city. The Festival aims to encourage local people to live sustainably and develop long-term behaviour change, by exploring themes such as sustainable transport, recycling, local and sustainable food and biodiversity.
In the lead up to the Peterborough Green Festival Idea1 will release short interviews with some of the commissioned artists. A chance to get a taster of what to expect at this years Green Fest and get to know the artists. Introducing Poly-Technic!
Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself?
A. I’m Kate Genever one half of a collaboration with another artist Steve pool. We are visual artists and we work under the title the Poly-Technic www.poly-technic.co.uk
Why Poly-Technic? Poly as in many and Technic as in techniques. The Poly-Techic works in places – any place and builds on a history of artists working with communities.
Q. Could you describe your art practice?
A. The Poly’s contemporary social practice creates opportunities for ourselves and others to come together to make, talk, think and learn. We stepped, back a few years ago and asked ourselves ‘What can we do that’s worth doing? or rather ‘What can art do, that’s worth doing? In response we decided to ask tough questions, critically think and open up ‘active’ spaces. To date these have included discussion groups, artist development, curated programs, radical print workshops, open call commissions and the production of work for exhibition.
Q. What will you be creating as part of your Green Festival Commission?
A. We have been commissioned to deliver -The Best Thing’s in Life Aren’t Things.
Which includes an audio sound piece made with people of Peterborough that will be shared at the festival via wireless Bluetooth headsets. We will be working across the city too with lots of residents and importantly we are also commissioning 4 other artists/writers who will work to the same theme and making new work for the festival. They are writer Katy Hawkins, poet laurete Clare Currie, artist Ann Bellamy with the Jailbird’s women’s group from the Prison and art student Alice Pool. We are really happy to have them on board.
Q. How can the public get involved?
A. They can contact us and we will be keen to record their responses to the statement: The Best Thing’s in Life Aren’t Things. At the festival they can come and take part in all our work and the work of the artists we’ve commissioned. Also on the day a women’s group I have been involved with are going to be sewing a giant picnic blanket and welcoming others to join in to stitch and chat. We will then be having a ‘bring and share’ picnic on this blanket. So if nothing else bring and share with us all.
Q. What is your art piece about? How does it tie in with the themes of Green Festival?
A. “The Best Thing’s in Life Aren’t Things.” Comes from a quote from John Ruskin. We are interested in experiences, in joys, in life, in looking, in coming together to think and talk and we are not that interested in stuff. We are keen to build on our work from last years Planet B work that brought small groups together, inviting them to have a conversion with us about the future. We are conscious that it is critically important to reduce the amount of waste and our environmental impact so are making work with this ethos at its heart.
Q. What has been your favourite part about this commission?
A. We will be using an old reel-to-reel tape to record people’s voices, we like the fact that it’s old fashioned and not digital, everyone’s voices will be captured on a long line of tape. We are interested in how important it is to listen to people, even people you may not agree with. Doing a piece of work that relies on audio is something new for us, it’s a challenge but it really fits with our thinking and ideas at the moment. But given we haven’t started recording people yet we will have to say working with the other artists to work out what an artwork can look like that doesn’t involve stuff.
Q. Are there any specific ways that you would like the public to interact with your piece?
A. People will be able to listen, talk and they will be able to wear a headset and listen while walking in Nene Park. We hope this might encourages us to ponder our lives and our futures. We hope it will give people a chance to just slow down for a moment and perhaps see the world differently.
Q. Do you think it is important that art is integrated into The Green Festival and what benefit do you think it has?
A. Of course – art is part of life and so its everywhere and so why would you exclude it. Benefit wise art has the ability to enable us reflect on really hard things in a poetic, or even ugly way. For us art can be a way of looking sideways at things sometimes when you are faced with the enormous problems in terms of our environment you can get switched off, art can sometimes help to open new doors and ask different questions.
Q. When and where can we see your piece at Green Festival?
A. All day at the Festival all ‘our crew’ will be there for people to engage with. We will be based near PECTs main gazebo, or under trees or walking about – we will be visible and we will look forward to meeting people.