PLANET B ARTISTS

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Prepare for Peterborough city centre to be brought to life with a mixture of art installations, theatre, performance art, and parades this July and August! The organisers of Planet B are excited to announce the artist line-up for the two-week event.

Planet B is a new and exciting initiative that has grown out of one of the largest environmental festivals in the UK. Running from Saturday 29th July through to Saturday 12th August 2017, the programme of events will be held at various locations across the city. See the full programme of events here. 

Commissioned artists, both local and national and from various art backgrounds, comprise: Emily Tracy, The Poly-Technic, Claudia Friend, Charley Genever, Keely Mills, Francis Thorburn, Scottee, Talia Randall, and Eric MacLennan.

Through the artwork, Planet B looks to focus on the questions: ‘What needs to happen for people to understand the issues around sustainability, become more resilient together and to take positive actions?’. Find out about each individual artist and their work for Planet B below.

 

CLAUDIA FRIEND – FUTURE MUSEUM OF NOW
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When: Thurs 3rd-Tues 8th August, 11-4pm (5th Aug also open after Generation Zero)

Where: St John’s Square, Peterborough PE1 1XB

What: Exhibition

The Future Museum of Now is a look at everyday objects of the early 21st century, presented as an exhibition of the future conceived by Claudia and fellow artist Steph May.

Claudia works with recycled materials to highlight issues of waste and environmental damage, creating unusual objects and installations or with found objects to put into a wider context the value of what is usually simply thrown away.

Q. What do you want people to take from your work on Planet B?

A. A wry take on the present in the light of the future, that is presented in the Future Museum of Now.

 

Q. Why is the combination of art and sustainability an ideal one?

A. By dispensing with dry facts and figures and tapping into our imagination, which is where change can take place, art can take concepts around the themes of sustainability and make them interesting and accessible, allowing for a wider view.

 

Q. How can art have a positive impact?

A. Art can speak to us as individuals with starkness and with humour and perhaps give us a space, a moment for reflection, on what we already deeply know but perhaps don’t always want to admit.

Find out all about Emily’s ‘Future Museum Of Now’ here. 

 

EMILY TRACY – CLUTTER BANK

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Emily makes artworks and installations that engage, amuse and re-interpret the places we live and work in. The work aims to allow the public to review a familiar place or activity through the intervention of an artwork or a transformation of the space. This can be through an event, participation, spectacle, and audience collaboration.

When: Fri 4th-Mon 7th August, 12noon-5pm.
Where: Vivacity Shop, Exchange Street, Queensgate Centre PE1 1NT
What: Interactive exhibition

Do you sometimes wonder why you have so many possessions and why it’s hard to give them up? This project is calling for the people of Peterborough to let us in on how much stuff they own and to reflect on what these objects mean to them.

If we all cleared the clutter from our lives, could this have an impact on the environment? We are asking for people of Peterborough to reflect on the objects in their lives and take part in assembling a strange new shop.

Clutter Bank will be filled with small rejected objects. We are inviting local people to drop by and take our gigantic, friendly and non-scientific questionnaire to confront the truth of our clutter. 

 

Q. What do you want people to take from your work on Planet B?

A. I would like the work to start conversations amongst friends, family and households about the objects that come into their living spaces. How do they get there, what’s our relationship to them and do we need to re-think any of these items in the context of tackling climate change? We all collect and curate objects in our lives and it is these familiar languages and activities which I would like to explore. I would like to start conversations about giving up things, how does it feel and are we prepared to relinquish any of our habits? And how can we stem the flood of objects that enter our homes every day accidentally or intentionally? I don’t know the answers but maybe by having the conversations we can find ways.

 

Q. Why is the combination of art and sustainability an ideal one?

A. I’m not sure that it is an ideal one. Sustainability is difficult for all of us and artists use resources to make new things, but they can bring a new way of looking, framing and questioning.

 

Q. How can art have a positive impact?

A. If successful it can bring a difficult subject out into the open in an open ended way. It can get people involved through stealth. It shouldn’t preach or explain but provide a place and space to question and reflect.

 

Q. What attracted you to this commission?

A. I love objects, I love the stories that get attached to objects and am intrigued by their magical qualities, which are often hard to define. As a consumer, a mother and an artist I have become more aware over the last few years of the amount of possessions in my household and their impact on the environment. Mostly I have become very aware of the difficulty of reducing my impact on the climate change with a busy life. I hope that the participatory and interactive artworks that I make can make a contribution to the debate and awareness of our lives, lifestyles and the choices we make.

 Find out all about Emily’s ‘Clutter Bank’ here. 

 

TALIA RANDALL – QUESTION TIME CABARET

Talia

Talia Randall spans theatre, poetry, cabaret and comedy. An inventive, adventurous and thoughtful artist, Talia’s work has been called “playful and fascinating” (Sabotage Reviews), “absolutely sublime” (dig.com) and “distinctive” (The Upcoming). Talia has performed at The Roundhouse, The Southbank Centre, Battersea Arts Centre, Bristol Old Vic, Glastonbury, Latitude and The Edinburgh Fringe.

When: Fri 11th August, 7.30pm-10.30pm
Where: The Undercroft, Serpentine Green Shopping Centre, Hampton, Peterborough PE7 8BE
What: Cabaret

Question Time Cabaret is a fun, rowdy, political knees-up.

A night of hilarious, naughty and gut-wrenching performances from some of the UK’s hottest talents, plus an interactive Question Time style panel with Britain’s foremost journalists and activists. All artist and speakers will be responding to themes of climate change, migration and protest. 

Q. What do you want people to take from your work on Planet B?

A. I want people to enjoy seeing madcap, heartfelt, insightful performances and debate at Question Time Cabaret. I want us to get in a room together, have a knees-up and chat through some of these big issues
Q. How can art have a positive impact?

A. We need humour, art and integrity in order to be able to deal with difficult thorny issues. Art should be a mirror that reflects society. Artists aren’t necessarily the ones to come up with the answers to our big problems, but we should reflect things that are happening and we should facilitate people engaging with these things.

Find out full details about ‘Question Time Cabaret’ here. 

 

ERIC MACLEANNAN – A DROP IN THE OCEAN

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Innovative performance that occupies a unique space between theatre, movement and the visual arts. Bold, cutting-edge with a clear focus on its audience, challenging, provocative but always entertaining. Inspired by philosophy and comedy, Eric MacLennan’s work questions our unconscious habits, challenges conventions and isn’t afraid to say the unsayable!

When: Sat 12th August, 2pm (performance). To take out a share, see the opening times of the Clutter Bank
Where: Peterborough Cathedral, Peterborough PE1 1XS
What: Workshop & Performance

Inspired by the results of a recent United Nations climate summit, which highlighted the fact that many of us have been carrying out small environmental actions, with little hope that it makes a difference. International Energy Agency figures show that ‘billions of collective small actions add up to something massive.’

So if we all do our bit, small things can be the difference. Drop In The Ocean seeks to harness the ‘collective effort’ idea and then celebrate it.

 

Q. What do you want people to take from your work on Planet B?

A. It’s very important to me when I make work that there is some space left in the work for the viewer to add something – to bring something of themselves - to interact – to join the conversation – and to complete the picture. In this case there is an invitation for people to pledge to do one thing to help the planet. What I hope is that that one thing will be something they continue to do long after the project is over.

 

Q. Why is the combination of art and sustainability an ideal one?

A. Art is not necessary for our survival (in the way that food and shelter are) we won’t die without Art… and yet… and yet,  Art certainly makes life better! Sustainability, whilst necessary for our survival can seem dry and well, a bit dull but with Art we have an accessible means to talk about it in an engaging way.

Find out more about ‘A Drop In The Ocean’ here. 

 

POLY-TECHNIC 

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The Poly-Technic is the collaborative practice of visual artists, who have worked collaboratively for 10 years engaging people with an aim to tackle difficult questions through art and dialogue. We ask very localised questions about what we can do to make things better, what can art do and what can we do through creativity and humanity?

There is No Wealth But Life
When: Thurs 3rd, 1.30pm-4pm (young people aged 8 – 18) & Fri 4th August,  10.30am-1pm (16+) Drop in event
Where: WestRaven Community Café
What: Projections

Poly-Technic invite participants to develop and design a protest poster relating to a personal concern. The posters will be displayed or as part of a large-scale projection.

Q. What do you want people to take from your work on Planet B?

A. A reflection on what is of value. Space to discuss and listen, a space to make and feel productive and valued.

 

Q. Why is the combination of art and sustainability an ideal one?

A. Art provides us with a voice to speak of things we can’t put words to – deep emotional felt things. There is always something to care about and perhaps art can help us communicate what is important.

 

Q. What attracted you to this commission?

A. It felt more political and relevant and we were keen to build partnerships with people and organisations keen to say or ask something. The Planet B project attracts us as it situates commissions within a broader program of work and we are interested in working collaboratively around the themes of activism and social change. Our current work is focused on the idea of protest and radical screen printing workshops and how a space for activism can be generated in a space of making.

Find out more about Poly-Technic here. 

 

KEELY MILLS – PICKERS, PLUCKERS, PACKERS
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Keely Mills has performed at 100s of events, and has been Peterborough Poet Laureate. Her work is sensual and deceptively confrontational. She is not afraid to transform how poetry is created, her poems include other voices and reach people who did not even know they liked poetry.

When: Saturday 5th August 2017, 11am & 4pm
Where: Tours will start from St John’s Church in Cathedral Square.
What: Poetry

A mentoring residency with six new female poets from Peterborough, Keely and Charley will write their stories of Peterborough’s backbone of seasonal workers; pickers, pluckers, and packers.

The poets will explore the role of the seasonal and migrant worker in the city – how this has affected them as individuals and as a community over the last 100 years. They will write poems on what Peterborough will or could be post-Brexit, and how the female role is represented in all of this.

 

Q. What do you want people to take from your work on Planet B?

A. To be inspired by the people around them and to be able to give thanks to those people who produce the food that goes onto their tables and to be proud of Peterborough’s standing in production in general.

 

Q. Why is the combination of art and sustainability an ideal one?

A. Many artists work in sustainable ways already, so recycling, reusing and sharing their resources and skills as it’s just a natural part of their tool kit. Most artists too want to point a magnifying glass to what is affecting us today and what might impact on us in the future and not being sustainable is one of the biggest subjects that artists want to focus that microscope on.

 

Q. How can art have a positive impact?

A. That is a wide question and I am bit blinded by art because I work in that world and I see it having a positive impact all the time, whether it’s the shy young man I met on Monday in a year 7 class who stood up and talked in front of his classmates for the first time. Or the people who have hugged me and cried when I have read a poem about my dad, that has then made them call their loved ones. Or its people making pledges to fly less or to plant more food, after they have watched a play that looks at flooding. Or is it just that without any art, whether that be The Beatles, soap operas or Grayson Perry, life would be very dull and for most people not a nice world to be in.

Find out more about ‘Pickers, Pluckers, Packers’ here

 

SCOTTEE 

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Scottee is an artist who lives by the seaside in Essex. Scottee’s work is often about outsiderness; race, sexuality, class, age and gender, creating spaces where the perceived underdog is celebrated, at the forefront and no longer ignorable – allowing for uncomfortable conversations to happen.

In 2010 Scottee won the title of Time Out Performer of the Year , his debut solo tour The Worst of Scottee won Total Theatre Award for Innovation in 2013 and in 2015 he was included on Independent’s Rainbow List as one of Britain’s most influential LGBTQI+ people. Scottee is not easily definable; artist, troublemaker, loudmouth and attention seeker. His work is live, brash, clumsy and will often leave you a bit annoyed, overwhelmed but never impartial.

As part part of Planet B festival form the 7th – 12th August three caravans will claim their place on Metal Peterborough’s car park. Inside them six queer artists will live, work and make together – they include Eleana Colman, Chardine Taylor Stone, James Unsworth, Vijay Patel, Michael Segalov and Scottee. 

Each artist will trade their skills for home grown fruit and vegetables to feed the group. They will also have to trade enough work or labour to provde for 120 local people who are invited to dinner at the commune care park on alternate nights. 

 

Q. What do you want people to take from your work on Planet B?

A. I want them to understand about the importance of togetherness and also how alternative ways of living shouldn’t be considered these ‘weird, scary things’. Perhaps we – who are eco minded –could learn from some of the social movements of the 70s and more specifically learn from queer radicalism.

 

Q. Why is the combination of art and sustainability an ideal one?

A. Both are painting a picture of trying to create a space of ‘utopisms’, that’s different from utopia, trying to strive for ‘betterness’ for everyone, in the fairest, most ethical way. Sustainability needs to be able to tell the world, quite quickly, how to sort itself out and art is a really good way of doing that.

Find out more about Scottee’s Queer Commune and his dinners here. 


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