Victoria Baths, Manchester & the Walk the Plank Ship, Liverpool.
A wide ranging project that spanned a number of sites and settings and two years of creative, participatory and performance activity. This sought to explore how attempting to inhabit a place, to get to know it well affected creative responses to it.
This led to a site sensitive collaboration of visual art and movement inspired by Victoria Baths in 2005.
“You created a wonderland in the Baths” Audience member.
Following this, in June 2006, sell-out performances took audiences on an unusual journey through the secret, derelict places of this Edwardian swimming pool palace to discover the fading traces of those who lived, worked, bathed, swam, washed and danced there.
“Beautiful piece-really complex in all it encompassed. Very evocative and really gave us a feel for this place.” Audience member.
Also in 2006 Small Things inhabited the Walk the Plank Theatre Ship. This led to a sharing, including film by Dan Williams.
“It brought the space alive with movement, voice and fantastic use of props.” Audience member.
This work continued into early 2007 as Lisa Dowler and Cath Hawkins explored Lewis’s department store, Liverpool.
Artists involved in these projects included; Cath Hawkins, Lisa Dowler (devising and performance), Sophie Zadeh (visual art), Sarah Astbury (costume) and Chris Spriggs (singing teacher).
Participatory projects included; three reception class groups from Rolls Crescent Primary and Sandilands Infants Schools, Manchester visiting Victoria Baths and exploring creative responses to this experience; a project on the Walk the Plank Ship with young refugee and asylum seekers from the Haven Project, Liverpool (DVD’s were created to document these projects) and a ship visit from Reactivate, a dance company for learning disabled adults from Warrington; workshops with the Canal Boat Adventure Project for disaffected young people and the Bridgewater Day Centre for adults with additional needs, Runcorn.
“I really enjoyed it and would like to do it again.” Participant.
This project was funded and supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Awards for All, DIGM, MDI, PH Holt Charitable Trust, Architecture Week 2005 & 2006, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, the Victoria Baths Trust and Walk the Plank.