Wonder Walls began life on a list of a number of ideas for brightening up the decor of our large and popular Community Cafe. It very quickly became the only idea – and following a hugely successful launch in May 2011 (we invited David Hockney to open it – aim high – but he send a very polite and encouraging note saying he was busy with an exhibition of his own!), we have now hosted 12 rolling exhibitions!
Wonder Walls Mission Statement
Art from the community for the community.
Rather than staring at blank walls while you eat, why not have a side-order of art that has been painted, photographed, drawn and designed by local people from Thornton estate and beyond. The art will include a mix of amateur and professional work; pieces produced by all ages and backgrounds – from kids to ‘codgers’ – from Caville Place to Kurdistan. The scheme of work will encourage the local community to engage with art and also provide an opportunity for existing artists to display work that is appropriate to a friendly community environment.
- 2.5 years
- 12 exhibitions
- 8 individual artists
- 4 groups
- 4 progressions
- Artist helps Artist: the next artist to exhibit helps the previous artist take down their work. Then in turn, the previous artist helps the next artist put their work up. Simple.
Our Artists in Residence programme sees commissioned artists working alongside residents and the community of Thornton Estate.
How it all began…
Back in 2010, The Goodwin Development Trust felt that the residents of Thornton Estate should be given the opportunity to see the determination and commitment of their community captured and portrayed on canvas – and so began the Artists in Residence initiative, which sought out local gifted art students and partnered them with local people.
Goodwin had developed a close working partnership with the Hull College Group and Lizzi Hayes, a student at Hull College of Art & Design was brought to our attention by her course tutors who viewed her talent as ‘exceptional’. Her focus was on portraiture – seeking inspiration from the ‘Old Masters’. She needed models and Goodwin had no shortage of willing candidates. She was also looking for experience of working within a community that might be classed as ‘hard to reach’.
Goodwin’s Darley’s Youth and Arts Centre was packed out for the preview of E.J. Hayes’ portraits of the residents of Thornton Estate. As our Chairman Stuart Spandler succinctly put it: “This exhibition is what Goodwin is all about – showing the world that the Thornton Estate is a proud and thriving community of good people.”
We continue to work closely with the Hull College of Art & Design and involve the students in the creative practice of our commissioned artists in residence.
Artists in Residence // 2016-17
This year sees two commissioned artists, Carla Moss and Andy Pea, working alongside residents and the community of Thornton Estate until 2017.
Artists in Residence // 2014-15
This was our first year as a fully funded arts programme delivered under the banner of ‘Estate of the Nation’, and also the 20th anniversary of the Goodwin Trust.
Our artists in residence were Silvio Palladino, Andy Pea and Middle Child Theatre.
Back in Jan 2012 Middle Child were an acclaimed theatrical group looking for a home – Goodwin Development Trust had a newly-developed Youth and Arts Centre that was crying out for a theatrical group. The rest – as they say – is five-star review history.
In the 2 dynamic years since Jan 2012, Middle Child have developed and rehearsed all 9 of their critically-acclaimed productions on the sunlight strewn top-floor performance space of Goodwin’s Darleys Youth and Arts Centre. They have also delivered 42 weekly drama sessions for local children; numerous free performances for Goodwin Trust projects and their clients; and have constantly assured accessibility to theatre for everybody by ensuring the availability of free tickets for all their performances in local venues.
We are now in the process of formalising what has been a hugely creative partnership. Why would a charitable trust tackling social ills strike a partnership with a theatrical group?.. Why not?… especially given Middle Child’s mission statement:
“We exist to create work which appeals to an audience who do not consider the theatre an exciting place to be. We do not want an audience that sit quietly and listen intently – we want one that dance and drink, talk and text and that are loud and demanding. We want to create theatre that gets an audience’s blood pumping as much as a nightclub, a football match, a gig. Most importantly, we want to offer a good night out.”
Although it sounds like the name of a long-defunct 1970s prog-rock group – The Memory Project was actually one of the Goodwin Development Trust’s greatest artistic endeavours. Inspired by Brazilian artist Fabiane Parella’s work with recent migrant communities (predominantly mothers and children) safeguarding memories of what they’d both left behind and brought with them as keepsakes – Goodwin commissioned Fabiane to bring the Memory Project to life as part of International Refugee Week – smack bang in the middle of Hull’s Transport Interchange.
In a nutshell, 500 random Hull residents were invited to write a single personal hope or wish on a small piece of parchment. These 500 individual parchments were then individually placed within 500 individual vessels and sealed with wax.
The vessels were then placed on the groundfloor of Hull’s Transport Interchange and 500 members of the public were invited to take a vessel home and take care of it – forever. The reaction from the public ranged from disbelief to delight and the concept was enthusiastically embraced by the people of Hull. To this day – on mantlepieces; in corner cabinets; atop sideboards and tellys across our city are the hopes and wishes of complete strangers – safeguarded by people they will never know or ever meet.
We Are Poets – the Goodwin-produced and internationally-acclaimed documentary which follows the journey of six teenage slam poets from Yorkshire – has now won its fourth International Film Festival Award. It is an incredibly moving and inspiring film which draws amazing reactions from audiences wherever it is screened. You too can have a screening in your community centre, school or hall – just read on for more details.
WE ARE POETS presents a moving and radical story of youth, art and freedom of expression, as a remarkable team of 6 British teenagers are chosen to represent the UK at Brave New Voices: the most prestigious Poetry Slam competition in the world. From their inner city lives on the red bricked back streets of Northern England, to a stage in front of the White House in Washington DC, the young poets explosively lay bare the concerns of a generation as they take on the world and prepare for a transformational and emotional journey of a lifetime.
Cinematic, imaginative and deeply poignant, WE ARE POETS is a unique portrait of multicultural Britain and a testament to the power of creativity, community and the dynamism of young people. Anyone tempted to dismiss today’s youth as politically apathetic better pay heed: here is electrifying evidence to the contrary.
Who better than Benjamin Zephaniah to sum it up: “Amazing… it’s poetry itself. Poetry is an art, filming is an art, it takes great sensitivity to bring them together – this film shows us how it’s done.”