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Floating Cinema - Micro doc

You can now see the very nice short film Britt Hatzius has put together of our summer with the Floating Cinema here.

Star screening success

We recently enjoyed showing our finished 'Jaywick Escapes' film privately to contributor Mac and his family - they were all very happy which made us very happy!

Duncan McLaren - Putting the I in biography

This week we had a nice email from Duncan McLaren - a writer we've now known, it seems, a long time - although we never get to see him now as he lives up in Scotland, close to his parents and with Kate - their partnership formed some seven years ago now on the Bata-ville bus

Anyway, he has just launched a new website covering much of his work. I cannot recommend highly enough the section called 'Mabel and Ian' which is about Zimmersong A Lifelong Love Story. This is essentially a blog that Duncan has been writing about his time spent with his aging parents, much of which reflects on his mother's life. He draws from her diaries and their current conversations, which are often given a surreal and at times deep intensity by her dementia.

Whenever I go to the blog I think I'll just read a couple of entries and before I know it I've spent a couple of hours reading back through the story of their times together. There is something very touching about the calm and precise way Duncan recounts their excursions. For anyone who has spent time with an elderly relative or certainly in a carehome environment they are very familiar - they are about his mother's life but they are also about much more than this.

I looked today for a picture of us all on the bus, instead I chose this image of Duncan's (much discussed) contribution to the communal bunting - hanging bold in biro clarity amongst the other jaunty felt and stiched contributions.

Design Philanthropy

Invited by local resident Christina Burnett (and familiar Sheffield film festival face!) I was invited this year to come up with a project for my Students from the Design Interactions Department at the Royal College of Art for Vauxhall in London. Tomorrow night they will be showing what they came up with back in Vauxhall at the Tate South Lambeth Library from 6.30 onwards.

The students were asked to spend three weeks thinking about propositions for a future Vauxhall and to consider what the term philanthropy meant to them personally and to the Vauxhall area. What in the broadest sense might it mean to ‘give’ to an area or community, or indeed, how might it feel to receive gifted time, money, objects or ideas from individuals?

The students were encouraged to consider past examples of philanthropy pertinent to Vauxhall as well as to meet many local people who donated their time to talk about current projects, initiatives and changes.  

They thought about what the term philanthropy could mean today and imagined what they might ‘contribute’ to Vauxhall using their own skills and personal riches.

Through the work we tried to address the term ‘Design Philanthropy’ - more as an inviting question than a definition of practice. You can see the project Blog here.

We are massively grateful to all the local people who have generously contributed their time and energy to the students’ projects. These are not finished projects, but an invitation to join us in considering what forms philanthropy might take in Vauxhall and the role designers might play in a changing community.

* In 1893 Henry Tate established the Free Tate Library on South Lambeth Road. Four years later the Tate gallery opened - sugar cube philanthropy?
* In the 1630's John Tradescant's personal botanical collection and home of curiosities 'The Ark' becomes so large he opened his house to the public becoming one of the first museums - 'Musaeum Tradescantianum'. 
* In 1890 the last wish of blind postmaster general Henry Fawcett was carried out by his wife Millicent Garret Fawcett, Octavia Hill & the Kryle Society and Vauxhall Park was created.
* In the 1980's the Bonnington squat cafe opened to provide food for those in the square without working kitchens, it still runs co-operatively in the square’s Community Centre. 
* In the future the 'Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea' (VNEB) development is planned to transform this 'opportunity area' with 16,000 new residential units, offices, hotels, shops, student hostels and the new American Embassy.

Winter Chill at Abbey Gardens

As usual we'd like to extend the Freinds of Abbey Gardens' winter invitation to our Somewhere readers! 

Winter Chill at Abbey Gardens
Saturday 26 November - FREE
4.30pm - 6pm Abbey Gardens, Bakers Row, London E15 3NF

Homemade soup and a glass of mulled wine
Local choir by candlelight
Mince pies, tea and cakes for small donations for the garden
Honesty Stall and produce
Festive craft activities for all ages

Activities are free of charge. Food, drink and honesty stall produce are available for donations.

Photo: Zoe Papadopoulou

The Cats went to China (we stayed home)

The image and short film we made this year for the Wellcome windows carried on their exhibition life with 'What If? abroad' as part of the Beijing International Design Triennial. Somewhere stayed home, but lots of my ex-students went along (it was a really big show!) and Zoe kindly sent me some pictures of the (apparently) thousands of people who visited. 

Weekend academics

Following a kind invitation from Meg Jamieson to speak at a conference in Cambridge (Women in Film) we've just spent a slightly surreal couple of nights inside the modernist splendour of Murray Edwards college (formerly New Hall but that is another story). Despite growing up a stones throw from the town this was the first real taste I've ever had of Cambridge academic life from the inside. Actually despite the massive collection of women's art (this is an all women's college) we spent quite a bit of time admiring the exterior splendour of some really quite 'out there' planting combinations deployed around the modernist complex. Our fantasies around the character of the college gardener were rewarded on the last evening when she was revealed to also be a female film maker ...

We're at Cambridge's Festival of Ideas soon

We've a nice weekend screening and talking in Cambridge on Oct 21/22/23


Karen's Lake District Love Shack

Somewhere on TV

Somewhere recently achieved its broadcast premiere, albeit uncredited!
Karen filmed her house - the Love Shack -  for inclusion BBC2's The Culture Show - for their coverage of the Royal Institute of British Architects 2011 Awards.

Grading grannies! The joyous ladies of Jaywick on the big screen

We're sad it's all over ...

Last week  - a year and a half after starting our shoot - Somewhere went for a final time into the edit and almost escaped from Jaywick Escapes. Despite two days of 'buffing' sound and vision we still have some tiny audio tweeks to do but essentially the film is finished!

In the meantime Laura from UP projects was overseeing the last 3 days of the floating cinema in West London as part of Design week ...

So by Friday evening both of our two major projects drew to a rather rushed and un-celebratory close when I had to leave the edit at top speed to catch a train for a family party!

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