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A job at Abbey Gardens


This excellent opportunity offers the challenge of working with a diversity of people within a newly formed charity. The role involves project managing the administration and funding of the charity, assisting in planning the garden’s programme and co-ordinating the garden’s publicity and communications.

The Project Co-ordinator will be self-employed and contracted for an initial 6 months, which can be extended, subject to funding.

Ideally, the successful candidate will possess some experience in charity administration or running local / community gardens. However, enthusiastic and motivated individuals with related experience will also be seriously considered.

To learn more and find out how to apply, please read the job description here.

Closing dates for applications is 12th April 2014.

For more information about this post, please contact jobs 'at' or visit the Friends of Abbey Gardens website.

The site for Tomorrow, Today a few weeks ago!

Roman Irrigation Anyone?

Prompted by this news piece today on more discoveries by the archaeology team we've been working with at North West Cambridge I thought I would post a bit more on the process that led us to Tomorrow, Today our big fat cob project we're currently recruiting for!

We have now been have been working as the artists in residence on the new NWC development site for almost a year and it has been a really fascinating chance to work alongside the archaeologists and become involved with the site in a very hands-on way. As we were part of the 'first wave' of artists to be appointed we felt quite keenly that we've been given a unique chance to look back at the history of site, to record its present condition and to try and imagine the future part of the city about to be built.

At the beginning of our residency we joined the team actually digging on site, this was a very muddy, extremely cold week but one we wouldn't have missed for the world! It gave us a chance to think about all these aspects of the project whilst engaged in a very literal way with the physical place. We were completely engaged with the process of the archaeology and caught up by the enthusiasm and expertise that surrounded us on the rather windswept moon-like landscape we were digging. Somehow the archaeologists were able to transport themselves (and us) back in time and really imagine how this part of Cambridge may have previously been 100's of years ago. Meanwhile in spite of lots of fly throughs, models and talks we seemed to be finding it very difficult to imagine what these muddy fields might look like even 5 years into the future.
This experience on the dig in many ways generated both of the projects we're now exploring - Prospection and Tomorrow, Today. Prospection is a proposal for a very long term repeated survey of the new site and tries to 'forward face' the on-going creation of an archive for the place. Tomorrow, Today engages with the present nature of the site, and the current unique archaeological access to the past that been revealed through the dig.
The work will be a large-scale (circa 80m in diameter), outdoor, sculptural model of the future development - which places scale replicas of all the planned streets and buildings right next to the archaeological dig on site. This 'model village of the future' will be hand-built on location using 'cob', a traditional, ecologically-sustainable material made primarily from the earth excavated in situ by the archaeologists. The artwork will remain in place for at least a year, before being buried beneath this new part of Cambridge for future archaeologists to discover!

We're very keen for others to enjoy the experience we've had on the site and so the project offers a unique opportunity to be part of building this sculpture. We are seeking individual members of the public, and formal or informal groups of adults who would like to learn the traditional craft of cob building and to use these skills to help construct the model during its 6-week build, working with the UK's leading cob experts. Each participant will be expected to commit 5 consecutive week days to the project, which will include expert training in cob, in-person guidance from us and hands-on practice creating the model itself. Facilities, tools, parking and refreshments will all be provided.

Participants should be 18 years of age or older, and aware that whilst cob building is a safe and easy-to-learn skill, taking part in the project does require a reasonable degree of physical stamina and is regrettably not suitable for participants with limited mobility.

Interested people and groups are encouraged to register their interest as early as possible - from now until Monday 31st March. Contact cob 'at' for more info.

Some previous 'cob' material uncovered by the current excavations

The Man Who Would Be King

Best of luck to our former mentee (!) and no. 1 indiegogo backer Jeanie Finlay with her new campaign for ORION: The Man Who Would Be King - it should be a really good film - we've seen some of the work to date!

Joan in Bata-ville

Joan James

We were very sad to hear this weekend of the death of Joan James, a great friend to Somewhere and an amazingly vibrant and positive woman. Joan was one of the passengers from East Tilbury at the heart of our first film Bata-ville: We are not afraid of the future.
She worked for almost quarter of a century in the Bata offices from 1947 to 1972 and retained a huge affection for the company and her time there without being sentimental or unrealistic about the changes over time. She put an enormous amount of energy into both the Bata Reminiscence & Resource Center and our project and she features in two of the most moving scenes in the film. The first at the Best shoe factory where she is overwhelmed by the sight of the machines that have replaced all the workers she used to see at East Tilbury and the second in the final few moments of the film, as her reflections on the future close out the documentary.

She said of her work at the center:

"We at The Bata Reminiscence and Resource Centre are not about shoemaking ... we're about the memories of people working at Bata, which is a different matter ... we're about memories, the past and hopefully the future."

She will be missed by Karen and I and certainly all at East Tilbury will miss her energetic and positive prescence. Our condolences go out to all her family and friends.


Thrilled to announce this project to y'all - we'd love you to join us:

Learn & Practise Self-Build Cob
Cambridge / 5-day courses / April-June

We are seeking keen participants to spend a week learning the ancient & sustainable technique of cob building from the UK's leading experts, and be part of an amazing public art project by artists Karen Guthrie & Nina Pope, creating a 'model village of the future' - a walk-through scale model of the paths, houses & shops planned for the future North West Cambridge Development.

£50 per person / £25 concessions for 5 days including all tools, tuition, splendid lunches & teas
Groups welcome to apply (max. 12), Min. age 18
DEADLINE March 31st
Call Coordinator Kirsten on 07545 218 251 or email

Managed by the Contemporary Art Society with InSite Arts
Commissioned by Cambridge University North West Cambridge Development
Thanks to Cambridge Archaeological Unit

Kirsten Lavers at NW Cambridge

Welcome to Kirsten!

Pleased to announce we have recruited Kirsten Lavers as Somewhere's Coordinator of our new public art commission 'Tomorrow, Today' to be built at North West Cambridge early this summer.
Kirsten is a Cambridge-based artist who has worked on many socially-engaged and community projects locally. When she turned up on site in her own high-vis jacket we knew she would fit right in :-)

Image courtesy of Chris Evans (CAU)

Playing God (desses)

Yesterday we were sent this awesome aerial shot showing - bottom right - where our new commission for Cambridge University's NW Cambridge development will be, Tomorrow, Today.

It's a cob (i.e. mud) sculpture in the form of a walk-through 3d model of Phase 1's streets, houses and other structures, and we expect it to be about 80m in diameter and take about 6 weeks to contruct this spring / summer.

If you'd like to know more about how you can take part in the build, get in touch with us.


Through the course of our residency in North West Cambridge we've become very interested in contemporary archaeology as well as the actual activity - both building and archaeology - on the NWC site. We are proposing to set in place a (say) 25 year survey project moving forward from the 'first' new inhabitation on the site (following the current archaeology) and then surveying each year as the build progresses.
Next week we're bringing together an amazing team of archaeologists and academics to test out this idea using one archaeologists' portakabin and one builders' portakabin as the first sites to survey and as a way to develop our thinking about this proposal.
We like the idea that most of the ongoing surveys will initially be of 'brand new' buildings - perhaps the exact opposite of the sites usually percieved as suitable for archaeological investigation. Our interest lies in trying to forward face creating an archive about the NWC development by attempting to predict which mundane materials will become of interest in the future, and in trying to adapt different methods for surveying or collecting data to the new buildings and site.

Many of the team who'll be joining us we've met through the CHAT group (Contemporary and Historical Archaeology in Theory). At the end of last year we attended their annual conference in London - I've rarely spent a more stimulated few days ... SO many of our shared interests were discussed and all in an accessable style in an informal but productive atmosphere. The conference theme was 'experience' and topics ranged from the archaeology of art in Berlin to a rock festival in Finland and 'the home as a site for historical awareness'. I'm really looking forward to re-meeting some of the delegates and some new faces in Cambridge next week.

*The action of looking forward into the future.

We are hiring! Cob Coordinator for Public Art Project


An opportunity to play a pivotal role in a major public art project

March – early / mid June 2014
(Temp / Free-lance, Fee £5,400 including expenses)
Freelance temp. contract, full-time hours for 6 week build (April 28 – June 6) with some administrative and organisational work before and after (circa 40 hrs)

“Tomorrow, Today” is an ambitious public artwork by artists Karen Guthrie and Nina Pope, commissioned by Cambridge University’s North West Cambridge Development (NWC) via the Contemporary Art Society and InSite Arts. The artists have been in residence with the Cambridge Archaeological Unit, which has excavated the site prior to its development. 'Tomorrow, Today' will be a large-scale public sculpture located on the NWC site amongst the continuing archaeological dig. The project invites the audience to actively contemplate the future community and townscape that will occupy what are now agricultural fields bordering the city of Cambridge. The work takes the form of a three dimensional model of Phase 1 of the NWC development, circa 75m in diameter - complete with scale replicas of all the planned streets and buildings. This 'model village of the future' will be hand-built on site using 'cob' made primarily from the earth excavated in situ by the archaeological surveys that precede the NWC development. The artwork will remain in place for at least a year, with a public launch in early June 2014, before being buried beneath this new part of Cambridge for future archaeologists to discover!

Please email us for the full post. spec - DEADLINE FOR APPS 10am Wed. 12th Feb.


Wow - thrilled beyond words to have surpassed our Indiegogo target of £15,000 for new film The Closer We Get, at the weekend!

The warm messages of support we got during the 40 day campaign were overwhelming and mean as much to us as the money. Many, many thanks to all of you who Backed us and got in touch too.

We are still getting lots of offers of contributions which is just lovely - the answer is YES you still can Back the film - if you have Paypal just make your contribution to artists 'at'

Or if you'd rather do a direct bank transfer or post a cheque, please contact us here for details.

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