Let it grow

We hope you’re all enjoying the intermittent summer we’re having at the moment and are taking plenty of opportunities to experience the great outdoors. Our fecund Editorial this month has a definite flavour of nature and growth.

Sam Williams’ Micro-Commission A Soft Landing is growing! The project is an online resource inspired by the activity of communal gardens and city allotments. It is a space where volunteers are invited to share, learn, contribute and care for themselves and others, through the sharing of material that could be used for nourishment, growth, pleasure, education or healing. This material might take the form of recipes, remedies, poems, instructions, inspirations, sounds or images - but these are just suggestions. Volunteers are welcome to contribute material to a fresh plot or respond to material from another. Visitors are free to explore all contributed material and take from it what they might need (a recipe, a remedy, or simply inspiration...)

Be sure to follow the project on Instagram at @a_soft_landing and DM them if you're interested in contributing.

Inspired by Sam Williams' Micro-Commission project 'A Soft Landing', Five2Watch this week is all about growth. Featuring work by James Eddy, Rebecca Beinart, Rich White, Gemma Wood and Anna Keleher.

As part of our Vacant Space project, Axis take on empty commercial properties and hand access over to our members. We are keen to support and stimulate growth in regional arts by providing resources, advice, and by empowering artists. By providing access to empty properties Axis can help ‘artist-led’ ecologies grow and connect with a wider local public.

Access to these spaces has been difficult over the course of the pandemic, but now, as things start to open up, we are extremely pleased to be able to share a little insight into some of these developing projects.

Axisweb (Axis) has partnered Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) School of Art in conjunction with Social Art Network (SAN) on an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) fellowship, working with six social artists, community participants, arts organisations and policy makers to understand what kind of barriers underrepresented people face around access culture and creativity. Meet the artists and and find out more about the projects!

This week in Social Art Library

We're so glad to be able to share this new Social Art Library submission with you! Am I Not A Woman and a Sister? (2019) by Elizabeth Kwant is an important moving image installation, co-created with female survivors of modern-day slavery, in partnershop with Liverpool charity, City Hearts.

The work is the culmination of a year long project researching in the archives of the Merseyside Maritime Museum and the International Slavery Museum Liverpool, seeking to better understand the history of the transatlantic slave trade and it’s connections to the North West of England - Kwant’s birthplace and the place she calls home. 

Through her past work 'In- Transit' - where the artist embodied and retold migrants stories through site specific performances staged across the Mediterranean - Kwant became interested in the therapeutic benefits of theatre for survivors of trauma. The artist initiated a series of movement workshops in collaboration with British- Barbadian Choreographer Magdalen Bartlett Luambia, giving female survivors of modern day slavery tools and agency to create their own performances. 

To watch an excerpt of the video, check out the page here and to find out more about Elizabeth's work, visit: www.elizabethkwant.com

We're always on the lookout for new submissions to the Library, so if you are an artist who works with people—or you work with artists who do—please do join us by sharing your own projects via the Social Art Library submission portal. No more hiding your lights under a bushel! 

To find out more, check out our FAQs or get in touch if you have any questions: [email protected]

Our Flashback Friday feature this week is a film we made in 2013 for Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery. 'Make Believe: Re-imagining History & Landscape' was a partnership between Nottingham and Fermynwoods Contemporary Art. We were commissioned to make a film about Shane Waltener's contribution to the exhibition: 'Panoramic Pathways (Nottingham City Lace)', an intricate piece of handwoven 'lace' connecting the trees in the grounds of Nottingham Castle.



Sam Williams: A Soft Landing

Catch up on Sam Williams' Micro-Commission project


Five2Watch: Growth

A selection of work from our Directory on the theme of 'growth'


Vacant Space updates

Updates from our Vacant Spaces in Bootle and Cardiff


SAFEDI Fellowship Announcement

Meet the SAFEDI Fellowship artists and projects


Social Art Library: Elizabeth Kwant

Latest addition from the Social Art Library


Shane Waltener film

A film we made in 2013 for Nottingham Museum and Art Gallery



Weekly highlights featuring work by Paul Newman, Sue Stone, Sharon Baker and Jane Boyer.


Live Out Loud - Conversations with Artists

A collection of conversations with artists and creative practioners about specific topics. Published every week on our website, SoundCloud, Spotify, Apple, Google and Stitcher. 


Help and Advice

We've created a list of links to resources and advice for artists and freelancers during the coronavirus pandemic.