On 14th May, the route between the Exeter Phoenix arts centre and Exeter Library will be transformed, as the Freefall Youth Group wield spray cans and stencils to create a new graffiti artwork. The work, called Freefall Climate Graffiti, will feature maps of the UK showing how our climate could change in future decades.
Freefall Climate Graffiti is part of Art Week Exeter, which runs from 9-15 May. It is the brainchild of two local artists: Cleo Heard, who runs Miss*C’s Graffiti Academy; and Clare Bryden, who is an environmental artist.
During April and May, Cleo and Clare will be running three workshops with Freefall. The first workshop, on the issue of climate change and creative responses, will involve Met Office climate scientists. Starting with a series of maps that Clare produced using UK Climate Projections data from the Met Office, and under Cleo’s direction, the Youth Group will plan the graffiti wall artwork.
In the second workshop, Cleo and Clare will introduce the young people to Free Art Friday, which is part of the street art movement and places artwork on the street for people to discover, enjoy and take home. Local knitting groups will share their skills, making small leaves, flowers and butterflies to decorate the wall and fencing by the graffiti wall. The group will also start making the graffiti stencils.
In the third workshop, the group will focus on making the stencils, and also prepare for making an artwork in public.
Then on Saturday 14th May between 11am and 4pm, weather-permitting(!), the group will paint the graffiti wall with Freefall’s design. The workshops are open to the Freefall Youth Group only, but anyone may come and watch on the Saturday, provide encouragement and donate knitted nature to the Free Art Friday woolly wall. The public will be able to leave and take things away in the true spirit of Free Art Friday.
Clare says: “We’re really excited about this project. It brings so many of the wonderful groups and organisations in Exeter together to produce something that is fun, creative and generous. We’re really grateful for the support of Exeter City Council, Wilko, Art Week Exeter, Pete Yeo, Caroline Harlow, the Met Office, local knitting groups, and Exeter Phoenix.”
Cleo adds: “The young people will be central to creating the artwork. We hope they’ll gain a lot from undertaking this project in the public eye. And as well as creating art, it’s a great opportunity for them to get stuck in to managing a budget, preparing a design brief, team building, problem solving, negotiating and making decisions, communicating with artists and scientists, and interacting with the public.”
Freefall Climate Graffiti will be a public artwork, available to view 24/7, so anyone who can’t make it on the Saturday, can still visit the Phoenix any time and take a look at the finished wall. Freefall Climate Graffiti also has a Facebook page, where the public will be able to interact, post photos and comments. There will be a small booklet about the artwork, in a limited edition to take away, as well as to download from Facebook.
Freefall Climate Graffiti on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/FreefallClimateGraffiti/
Contact Cleo on 07768 693369 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Clare on 07794 505707 or email@example.com
Notes for editors
Art Week Exeter (AWE) is launching in 2016. It will be the first umbrella arts event in the city sharing work from international and homegrown artists, grassroots initiatives, cutting edge collectives, and brand new ventures. During the week of 9-15 May 2016, over 130 artists will be participating, showing over 1,000 art works. AWE also includes Exeter Open Studios, on weekend of 14-15 May. It is an opportunity to experience art across the city, from the streets to the gallery, in private studios and unusual spaces – all within easy walking distance. http://www.artweekexeter.org.uk/
Cleo Heard is a freestyle graffiti writer and stencil artist working in urban community settings. Through Miss*C’s Graffiti Academy, she teaches graffiti workshops to schools, youth clubs, businesses and special educational units. Offering therapeutic benefits through the artistic process, Miss*C’s Graffiti Academy is regularly consulted by providers of youth services to develop re-engagement and confidence building programmes for young people and their communities. As a trained community artist and experienced workshop facilitator, Miss*C is also a Bronze and Silver Arts Awards Advisor and can deliver EdExel “Supporting Employability and Personal Effectiveness (SEPE)” programmes. http://graffitiacademy.com/
Clare Bryden is an artist, writer and website developer based in Exeter. Her interests are primarily in how human beings affect and are affected by the natural world of which we are part, and the related theology and psychology of connectedness. Her creative practice springs from her desire to communicate environmental and social issues, her need for hope and energy in keeping on keeping on, and her habit of making connections, especially between sciences and art, and finding patterns. She previously worked for the Met Office. https://clarebryden.co.uk/
The UK Climate Projections 2009 (UKCP09) present information on plausible changes in 21st century climate for the United Kingdom. UKCP09 was produced in 2009, funded by a number of agencies led by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. It is based on sophisticated scientific methods provided by the Met Office, with input from over 30 contributing organisations. UKCP09 can be used to help organisations assess potential impacts of the projected future climate and to explore adaptation options to address those impacts. http://ukclimateprojections.metoffice.gov.uk/
Free Art Friday is a worldwide free art movement that has existed for many years. Artists leave pieces in public places to be discovered and taken for free. The concept of Free Art Friday has many strands, for the artist producing and leaving the work, and for the finder noticing and taking the work. Cleo and Clare are both involved in Free Art Friday Exeter. It is 24/7 and may happen all over Exeter. It need not just be for Fridays! https://www.facebook.com/FreeArtFridayExeter/
Exeter Phoenix is the South West’s foremost multi-artform venue, situated in Exeter’s historic city centre. The building hosts several art galleries, an auditorium for gigs and theatre, a cinema, a filmmaking hub complete with editing suites, artist studios, a radio station, sound recording studios, a print workshop, and a café bar with indoor and outdoor seating. http://www.exeterphoenix.org.uk/
The Freefall Youth Group meets at the Phoenix on Thursday evenings. Disadvantaged young people aged 13+ work with local artists, to meet like-minded people and explore creativity. https://www.exeterphoenix.org.uk/events/freefall-youth-group-2/