Our guest lecturer was Elizabeth Wewiora, who came to talk to us about her career journey.
Her advice was to "focus on the everyday and familiar".
After her education studying fine art and photography, she gained a new perspective on her work, thinking differently about her medium. She wanted to do a documentary approach, so she went on to create a series called "Allotment Diaries".
Allotment Diaries & Environmental Hubs project is an on-going body of research created by Elizabeth. Supported by the Arts Council England, grants for the arts, the project began by researching into environmental communities throughout the U.K - looking into the hidden social and politics infrastructures within allotment sites.
As a result of a 3 month residency at Bradley Fold Allotments, South Manchester (part of the Allotment Diaries & Environmental Hubs project supported by Grants for the Arts, Arts Council England) a number of collaborative site specific text, photography and video works were exhibited as part of an “open shed” event. Work produced was informed through a process of dialogue and exchange between Elizabeth and the allotment community, pulling weeds and cooking for residents with surplus crops in exchange for stories and images which represented their relationship to the allotment and each other.
A number of guest artists were also invited for 2 days residencies on site to respond to the allotment, its community and her own work, which resulted in both a group show of the work produced, but also from the suggestions of the allotment community – a new artist collective called Common Ground which have since taken up a number of collective projects and workshops exploring sustainability and collective labour in the arts. Common Ground are Tracey Eastham, Kai-O Jay Yung, Claire Tindale, Simon Jones, Liz Wewiora and Tasha Whittle.
Elizabeth has also created the series "Mersey Ferries" which is about social engagement, telling stories through documentary and portraiture. As part of the project, she created an interactive ferry folk viewfinder, to engage the viewer into the busy and fast paced lives we embark.
Her ongoing project is "Looking out, making in".
She also worked on the series "Sunny side up, sunny side down", which is postcards on people's thoughts on the subject of Dementia. Elizabeth is also looking into how cartoons can help make the teaching of Dementia easier.