What if?

 

If you look around the streets of Bridgwater during July and August 2022 you’ll see images around you addressing the question What if?

Local residents have been working with four professional artists to explore these questions and create art  which is now on display on advertising spaces around Bridgwater and Highbridge as well as on the buses of Somerset. Look around and see if you can spot them!

Artists Karl, Jem, Sharon and Rich led a series of creative writing and image-making workshops and sessions to come up with What if? Questions and potential answers – challenging people in Bridgwater to draw on their imagination and ideas to create something wonderful for the whole community to see and share.

Macro (extremely close-up) photography images created in workshops led by artist Richard Tomlinson have been magnified to an enormous size to be exhibited on the side of Bridgwater’s Mercure Hotel, and Bedrock Furniture store. Writers Karl Bevis and Sharon Jacksties worked with people across different generations, including local school children,  to create poems that appear outside shops, on telephone kiosks, and on a video screen at the Engine Room. Some of these poems are accompanied by images created by visual artist Jem Dick in partnership with Sharon and community members – look out for these around town and also on the rear of buses across Sedgemoor.

The art works will be displayed on the streets of Bridgwater during July and August and then come together in exhibitions at the Engine Room in Bridgwater 14-16 September, and the various Sedgemoor libraries where some of the works were created.

Meet the Artist working on What if….

Click each profile image to see their bios and workshop dates.

Jem

Artist and Performer

Jem has worked in community and social arts settings for thirty years, including Seed’s Art First project in 2021. As well as being a multi-disciplinary artist and performer himself, he loves to encourage people who may not think of themselves as creative to have a go, and surprise themselves with what they can create.

He has worked for the last sixteen years with Open Story Tellers, enabling adults with learning disabilities to become storytellers, performing at festivals, conferences and theatres.

He has also worked with the elderly, children, and many other groups, facilitating and integrating valued artistic input from people of all abilities and all walks of life.
The secret of his success?

collaborating artist running a series of mixed media creative workshops activities. They will also be performing sharing work with live performances for all to enjoy.

“There is nothing more serious than fun!”

Jem and Sharon collaborated on running a series of mixed media creative workshops activities. They also performed and shared their own work in live performances for all to enjoy.

Jem

Artist and Performer

Richard Tomlinson

Artist and Creative Technologist

Richard Tomlinson works as a freelance artist and creative technologist based in Somerset. His practice combines the production of audiovisual artwork such as video installation and sound-art with facilitation of community engagement projects. Over the past 20 years Richard has collaborated with a number of arts and culture organisations including: The South West Heritage Trust, Somerset Art Works, Activate Performing Arts, Take Art, Mendip Hills AONB, Pavilion Dance South West, The Museum of Somerset and Plymouth City Museum. He has facilitated a wide range of community engagement projects with tangible results including: photographic exhibitions, video sequences, sound art, animation, video games, interactive installations and outdoor projections. Richard worked as Creative Technologist over an eight-year period on the Ignite Somerset initiative, a project managed by Somerset Film and funded by Arts Council England. Richard is currently producing an interactive video installation entitled ‘Through the Looking Glass’, commissioned by The Brewhouse Theatre and Art Centre. The installation will allow visitors to fast forward through billions of years of life on Earth, whilst also reflect on how their actions impact on the planet. The work will be exhibited in July 2022. Richard was awarded an MA in Art & Design Advanced Practice and Theory, specialising in Photography and Digital Media, from the University of Derby. For more info visit: www.richtomlinson.co.uk

Richard  supported participants to create images using a combination of macro photography, macro video, creative audio description and written word.

Richard Tomlinson

Artist and Creative Technologist