Tag Archives: Heritage Lottery Fund

BLUE CIRCLE OF DISSENT – Launch 2 Feb

There will be an opportunity to find out more about the HLF funded BLUE CIRCLE OF DISSENT project and to sign up for research trips and training 2 February 2.30 pm – 4.00 pm at St. Mary’s Church (rooms at rear), Stoke Newington N16 9ES.

The project will be researching the lives and times of local heritage heroine Mary Wollstonecraft and leader of The Blue Stocking Society, Elizabeth Montagu.

There will be Refreshments and Start-Up Packs available and at 3.00pm a short talk about the context of the project, some music and some readings from The Vindication Of The Rights Of Women.

“Only that education deserves emphatically to be termed cultivation of the mind which teaches young people how to begin to think”.

Register for a FREE ticket here BLUE CIRCLE OF DISSENT – Launch

ALL WELCOME

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HLF Fund Blue Circle Of Dissent!

TWO YEAR COMMUNITY RESEARCH PROJECT RECEIVES HLF SUPPORT!

Unity Arts have successfully bid for a National Lottery grant  from the Heritage Lottery Fund to support a two year project BLUE CIRCLE OF DISSENT. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players.

The project will research the events, works and personalities that surrounded the lives and work of Mary Wollstonecraft and Blue Stockings Society leader, Elizabeth Montagu.

Elizabeth Montagu

Throughout the coming months Unity Arts will be platforming research, talks, training and events. Research visits will include, the National Portrait Gallery, Kenwood House and Strawberry Hill.

Strawberry Hill House

This project will create a series of free events. Events on 27 and 28 April 2019 (including an Outside Event on Newington Green) will be held to commemorate the birthday of radical Mary Wollstonecraft.

Events throughout the project will include an evening of literary presentations at Dr. Johnson’s House off Fleet Street. A community made event with specialist speaker in St Pancras.. An all-day installation at the Foundling Museum and a debate and installation at the Dissenters’ Gallery.

Please contact us for more information.

PATRIOTISM IS NOT ENOUGH – A New Play About Edith Cavell

One of our researchers Thom Jackson-Wood has written a short play based on the life, death and legacy of Edith Cavell (4th December 1865-12th October 1915), which has been shortlisted for the Herts & Essex Playwriting Festival 2019 “Write Here Write Now.” It will be performed at Hertford Theatre on Tuesday 19th February at 7.30pm as part of a showcase of new writing.

Thom researched Edith Cavell during our BRUSSELS AT DAWN project, which ran from 2013-2015, culminating in a commemoration on the centenary of her death on 12th October 2015 at St. Martin-In-The-Fields. Results of that project can be found here. EDITH CAVELL RESOUCES

Rather than tell a simple biopic, Thom has woven a modern-day storyline into the script, featuring Private Aaron Anderson, an angry disabled ex-soldier who now fights battles on Twitter, and is suspicious of everyone.

Thom says of the character “Aaron is a broken young man who has struggled to adapt to civilian life. Feeling forgotten and betrayed by his country, he tries to claim it back by campaigning to leave the EU. But beneath his rage, he is searching for an answer to give his life meaning. The life of Edith Cavell, her progressive attitude to all Europeans, and her selfless acts of bravery and her final words cause him to start rethinking his beliefs – that the world isn’t as black-and-white as he thought.”

Edith Cavell was a British nurse who pioneered modern nursing in Belgium from 1907-1915. When WWI broke out, she stayed in Brussels under German occupation to treat anyone regardless which side they were on in the conflict. However she was arrested by the German military on trumped-up charges on 10th June 1915 and she was imprisoned for ten weeks, then she was shot at dawn on 12th October 1915. Her final recorded words “Patriotism Is Not Enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone” inspired the title of the play.

“Write Here Write Now” is a playwriting competition organised by Contexture Theatre, an arts company based in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire.

 

REMEMBER EDITH CAVELL

Today is the anniversary of the execution in Belgium of WW1 nurse Edith Cavell.

Image created by Dave Roberts which was shown as part of the HLF exhibition at St Martin In The Fields October 2015

Our HLF project BRUSSELS AT DAWN investigated her contribution to nursing and how she ended up in Belgium running a hospital, teaching nursing and why she was arrested for espionage.

Edith Cavell Window at St Olave’s                                            Image by Michael Cheetham

We worked with the Cavell Nurses Trust, The Royal London Hospital, The Florence Nightingale Museum, Belgian Edith Cavell Commemorative Group and the Royal College of Nursing to research this extraordinary woman’s life and her contribution to nursing.

We created a puppet show, exhibitions and have a series of films (including interviews with her descendant Dr Emma Cavell and author Diana Souhami), papers and resources created by both experts and community participants.

Edith Cavell Resources

Every year someone from Unity Arts lays a rose on the Edith Cavell statue in Trafalgar Square on her birthday – 4th December.

We never want her forgotten.

SYON JANE by Isabel Walters

Queen Jane remains the only English monarch of the past five centuries for whom no genuine portrait is known to have survived. Dozens of images have been put forward over those five centuries, but none has yet been conclusively authenticated.

It is now believed the portrait above by an unknown artist is the truest likeness of Jane Grey and is in the collection of the Duke of Northumberland at Syon House, Middlesex, UK.

One of our young artists, Isabel Walters, responded to the portrait with a bust SYON JANE that was exhibited at the New Armouries 12 February as part of the WOEFUL PUPPET exhibition.

 

 

Dr Zoe Hudson on Woeful Puppet and Tudor Prison Life

On 12 February as part of the WOEFUL PUPPET presentation at Tower of London Dr Zoe Hudson gave a talk (to a very mixed crowd) about what life in prison would have been like for Lady Jane Grey.

“I used archival evidence of Stonley and other prisoners to explore how Jane might have experienced those months in the Tower of London”.

Dr Zoe Hudson on Tudor Prison Life

She writes here of delivering a talk to a mixed community group and how she “was excited to have a chance support the work of Unity Arts” and “a group of young kids gathering at the front; I hadn’t anticipated having so many young people in the audience”.

This talk was well received. And Unity Arts continue to work as a bridge between academia and the community.

We very much look forward to working with Zoe Hudson in the future.

 

Evaluation

We have had a full and exciting 18 months or so working on our Lady Jane Grey project WOEFUL PUPPET.

 

 

We are now starting our evaluation process.

If you have taken part or attended any of our events we really would like to hear from you in the comments below.

Or you can email us on unityarts@hotmail.co.uk

 

 

WOEFUL PUPPET Booklet Available Online

As part of the HLF project WOEFUL PUPPET a booklet has been created by participants to distribute to our community, the public and our Heritage partners.

We also have a PDF version available for download at this link.

WOEFUL PUPPET PDF Booklet

Along with some facets of Lady Jane Grey’s story we have interpretations and reactions from a wide spectrum of contributors via prose, poetry, images and artwork.

The Crown Is Not My Right by Ysabel Gregorio De Souza

With support from the Unity Arts Heritage Team  via workshops and meetings participants were encouraged to write to deadline, source images and think about the overall look of the booklet.

This was also an opportunity for participants to manage an activity and heritage output. Lewis J Phillips took the role as Editor and Michael Cheetham as Cover and Booklet Designer and the Costumes are Designed by Isabel Walters.

We hope you enjoy reading this unique heritage output.

There also are plenty of interesting Lady Jane Grey research resources created by our participants and experts Lady Jane Grey Resources

 

 

 

 

TOWER OF LONDON Community Exhibition SUCCESS!!

On 12 February 2018, the anniversary of the death of Lady Jane Grey, Unity Arts delivered a community created installation in the New Armouries at the Tower Of London.

Image Michael Cheetham Costume Isabel Walters Model Nellie Noodle

This event was a culmination of all the research and responses of the various Unity Arts teams to the life and early demise of the Nine Day Queen.

Live Exhibitor Thom Jackson

The exhibition looked absolutely stunning and the work on display and in performance was of a high standard and created with care.

There was artwork, research, individual projects, costume, films, and Live Events from Dr Zoe Hudson, Dramatisation of Primary Sources including letter and poem extracts in Lady Jane Grey’s own words and programme from the Hackney based community choir, Silver Songbirds.

Dr Zoe Hudson

Also the Unity Arts Heritage Team’s booklets, essays and papers were available for distribution and over 400 copies left the room that day.

The room was absolutely packed with a completely mixed audience of children, teenagers, academics, educators, professional exhibitors, Tudor aficionados together with  performers and researchers from every part of Hackney’s rich and diverse community.

Silver Songbirds Hackney Community Choir

There was also an opportunity for attendees to visit the rest of the Tower Of London and specifically Beauchamp Tower (site of Dudley’s graffito said to be engraved when he was prisoner there) and Tower Green where Jane Grey was executed.

Feedback is still coming in but EVERYONE has said what a fantastic day they had!

SUTTON HOUSE SUCCESS

Sutton House were so impressed with our installation we were  exhibiting there for two weeks in addition to the Live Event on 8 September.

This exhibition was created and curated by our Young Research Team.

What a welcome from Sutton House who were such great heritage partners and such a fantastic response from the visitors to the installation. “Such a beautiful story, beautifully told”.

If you missed it this and all the other work we have been preparing will be on show at the New Armouries in the TOWER OF LONDON on 12 February 2018.