Tag Archives: Heritage

STEWY Installation At Home Activity

Unity Arts have been invited to contribute their installation piece based on the STEWY graffiti art portrait of Mary Wollstonecraft as part of the re-opening of New Unity at Newington Green (where she ran a school for girls).

Originally the artwork was to be installed in New Unity for April and also form part of our event this April 27 on Wollstonecraft’s birthday.

We have had to cancel our Easter workshops when we were to finish the work on the installation but everyone who enjoys colouring in can still do some of the work at home. Especially children. (Colouring in will also lower your blood pressure).

Our work on this piece started on Wollstonecraft’s birthday last year and has since seen contributions from the Dissenter’s Choir,  Hoxton Hall Youth Group, during the Summer Workshops at the Diorama Arts studio and by pupils from William Patten school.

All levels welcome.

                      Newington Green Autumn 2019

Download the Wollstonecraft Timeline with illustrations to learn about why Wollstonecraft is a subject for this project

And the STEWY A4 Colouring in Sheet

Please contact us via the form below and we can keep you posted about the progress of the piece, organise the collection of artwork and of course invite all artists to the opening in September!

 

STEWY Installation Workshops – Easter

New Unity at Newington Green is re-opening later this month.

On April 24 and 25 they will be holding various events called

Mary Wollstonecraft and Dissent: A Celebration

and Unity Arts have been invited to contribute their installation piece based on the STEWY graffiti art portrait of Mary Wollstonecraft.

Our work on this piece started on Wollstonecraft’s birthday last year and has since also been worked on by the Dissenter’s Choir,  Hoxton Hall Youth Group, during the Summer Workshops at the Diorama Arts studio and by pupils from William Patten school.

In order to complete the work earlier than initially planned (October) we will be holding some Open House art workshops over the Easter break in St Mary’s Community Centre in Hackney. 

All levels welcome.

Please register interest in the form below

 

ABNEY PARK RECEIVES £4.4M GRANT

There is fantastic news for one of our long standing  heritage partners!

Hackney Council have announced the successful bid for funds. Abney Park’s historic chapel will be brought back into use as a venue after Hackney Council was awarded £4.4m by the National Lottery to improve the park.

The funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund will also see major work to the rest of the gothic cemetery – one of London’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ – including a new cafe and classroom at the park’s main entrance and a new accessible entrance on Church Street, which will encourage more visitors to the park to enjoy its history and biodiversity.


As part of the improvements, an environmentally friendly heat pump will be installed in the park to provide heat and hot water to the park’s new buildings.

This local gem has seen us research Music Hall stars like Nelly Power and George Leybourne and most recently Abney Park created the Mary Hays Tour to support our project  BLUE CIRCLE OF DISSENT

More info at  Hackney Council

and at Abney Park

CONGRATULATIONS!

Behind the Scenes: Filming an Interview with Professor Anna Birch

Having graduated from university in 2018, I thought my research days were behind me. However, an exciting opportunity to dust off my research skills arose when Lil Warren, Heritage Outcomes Manager at Unity Arts, told me of their latest project Blue Circle of Dissent. This National Lottery Funded project focusses on the lives, work, and circles around Mary Wollstonecraft and Blue Stockings Society leader Elizabeth Montagu.

My first independent assignment was to interview Wollstonecraft expert Professor Anna Birch for a short documentary film. Anna is the director of Fragments & Monuments, a company which creates performance and film work about the life and legacy of Wollstonecraft.

As I discovered, most of the work for producing a filmed interview takes place off-camera; this blog is to give you a behind-the-scenes insight into the process.

Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
I began by asking myself a question: what did I already know about Mary Wollstonecraft? Answer: that she was Mary Shelley’s mother, and that she wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), marking her as the first British feminist. There was a lot more to discover…
I read about Wollstonecraft and made notes on what I wanted to know more about. I became particularly intrigued by her travels: she went to live in France in 1792 – when the turbulent revolution was well underway – and travelled to Scandinavia in 1795 to recover a stolen ship in an attempt to win back her former lover.

In a series of meetings with Lil and the Digital Outputs Team, we decided that the interview with Anna would focus on Wollstonecraft as the pioneering female travel writer. I had also learnt three tips for filming day: don’t wear stripes, wear make-up, and wear bright colours. My monochromatic wardrobe struggled with this third tip, but as a wise man once said: two out of three ain’t bad.

When turning my research into questions, I wanted to create a narrative structure to help the interview flow. The questions would begin by setting the scene, asking Anna about her work and involvement with Wollstonecraft. Then we would turn to Wollstonecraft’s travels to France and Scandinavia, and finally her personal life and legacy, concluding with my favourite question: ‘what do you think Wollstonecraft would make of society today?’. With the questions finalised on paper, it was now time to bring them to life.

Lights, Camera…
Of course, I wasn’t working on this interview day alone. Lil was directing, Neil Webster from Edwin Louis Fear Films and Christian Smith were filming, and Sarah Warren was Production Assistant. On filming day, we met for a briefing before walking to Anna’s house (where we would have arrived earlier if my walking pace could match a Londoner’s!).

While Neil and Christian set up the filming equipment, Anna took Lil, Sarah and me up to her library for coffee. Although set-up took longer than anticipated (about an hour), it gave Anna and I valuable time to get to know each other off-screen. We had been to the same university, so we talked about its theatre scene and the lack of female writers on the reading lists, before moving on to Anna’s work with Fragments and Monuments. Anna and the company challenge the traditionally held definition of a monument as something static: they create living, dynamic ‘monuments’ to Wollstonecraft, such as walks that enable participants to trace Wollstonecraft’s footsteps in Stoke Newington. It struck me that our short film would also be a moving monument to the writer.

…Action!
With the all-clear from the crew, Anna and I took our seats at her kitchen table, under two fabulous STEWY prints of Wollstonecraft. Neil and Christian had set up two cameras ‘Parky style’: one at the front of the table with both of us in shot, and one behind my left shoulder for close-up shots of Anna – shots that I kept ‘dirtying’ by inadvertently moving into view!
We wanted the conversation to feel natural, so I listened carefully to Anna’s answers and would pick up on something she had said to link to the following question. Our time spent chatting beforehand really helped during the interview as it felt like a continuation of our conversation upstairs. This rapport translated onto the screen: Sarah said that we looked like we had known each other for years!

We filmed the interview in one take, pausing only once for Neil to reset his camera.  After wrapping, we had a post-interview debrief at the Luminary Bakery, and I then walked with Sarah to Newington Green to visit Wollstonecraft’s former stomping ground (and future site of her memorial sculpture).

“That’s a wrap” doesn’t signal the end of working on the film, as the editing process is just beginning.

Taking part in the interview was a wonderful experience that combined independent research with working as part of a team, all to create a work that will be shared with a wider audience. It was inspiring to meet passionate and knowledgeable creatives, and intellectually stimulating to research and discuss such a fascinating female figure.

I’m greatly looking forward to seeing the finished film, and to working with Unity Arts further on Blue Circle Of Dissent.

Ellen Gage

Location Photos by Christian Maier Smith

HERITAGE FILM TRAINING

Unity Arts are creating a series of short documentaries for the National Lottery Funded BLUE CIRCLE OF DISSENT.

 

Following workshops and training in the spring and summer The Digital Outputs team, with professional support and mentoring from Edwin Louis Fear Films and Meddle Films, were part of the crew that produced HACKNEY DISSENT

During the coming months we will be training, writing and shooting more footage for these documentaries including interviewing experts like Professor Anna Birch.

with an eventual project output of an installation film for our exhibition in Hackney in November 2020.

Please contact us via the form below if you would like to learn more about interviewing experts, writing scripts for documentaries, how to choose relevant underscoring, helping the edit when shooting.

There will be opportunities to be part of the crew and gain credits and work for portfolios.

All levels of experience welcome!!!!

 

Hackney Dissent Documentary

In May of this year Unity Arts delievered a week of heritage workshops in Hoxton and in Hoxton Hall called

HACKNEY DISSENT

Out of which we created a short film Hackney Dissent

The workshops, in partnership with Hoxton Hall, used slam poetry, research trips (including a special day at Dr Johnson’s House).

We used sources like The Vindication Of The Rights Of Woman to inspire work from all areas of our community to make an exhibition and share in performance.

Groups of 7-11 year olds, 12-18 year olds and 18+ all looked at debate, radical writings and how to communicate ideas.

We had a well attended sharing at Hoxton Hall on 31 May and on 1 June (a very HOT day) an exhibition and sharing at Dr Johnson’s House.

With the support of Edwin Louis Fear Films the Digital Outputs volunteers interviewed participants and were also part of the final editing process.

The documentry can be found here Hackney Dissent Documentary

Also you can find some of the research materials that helped inform the outputs.

We have more Heritage Film Workshops coming up so please contact us if you have an interest in filmaking documentaries and doing interviews with experts about Mary Wollstonecraft, Elizabeth Montgu and the Bluestocking Society.

 

 

DR GILDA WILLIAMS Writing For Exhibitions

On 29 June 130 – 430  

Old Diorama Arts Centre

201 Drummond Street, London NW1 3FE 

Unity Arts will be launching a series of Summer activities with a workshop led by Dr Gilda Williams.

We will be exploring how you WRITE for EXHIBITIONS.

Here she is in  Interview about the role of the Art Critic

Practical components in the workshop will include  How To Write an Artist’s Statement, How to Label Art Pieces, What do You Put in the Booklet?

Gilda Williams has taught at Goldsmiths since 2008. She was Editor and Commissioning Editor (from 1997) for Contemporary Art at Phaidon Press 1994-2005, where she commissioned the ‘Contemporary Artists’ monographs, ‘Themes and Movements’ series of anthologies, and other books including Salon to Biennale: Exhibitions that Made Art History (2008).

She is a London correspondent for Artforum, and has written for Art Monthly, The Guardian, Sight & Sound, Burlington, frieze and many more.

This workshop is FREE and supported by The National Heritage Lottery Fund.

Register attendance here WRITING FOR EXHIBITIONS

 

 

WE CELEBRATE WOLLSTONECRAFT’S 260TH BIRTHDAY!

This weekend marks the 260th Birthday of Mary Wollstonecraft!

Unity Arts, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, are hosting two events to mark this important date.

On 27th April we will meet at 1230, each light a candle. At 1pm we will, sing and eat cake and live stream our presence at the proposed site of the Wollstonecraft statue on Newington Green.
At the same moment Professor Anna Birch will be presenting her Wollstonecraft film at Old St Pancras Church – the final resting place of the author of A Vindication Of The Rights Of Woman. Please wear white or pale blue.

FREE tickets here 27 April Birthday

On 28th April our FREE family event on Newington Green will include a small installation, some Live Performances and CAKE!

FREE tickets here 28 April Birthday

See you there!

MAIN IMAGE USED BY KIND PERMISSION OF STEWY

 

BESPOKE TRAINING – Hackney Archives

As part of a week of training and workshops we are offering a FREE Archives Training session  at Hackney Archives Dalston Lane, London E8 3BQ (just above CLR James Library by Dalston Junction Station) on Thursday 25 April 6pm – 730pm.

The head archivist Elizabeth Green will be showing us how archives and primary sources can bring history alive and we will be looking at documents relevant to our research into Mary Wollstonecraft and  our Heritage project

BLUE CIRCLE OF DISSENT

a Marriage Settlement from mid 1700s (a shocking document to the modern eye), minutes from the Unitarian Church where Mary Wollstonecraft was a parishioner, local maps and more.

 

This training deepens understanding of how lives were led and sometimes leads to new discoveries. (e.g previously we have discovered household accounts which told us what was eaten “Upstairs” by the “master” and what was eaten “Downstairs” by the servants).

Places are very limited due to the nature of the session so please email us at unityarts@hotmail.co.uk or complete the form below to book a place

STEWY – Mary Wollstonecraft’s Birthday

Keep your eyes peeled! The Blue Circle Of Dissent Events are happening!

The National Heritage Lottery Fund is supporting us as we host a series of events to celebrate the

260th birthday of Mary Wollstonecraft on 27 & 28 April 2019!

Author of A Vindication Of The Rights Of Woman and member of the congregation at Newington Green Unitarian Church (now New Unity) Wollstonecraft is also to be recognised in Newington Green with a statue.

Mary On The Green are working to make this happen!

The street artist STEWY is allowing us use of his iconic stencil of Hackney Heroine Mary Wollstonecraft.

And here is a short documentary about STEWY’S work and the Newington Green stencil.

STEWY & WOLLSTONECRAFT