Tag Archives: London

VINDICATION – Mary Wollstonecraft Virtual Exhibition

During September, to mark the anniversary of the death of Mary Wollstonecraft, our National Lottery Heritage Fund supported

Virtual Exhibition

VINDICATION

is hosted by NEWINGTON GREEN MEETING HOUSE

After a year of various events and activities these are responses to our participants’ research into the writings and letters of Mary Wollstonecraft.  Famously the author of A Vindication Of The Rights of Woman and a  radical, a dissenter and a champion of the education of girls.

STEWY work by Cerys Davies – Hoxton Hall Youth Arts

A Hackney Heroine who lived in Hoxton, had a school in Newington Green, worshipped at the Unitarian Church (now Newington Green Meeting House) and was married and first buried in Old St Pancras Church in King’s Cross.

Our first “public” event during the pandemic with a careful and socially distanced planning and setting up in August and filmed by Steve .

Many of the pieces have been created during the Covid-19 pandemic and come out of online workshops and one to one socially distanced meetings with the researchers and artists.

Our thanks to Newington Green Meeting House that have made this installation possible by welcoming us as their first 360 virtual event.

Before you take the VINDICATION tour you can find more detail on the artists’ work here

Click to access vindication-holding-booklet.pdf

And the Wollstonecraft Timeline here

Wollstonecraft Timeline

If you want to see the exhibition as part of a tour of Newington Green Meeting House book a slot here

NGMH Tour Slots

Urban  Bird  in – Covid 19 by Billy Colvill

From our at home activities, here is a response to where we all find ourselves during lockdown by one of the poets from  Hackney Dissent, Billy Colvill.

Urban  Bird  in- Covid 19

“ Ring-a-ring  of  roses

A  pocketful  of  posies

Atishoo, a tissue?

We  all  full  down.”

This  is  purdah.

Just  spent  my  daily  allowance  of

Essential  journey  time.

I  loiter  at  the  cross-roads

To  my  room

Full  of  possible  intent

But  know  it`s  lockdown  facing  me,

Splendid  isolation.

Have  to  keep  slapping  myself,

“ Wake  up  and  smell  the  coffee.”

I  must  have  been  asleep

When  my  carnival  of  people  passed  on  by.

I  want  my  bumping, bustling, sweaty, shoving,

Rude,  insulting  crowd

Back.

 

Everyone  has  become, “so  kind,”

So  loving,  so  polite.

And  when  those  people

Who  wouldn`t  ordinarily  give  me  the  time  of  day

Say  they  want  to  befriend  me,

It`s  been  my  experience they  want  to  shamelessly  exploit

My  singular  native  English  nostalgic  sentimentality.

Then  there`s  that  class  of  people who

In  the  blink  of  an  eye

Voted  your  wage  rise  down, voted  to

Leave  you  homeless,

They  in  one  voice  speak  through  antiseptic,

Praising  heroes  who  work  a  twelve

And  a  half-hour  shift   at  their  bidding

Without  a  paid  break  or  proper  equipment.

As  if  the  “ heroes”  weren’t  in  danger  enough.

How  our  leaders bang  on  how  much

They  love  and  care  for  the  people,

Stop  it,   my  ears are bleeding

Where`s  your  London  mob  when  you  need  them?

The  riot  of  colour?  The  noise?

What  was  I  moaning  about?

 

Dragging  my  feet  back  to  my  room,

right  now, if  I  had  the  chance

I`d Jump  in   and   join my  herd

For  the  company  and  banter

Even  though  by  all  accounts

My  government  is  leading  the  herd  to  the  abattoir.

The  instruction,

Writ  large  by  the  invisible  hand  of  Capital

For  only  the  privileged  to  see

Based  on  the  witty  professors

Statistical  probability,

The  instruction  is,

That  for  us  the  masses,

The  question, who  lives or dies,

Is  for  us  the  masses,

A  charitable  post-code lottery.

The  invisible  hand  of  Capital

Signs  off;

“ England  is  now  one  big  Grenfell Tower.”

I  swear  on  the  Roman  London  god  of  birds, Janus,

Fuck  it,

Even  after  all  what  my  families  been  through

There  is  still  no  science  for  us,  so  it`s

still  down  to  more

luck  than  judgement.

Back  in  my  room

The  weight  of  the  world  wears  heavy  on  me.

I  think  of  someone,  I  wonder,

Have  they  been  tested  yet?

Billy  Colvill ( One  is  A  Bird. 2020. Billy  Colvill.)

****A CHRISTMAS CAROL at The Hen and Chickens

There are many great examples of the one man Dickens presentation (including by the author himself). And it was reading Dickens that radicalised me when I was in primary school. Yet it was with a sluggish step that I made my way to A Christmas Carol at Hen & Chickens Theatre in North London.

Set in London in 1843, on Christmas Eve when  everyone seemed happy, apart from Ebenezer Scrooge,. One of the richest and unhappiest men in London. Enslaved by his own selfishness and so miserable that he would not spend even a penny on himself, Christmas Day was just another day to earn money for Scrooge. Was I ready to hear, in forensic detail, about the grim life of the Victorian poor? Especially as the resonances are so painful and current? Could I bear to listen to Dickens’ mawkish descriptions of Tiny Tim Cratchit?

 

But as soon as Jud Charlton came onstage I knew it was all going to be alright. This is my favourite kind of performer. The kind I most admire. Vocal dexterity, physical discipline with sharp and comic timing. Just the right amount of showmanship without diluting the at a lick character changes.

No set, just a chair, some clever use of a stick, a torch and various bits and pieces.  Great sound design by the director Paolo Serra and original music by Giorgio Buttazzo (the tech operator was tip top too).  You could tour it in a cab and a suitcase. Perfect.

Simplicity is difficult to pull off and requires a sensitive aesthetic and a lot of skill. This  magical adaptation (by Charlton and Serra) had it in spades with a performance of multi-role mastery by Mr Charlton. I was cheered no end.

A beautifully realised gem! No spoiler alerts as there are also some lovely Christmas surprises. ****

Lil Warren

A Christmas Carol runs at the Hen & Chickens until 21st December

730pm evenings  with a Saturday matinee at 230pm

Tickets via Unrestricted View

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.

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.

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!

29 June Lady Jane Grey, The Woeful Puppet

Get your FREE tickets here for our St Katharine Cree LIVE EVENT

29 June FREE ticket

You will find research panels, artwork, food and some films all created with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The evening will start with a talk from Anne Askew expert Mike Stuchbery.


Following the talk there will be a break when you can visit the exhibition and sample some Tudor fare.

After the break we will be given a dramatised presentation using Lady Jane Grey’s own words by Sarah J Warren.

 

Woeful Puppet at St Katharine Cree 20-30 June

An installation and Live Events funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Mounted at St Katharine Cree and created by our community team of researchers and artists to explore the religious and political turmoil in Tudor England that led to the execution of the Nine Day Queen – Lady Jane Grey.

St Katharine Cree C Of E Church
86 Leadenhall Street, London, EC3A 3BP

St Katharine Cree Map

LIVE EVENTS Free via Eventbrite

22 June @ 7pm Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, The Puppet Master

https://puppetmaster.eventbrite.co.uk

 

29 June @ 7pm Lady Jane Grey, The Woeful Puppet

https://janegrey.eventbrite.co.uk