Tag Archives: Projects

Show Us The Genius of Shakespeare! ELIZABETH MONTAGU STUDY –

For those of you researching Elizabeth Montagu during lockdown why not make a film of a Shakespeare excerpt!

Elizabeth Montagu (1718-1800) was famous in her lifetime as a Shakespeare critic, salon hostess and champion of women’s writing. She is largely attributed for contributing to the veneration of Shakespeare and his subsequent honouring as our National Bard.

Christened “Queen of the Bluestockings” by Samuel Johnson, Montagu attracted the leading writers, politicians and artists of her day to her sparkling London assemblies, where she placed a new emphasis on conversation as a pleasurable and enlightened pursuit.

In response to reading An Essay On The Writings And Genius Of Shakespear

  • Intro yourself and add “This is a contribution to the Unity Arts Project – BLUE CIRCLE OF DISSENT”
  • Select your favourite quote from the  Montagu essay and open with that
  • Follow with a recitation of your favourite Shakespeare piece. (2 mins).
  • If you have the tech include this logo in your credits
  • Send us via a vimeo or you tube link in the form below and we will put on our website and youtube channel!

For additional background research you can also read her letters  here at Elizabeth Montagu Letters

Looking forward to hearing and seeing you!

OUTSIDE PROJECT ACTIVITIES ON PAUSE

In response to the situation we all find ourselves in we are pausing all outside and group activities during April, May and June.

This will of course mean postponement of the Easter Workshops, our event at New Unity on 27 April and the research trips to Bath and in London will have to take place later in the year.

Nevertheless, we are taking this time to do heritage research and activities for BLUE CIRCLE OF DISSENT at home.

All team members, volunteers and participants can be sent materials and packs and we can use this time for painting, essays, installation creation, editing and online research. Here are some prompts we are using at the moment.

Hackney Dissent Research Materials

We can go to not only The Vindication of The Rights of Woman by Wollstonecraft but also her travel writing and stories for children.

We can take the time to return to Shakespeare as Elizabeth Montagu advises in 1769 in An Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakespear.

You can also follow in Mary Wollstonecraft’s footsteps! Fragments & Monuments and Scary Little Girls Feminist Performance Hub have a new new app Wollstonecraft Walk App

Our next planned event will be 18 July at Dr Johnson’s House and our Wollstonecraft event at New Unity re-scheduled for 10 September. This may of course change.

We will keep in touch via email throughout this time and ANYTHING we can do to help please contact us!!!

 

FREE HALF TERM WORKSHOPS AT HOXTON HALL

Unity Arts and Hoxton Hall will be delivering FREE half term workshops for 7-10s and 11-19s  at Hoxton Hall during the May Half Term.

The workshops called HACKNEY DISSENT  will run

Tuesday 28 – Friday 31 May from 1030 – 330

and include sessions in drama, movement, arts and performance poetry. We will finish the week with a performance for an invited audience.

All who come to the workshops will also be taken on a trip to Dr Johnson’s House in Fleet Street and all work made during the week will be included in a book in both printed and online versions and everyone will receive a copy.

If you would like to register for a FREE place please complete this form

HACKNEY DISSENT WORKSHOPS FORM

or contact Grace at Hoxton Hall grace@hoxtonhall.co.uk

 

NEWINGTON GREEN BIRTHDAY PARTY!

On 27 & 28 April 2019

we celebrated the 260th birthday of

Mary Wollstonecraft

The 27 April saw a small gathering on the site of the proposed Wollstonecraft statue in Newington Green. The weather was awful but we managed to sing Happy Birthday, shoot a short film and begin the work on the STEWY  installation for next year.


Our large outside event on 28 April saw over 130 people gathered in very windy and cold weather to have a birthday picnic on Newington Green with a small installation

A specialist talk from Professor Anna Birch

Singers from St Mary’s Community

Extracts from Wollstonecraft’s short stories for Children by one of the Hackney Pirates Young Writers group

Songs of Rebellion from Young Dissenters Choir

We all lit candles and sang Happy Birthday!

And we ALL ate CAKE!


It nearly rained on us but everyone was very cheerful, the Lizzy’s Café, Newington Green Action Group, Fragments & Monuments and Dr Jenny Littlewood were so supportive and we had a lot of additional sign up for the project .

We hope everyone learnt something about the wonderful woman Mary Wollstonecraft and we look forward to all the research, trips and workshops coming up.

NEXT EVENT –  HALF TERM WORKSHOPS AT HOXTON HALL!

Photos by Sharron Wallace

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

 

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!

SEPTEMBER IN SUTTON HOUSE

We have been invited to exhibit our young team’s work at Sutton House 6-8 September. Some examples here:

As part of this installation a Live Event DECONSTRUCT has been created. A Tudor Fashion show with a modern twist. Created by a small team of young women and designed by Nellie Noodle.

Limited spaces. Order your FREE tickets here!

DECONSTRUCT Live Event

DIGITAL OUTPUT TEAM Produce Shorts for Installation

The Digital Output Team have produced two short films for our installations and they can also be downloaded.

Shot in Hackney following Heritage Filmmaking Workshops earlier this year.

First showings at St Katharine Cree WOEFUL PUPPET installation.

Lady Jane Grey Psalm 51

Mary I The Roman Catholic Nicene Creed

Excerpts will also be included along with interviews with experts, still and moving images and a community scripted voiceover in our Documentary.

SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH

We held the launch of the Heritage Lottery funded WOEFUL PUPPET at St Mary’s Community Rooms in Hackney on 10 August. This project about the events that led to the execution of Lady Jane Grey attracted a lot of interest.

gwennie Jpoan Dor and Thom

We were so pleased with the wonderfully diverse turnout (especially as its the holidays) and that so many people signed up for trips and training to gain the skills to install heritage exhibitions at St Katherine Kree, Sutton House and the Tower of London.

We will also be producing a documentary, sub-titled interviews with experts, colour booklet and online educational materials.

Olivia and aud

It was also a first outing as presenter for our volunteer Olivia who is hoping to learn heritage skills such as research and archive training and also installation skills such as how to be a Live Exhibit.

As previously we will be holding other outreach events throughout the project.

If you were unable to attend and want more information email us at unityarts@hotmail.co.uk or contact us below.