One Summer in Swineshead (2014 – 15)

A project commissioned by Transported and supported by Creative People and Places funding from Arts Council England

The rural village of Swineshead in Lincolnshire falls within an area of England where participation in creativity and culture is significantly below the national average. This project was part of a larger programme delivered by Transported who experiment with radically different approaches to community engagement in Boston and South Holland, with the aim of developing inspiring and sustainable arts programmes.

In the early days of this project, it became apparent that to create something of value within the village I would need to be willing to fail. I was very aware that ‘parachuting’ into a community and expecting it to be instantly interested in what I had to offer was not the approach to take. ‘One Summer in Swineshead’ evolved out of an incubation period where ideas were tested, conversations were had, and trust was built.

The resulting project responded to a need for low barriers to participation; people could engage on their own terms, in their own time and could use a familiar form of creative expression. Twenty-Seven residents, recruited through the village’s FaceBook page, shared 9 disposable cameras and photo-logs to record and document their everyday lives over the course of one summer, creating a unique community photographic archive. Despite the project being initiated via social media, I was stuck by the opportunities it created in the ‘real world’ for friendships to be nurtured and stories to be shared, both of which were celebrated through a sense of collective pride in what had been achieved.

You can read more about One Summer in Swineshead here.

You can view a slideshow of images from this project here.