Set up as part of London 2012, and producing and commissioning socially engaged projects in east London for the past five years, Create London have been working to spread the benefits of being home to Europe's largest cultural quarter to the people who live in east London. Despite having the highest concentration of artists and creative businesses in Europe, east London has remarkably low levels of cultural engagement and remains one of the most deprived parts of the UK. Create London, which is sponsored by Deutsche Bank, has worked for the past five years to bridge the traditional divisions of class, culture, education and social background between the creative community and local people.
By commissioning major projects, attracting new audiences and working in partnership to profile the cultural life of the area, Create London has played a vital role in the continued economic regeneration of east London. In recognition of this work, and Create London’s central role in the success in east London of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival, the organisation has been commissioned by Glasgow 2014 to transform a derelict site in vicinity of the Emirates Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in the east end of Glasgow with a permanent artwork as part of VELOCITY.
For Making the Most of Dalmanock, Create London and Assemble, a practice of artists, designers and architects, will work with local children and the wider community to create a new outdoor area that can be used for play and learning. VELOCITY is a partnership between Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Council, Creative Scotland and Clyde Gateway Urban Regeneration Company which aims to link citywide creative activity to communities through a public art programme.
Taking inspiration from alternative education practice and with a focus on the child’s role in the community, Create London and Assemble will create a new playground which will work as an outdoor classroom where children learn through exploration, experimentation and play. Local children will be collaborators in the development of the space and Assemble, together with the students of the First Steps Future Skills Centre, will develop a series of high quality and permanent improvements to the space. Whilst focused on play, the space will offer amenity to adults and elderly people as well as children.
Ruth Mackenzie, board member of Create London and former Director of the London 2012 Festival & Cultural Olympiad, said: “It’s a fantastic legacy of London 2012 that Create London is recongised for commissioning great artists to deliver projects that bring social and economic benefits to local communities. The commission for Glasgow will take this model to a national level and I would congratulate Hadrian Garrard and the whole Create London team for their success.”
Hadrian Garrard, Director, Create London, said: “We’re very proud that our model for commissioning artists and producers to deliver art projects which really connect with communities has been recognised and we can take this model forward to work in Glasgow working with our long term collaborators Assemble. Create London always looks to demonstrate the social and economic benefits of art, and this project is an ambitious example of that.”
Create London’s 2013 programme includes producing the Open East Festival; a weekend of family arts celebration to celebrate the first anniversary of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games and taking place in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park co-produced with the Barbican, a series of screenings of classic Alfred Hitchcock films in unusual places across the London borough where Hitchcock was born - Waltham Forest, a new artist residency with Chisenhale Gallery which will sees artist Edward Thomasson work with untrained actors from east London to develop a live performance this summer, a ‘School of the Imagination’ in east London as part of the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Create Art Award 2013, and the opening of Open School East this September - a non- fee paying art school and communal space set up to facilitate the sharing of knowledge, skills and collaborative opportunities between artists, local residents and neighbourhood organisations in the heart of East London.
Create London have commissioned major projects for 2013 including new interactive theatre production Bank On It which opens up the world of economics to children and is co-commissioned with the Barbican, bringing Imelda Staunton, Toby Jones and the Royal Court to an east London community centre to perform Mirror, Circle, Transformation, the opening of Blackhorse Workshop; a place where local residents, artists, designers and DIY-ers can make, mend and learn in Waltham Forest, a new digital interactive film and performance commission from Hannah Perry called Have A Nice Day, a series of commissions for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in partnership with The Architecture Foundation called Emerging East Commissions, The Paper Architect; a site specific theatre performance and workshop series co-commissioned with the Barbican which explores the craft of paper cutting and video projections, and the Create London Talks Programme which will provide an opportunity to examine some of the issues and possibilities of working in the public domain for artists, curators, funders and audiences alike.
The programme is underpinned by Create Jobs, which provides mentoring, support and paid employment opportunities for local young people.
Find out more information about Create London visit www.createlondon.org.