1000 years ago, Great Yarmouth was no more than a 7-mile sandbank at the mouth of a large estuary. Today it is home to circa 100,000 people, all of whom are either descended from migrants or are migrants themselves. ‘Island’ is a community-driven visual arts project, led by local artists Kevin Hunn and Charlotte Dickens, and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which will uncover, and celebrate, Yarmouth’s long and rich migration history, a much-neglected aspect of this town’s diverse social and cultural heritage.
The project begins with a research phase (Jan-March 2018), led by Dr Jeannette Baxter at Anglia Ruskin University, in which a citizen researcher group will identify and research 20 local characters or families and their settlement stories. Kevin and Charlotte will respond to these stories by producing clay models, which they will present and discuss with local schoolchildren in heritage-sharing sessions.
Between April-July 2018, Kevin Hunn and Charlotte will work with local schools and a range of community groups in the production of clay models based on the participants’ family stories of migration. These family stories will also be video recorded and reproduced in the project E-book.
The project culminates in a week-long exhibition of 100+ clay models on a 7-metre sandbank at Great Yarmouth Library. The exhibition will include displays of stories, video interviews, and audio recordings. Nearby, visitors will be able to contribute by sharing their stories on postcards, and by participating in clay-modelling and video-recording workshops with Kevin and Charlotte.
The final day of the exhibition will host a ‘Heritage Celebration Feast’ at the Library; all participants will be invited to bring a signature ‘family’ dish, and family recipes will be collected in the project E-book.
We will be posting updates on this exciting and important project as they happen. If you would like to know more about the project, please email: Jeannette.Baxter@anglia.ac.uk