Doing Socially Engaged Art projects
You may have read in the ‘5 things I’ve learnt about Art’ post that manure is a really useful anti-vandalism devise. The straw bale planters (as featured in the photo) were left untouched because of the smell. It’s true.
I’ve done a number of socially engaged art projects and participated / worked with others on projects. And have noticed that there are a number of factors for engagement to take place
- the artist(s) must make themselves available to listen to the local community.
- it’s a relationship with the local community and sometimes it gives the community a chance to take risks that they’d never have the opportunity to take otherwise. This takes courage for all parties.
- the artist(s) needs to be willing to be flexible and allow the possibility that their ideas may need to move in directions they may not want them to go in.
- the only failure is the failure to learn something
- there needs to be a lot of time allowed to build relationships
- it’s a delicate balance to provide opportunites to engage, encouraging engagement and letting participants find their own ways to engage
The opportunity to do socially engaged art is a wonderful experience. It is usually challenging and enlightening but overall, really fun!