1. Spaces can be supportive or unsupportive of different activities. The space(s) you work in and how you engage with it needs careful consideration. Working in different spaces can open up new possibilities.
> See how we reflected on the exhibition we had visited in the gallery at Grace Eyre (link to week 2)
'It was great to visit Grace Eyre’s space, it added a different energy and it was interesting to be hosted rather than being hosts, and I liked remembering the exhibitions with another location/from a different place.'
2. Smaller groups may work better in public spaces and when people first meet each other. Consider visiting galleries in small groups to make it a calmer experience, reduce noise levels and give people space and time to view the exhibits. Working in small groups at the start of the project can also make it easier to engage with new people:
‘Working in a few small groups was a really good idea that created intimate zones allowing individuals to gradually get to know students and to create connection between them without feeling overwhelmed by too many faces around.’
3. Consider how you set up and dress the room to create an invitation. Atmosphere, intrigue and a sense of being somewhere else can be achieved through small changes in lighting, sound, the introduction of materials, projections and how the room is set up. The arrangement of tables and seating can provide different opportunities for interaction and frame the activities.
> See how CCA gallery assistants set up the room in week 4 with a large table set for a dinner party and a large projection of the artwork that inspired it. (link to week 4)
‘I like this picture because Billie Zangewa joined us for dinner with her artwork’
‘Blank table waiting to be filled full of potential possibilities’
4. Spaces may affect the level of assistance people with support needs require. People in support roles may need to support people more when they are moving around the venue or in more public spaces. Consider building in parts of each session where the space supports people and enables support workers to participate in the creative activities.
5. Be aware that some spaces hold power and are not easily accessible to all, and galleries and universities can be such places. Welcoming people into the space, exploring it together, discussing and making art about it can support people to feel it is for them and can be an important opportunity to develop new understandings of a place.
> See a drawing by a member of staff at the CCA gallery made with a participant from Grace Eyre as they discussed what their lanyard and keys were for and what they could access with them. (link to week 1)
6. Provide opportunities to move around and explore spaces. Going for walks and collecting things you find or documenting things of interest can allow people to notice, discuss and share opinions about places, and they may become inspiration for artworks. Moving around the space can also provide opportunities to mix with different people in the group and meet a need for movement that some people may have.
> See a photograph was taken by a participant from Grace Eyre during a walk around the university grounds. (link to week 3)
‘I love this photo taken by Mark. The calmness of the rippling water reminds me of the workshop that took place in the university gardens. Seeing Mark energised and inspired by his surroundings was quite a joy.’