Award 1: Creative Electric's NO PLACE FOR HATE
Our first grant was made in November 2020 to Creative Electric.
In response to white supremacist, xenophobic graffiti appearing across their local area, Creative Electric worked with the community to spell out that there's NO PLACE FOR HATE IN LEITH in a thousand white flowers and put it up on New Year's Day.
"In keeping with our company ethos we wanted to work with our community to respond to the attack. Artcry's rapid response funding allowed us to work quickly to engage our local community to create a strong installation with a big impact in the heart of Leith" - Heather Marshall
Installation Facts & Figures:
3000 white foamflowers.
Five crew members.
Five flasks of hot chocolate.
Temperature of -1.
3 hours to install.
"I was heartened to see a wee bit of solidarity appear on Leith Walk" - viewer
The work was designed to grow with members of the community creating their own flower to add to the installation over time. Activity packs were distributed via the Multicultural Family Base where they were also translated into Arabic, Pilmeny Development Centre, I Love Leith and streetwork. Worksheets were sent to all the primary schools in Leith reaching 500+ pupils.
Creative Electric are particularly aware of the impact lockdown, social distancing and home schooling has had on local families. Leith is an area which experiences high levels of digital poverty which has meant that for many children online learning isn't an option. Others are simply zoomed out. So they wanted to provide families with physical, practical resources that would inspire both creativity and discussions around equality and diversity.
Hear from Heather about her experience of making the piece:
We decided on an activity pack so families could make their own positive flowers and provided all the materials they'd need including a variety of colours of paper, scissors, stickers, pens and the ever essential sticky dots. Kerry Stewart designed a brilliant worksheet with accessible illustrations detailing how to make the flowers.
Whilst we had made plans with initial project partners December's lockdown hit us hard - many of the organisations we had planned to partner with had to focus on getting meals and living essentials to families. Others had staff furloughed.
Whilst we like to think art is essential it realistically isn't a first priority for anyone during a pandemic. And so we sent emails to let our partners and local organisations know we were there when they were ready and gave ourselves and our community time to breathe.
Over that time we continued to visit 'the wall' every few days, patch up letters that had fallen foul to the weather and chat with people about the installation. We taped a folder of the No Place for Hate worksheets to the wall with a sign encouraging people to take one and create their own flower. We posted in local community facebook groups. Tweeted. And followed the Leith hashtag on twitter.
Slowly as the weather got better and people began to settle into lockdown we began to see flowers appear. We received requests from organisations, families and individuals for activity packs. Our local press picked up on the story and reported that Creative Electric were supplying free art materials for Edinburgh families.
We received more requests than we could deal with.
A local organisation, Bare Branding, reached out to us with a fundraising idea - they offered to print facemasks with the No Place for Hate in Leith logo for cost price so that we could sell them and raise additional funds. So that's what we're currently doing. We'll keep supplying activity packs as long as we keep receiving requests.
With each pack we send out our message spreads, the flowers are growing and the wall is looking glorious!"
The artwork was created by Creative Electric:
Lead Artist & Community Engagement: Heather Marshall
Producer: Helen McIntosh
Designer: Ab Stuart
"What excited us about connecting with Artcry was that they offered the opportunity to create art that responds in real time to what is happening in our community. We knew that when the original False Idols work was vandalised we wanted to respond to the vandalism as opposed to covering it up. We believe that art should provoke reactions and stimulate conversations. NO Place For Hate aims to do that whilst signposting to local organisations that can provide support for anyone affected by the works themes. Artcry have supported us to do that quickly, imaginatively and in a way that involves the whole community." - Heather Marshall
We are really proud of supporting this fantastic project, we love watching it grow week by week and seeing the solidarity and joy it is bringing.