Sep 272010

We had a marvelous time at the 2010 Village Green in Southend last weekend. Organised by Metal Culture and now in its third year, Village Green is an incredibly lively and diverse festival that celebrates the arts, culture and community. We don’t know what the body count was this year, but last year’s VG drew a whopping 20,000 people to its one-day extravaganza.

For this year’s VG, we devised a new interactive installation titled Space To Dream. The idea is simple: we invited passers-by into our 3x3m marquee and asked them to leave us a piece of a dream they’d had, whether the night before or from years ago. It might be only a fragment–a word, an image, an idea–or it might be an entire story. We provided some very simple kit for our dreamers to write, draw, make, stick and create any version of their dream piece they saw fit.

Our aim was collect as many dream fragments as possible during our day-long stint and we collected hundreds, from children and adults, residents and visitors. The result was a marvelously messy collage of ideas and images that was by turns uplifting, haunting, cryptic, funny and contemplative. We were thrilled that many of our morning dream leavers came back in the afternoon to see how it’d all turned out. Check out this Flickr link for a flavour of what transpired on the day.

Space To Dream was a riff on our most recent project in Southend, Space To Learn, which explored non-traditional teaching and learning spaces in the community. Ideas about how we can re-see spaces and places link both projects, but they’re also about how new vistas open up when we give ourselves the freedom to try something new, whether in a classroom or at a festival. A simple idea, and yet like all simple ideas sometimes requiring a bit of bravery to put into practice. We thank all of our Space to Dreamers for taking the leap last weekend.

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