Some rough notes made while looking after the exhibition

I’ve been at the exhibition all week and these are my observations.

Peoples response to the work

I've had lots of conversations with people. Themes that had come up include:

  • There are so many good things happening here in Whitehawk.

  • Delight that this is happening here.  A youth club has been turned into a gallery.

  • Surprise when walking in the door, about the way the work has been hung

  • Lots of conversations about the perception of Whitehawk.

  • Outsiders talk about the myth-the things they have heard about the area. Most don't have first hand experience of the area.

  • Locals talk about this negative perception with a tone of resignation.

I've had a few Council officials in and most have been friendly. I think this is the case for all the official services struggling to know what to do with Whitehawk.  They all look at projects like this and think, ’how do we use this, how do we make this look like part of our work’.

So perception is a big theme.

I’m interested in how that perception effects everything including how support/art/culture is delivered here.

What this project has shown is that local people can and want to do more.

It goes back to the comment I made at the City Culture Strategy day. Why is there barely anyone in the room from the outlying areas-and where is the roadmap to change that?

About the exhibition itself

What has worked?

  • The launch was brilliant, a good mix of people, but there could have been more locals.

  • The hanging-visually it worked well - people could interact with it.

What could have been better?

  • I wish I'd created a way to capture something from visitors other than the audio recordings.

  • I wish we'd thought more about local people coming - but that is a work in progress that goes beyond this small project.

  • I wish I'd thought more about why people don’t come to these things- what barriers are there.

  • I wish I'd created some professional sessions where workers and interested parties could have taken part in workshops and heard more about the process.

  • I wish I'd got schools involved.

Next steps

  • WV two-what is it?

  • What happens with Vol 1

  • online

  • Books

  • Manual + book

  • evaluation

  • writing-blog post