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Pass it On

Various artists

2009 – 2010

Support and development for young and emerging artists working in participatory practice or creating socially engaged work.

Artsadmin identified eleven emerging artists who received time, space, mentoring and funding to push their participatory practice to the next level, working with a range of groups across London. Artsadmin provided them with professional development workshops as well as one-to-one support in the creation and realisation of their projects. The group of cultural practitioners were paired with mentors who make some of the most recognised and experienced artists making live or socially engaged work today.

Pass it on was funded by a Creative and Cultural Skills Award from LDA managed by Arts Council England.

Artists and Projects

Rui Rodrigues Voices of Hartley
Mentored by Faisal Abdu Allah
Rui devised and delivered a four month project working with Hartley Youth Centre In East Ham. He and the group worked together creating a documentary film entitled Voices of Hartley charting their aspirations and ways they will accomplish them. Rui bought in experts who offered a range of workshops including break dancing and video editing as well as visiting off-site break dancing events in East London and at the Barbican. 

Since the project Rui has gained a level youth worker qualification and now works part time at the centre. His experiences have also been shared as part of PhD research on engaging with at risk young people.

Jenny Greensted
Mentored by Staci Makishi
Jenny delivered a series of workshops about interaction and performance to students from Lewisham 6th Form College. She worked collectively with the group to create a life size board game that introduced young people interested in experimental theatre to ways of devising and creating work.

Jenny continues to work with children and emerging artists as a facilitator for art and drama classes.

Elen Jones Good God It Breaks Your Heart
Mentored by Serena Korda
Elen spent two weeks at Poplar Day Centre working with the centre’s elderly daily visitors. She organised and facilitated a range of workshops that included making taste maps (linking foods to memories from the past) and creative writing and spoken word pieces based on the participants’ memories of their first homes. The workshops culminated in a community exhibition at the centre showcasing the outcomes of the project. A book entitled Good God It Breaks Your Heart was printed using the images and writing created by the participants.

Joanne Matthews They Said It Was Just Like Margate
Mentored by Lottie Leedham
For Joanne’s project, the Bandstand in Victoria Park was taken over by colorful seaside nostalgia, inspired by the memories of its lifelong residents and pictorial history. The event revisited some of the park’s much missed landmarks. They Said It Was Just Like Margate was inspired by memories from park users, residents and rangers and delving into the Hackney and Tower Hamlets archives.

I LOVED the human donkey ride, I thought the day was just perfect. Visitor

Priyesh Mistry Alight Here
Mentored by Sally Tallent
Alight Here was a collaborative project by Priyesh Mistry and the Platform 1 Gallery. Priyesh took up a two-week residency in the gallery with the aim of creating an installation based on experimentation with the space and the social interaction of the station. The installation then existed in the space and was open to further collaborations with poets, artists, writers, craftsman, thinkers, where they were able to respond to the space and thus providing a new situation to showcase their work. During these two weeks, the gallery offered itself as a destination, a reason to alight at the station, renewing the interest in the gallery space, celebrating the end of its winter hibernation and introducing the spring/summer programme.

Hana Tait The Archive of Knowing
Mentored by Catriona Scott
Hana created a six-week arts project at Acland Burghley School for Year 10 students studying for more than one arts GCSE. The aim of the project was to explore ways of using everyday knowledge and experience as a springboard for creativity.

Over a series of workshops the group gathered their collective knowledge – these included images, memories, movements, sounds, feelings, colours etc. The activities drew on ‘Live Art’ approaches and processes to make work. Participants were encouraged to respond to exercises using their individual creativity. They collectively explored how everyday objects and experiences can hold a wealth of meaning and how this transfers into a new arts practice.

I’m really impressed by your methods. It’s giving me ideas for my own arts practice. Teacher

I’ve seen increased confidence in my students who have worked on the project. They have [more confidence] in their ability to work independently in art class. Teacher

I knew it was going to be interesting when, in the first workshop, I accidentally smashed a light bulb and instead of telling me to sweep it up you told me to work with it. Participant

It was really interesting to hear about the different artists and all the sorts of different work they do- like making ‘zines and interactive performances. It’s made me want to go and see Live Art and get more involved… [in art events]. Participant

Carly Halse Cabaret and the Classroom
Mentored by Marissa Carnesky
Carly’s project, Moonlighting: a monologue in three parts, was created through a process of discussion and exploration with women who have what are considered ‘normal’ jobs by day (teachers, nurses, office assistants), but perform as their burlesque alter-egos at night. Taking its inspiration from their real-life stories, the monologue explores the meaning of living a double-life, the difficulties in maintaining a secret identity and whether those identities should be kept secret at all. Performed in three separate parts, ‘Blank Blankerson’ leads you through her double-life filled with amusing and truthful anecdotes, giving a voice to those who feel pressured to keep their burlesque alter-egos a secret.

Giles Bunch Get Better Soon
Mentored by Harold Offeh
Giles created a programme that encouraged interaction and artwork to take place between hospital radio volunteers and workers and patients at Barnet Hospital. Giles met with orderlies, patients and volunteers and created radio broadcasts based on their information and interactions. The outcomes included game shows “What’s In The Doctors Pocket?” and impromptu Bob Marley sing offs. Giles also gave practical workshops to the hospital staff in how to use specialised radio equipment.

You know what, I’ve never been in this studio before and to be honest it’s…how do you put it? Like a rush to the head. Participant

Richard Kightley Permanence
Mentored by Ron Athey
Richard collaborated with tattoo artist Matt Houston at Sydenham Tattoo Parlour. What started as a drunken conversation about mapping your life through drawings evolved into a relationship and mutual interest was created.

Richard spent five weeks with Matt filming, photographing and talking to punters about the stories behind their tattoos. He brought some of the contributors into the rehearsal studio to collectively write a script that pulled together a range of heart warming and heart wrenching narratives.

Permanence was performed in the Court Room at Toynbee Studios followed by an after show discussion, again involving many of the participants from the Tattoo Shop.

The whole experience extremely insightful and educational, I gained an experience and further knowledge about Live Art as well as (on a personal level) expanding my creative boundaries. I never knew quite how powerful this kind of work could be, I was captivated! I consider myself lucky to have been part of this experience and the adrenaline of putting a performance together. I also gained a good friend and I met some great people along the way. Collaborator (Tatoo Artist)

We went on a wild ride. Mentor (Ron Athey)

Phoebe Davies What is Live Art?
Mentored by Anna Lopez Du La Torres
Phoebe led a series of live art workshops at Leyton 6th Form College, giving participants an introduction to what live art is and how it can be used as a medium to make artwork. She also offered arts career advice and the opportunity for students to build on their current portfolio.

Since taking part in the project participants have gone on to perform with You Me Bum Bum Train and continue to engage with Artsadmin’s educational and creative programme.

The project increased my profile as an artist educator, which has lead to other arts organisation enquiring about me leading similar participatory workshops. This has also led to a 1 year residency with Whitechapel Gallery and Hackney Bridge Academy. Phoebe Davies

I look at art in a different way, I thought that art was all about drawing and painting and know I see it can be a lot more interesting and you can interact with people. Participant

It’s been wicked, the second time we did the workshop I told my mum I’ve got a new career – Live Art. Participant

The group have been brilliant and they are a lot more vocal than they usually are in their normal classes, I’m finding that really useful in getting ideas for my own teaching, and loosening it up a bit, just trying to get more from them. Teacher

Laura Milness The Circuit Project
Mentored by Nic Green
The Circuit Project was a programme that gave aspiring theatre practitioners a chance to expand upon their skills and collaborate with others to create live performance. Three participants wrote, directed and performed each other’s work and 14 more young collaborators joined them as performers, designers and technicians. Months of rehearsal and development resulted in performances at Artsadmin’s Arts Bar & Café and BAC. The aim of the project was to encourage individuals to test out their ideas and develop their existing talents, giving young people interested in creating performance the opportunity to investigate the potential of presenting New Writing for performance in unconventional and non-theatre spaces. It introduced them to the challenges and possibilities of Site-Responsive performance and urged them to work to a highly professional standard. Laura hopes to continue The Circuit Project in the near future.

Since I left university two years ago, I haven’t really done anything about becoming a writer or director. I have found it hard to find the right opportunities and tend to think that the ranks of theatre are a little closed to me. This project gave me the chance to do something about my recent apathy and I could applied myself to the process, learning a lot about my own interests, my abilities and where I need to do some more work on developing myself. Now that I have got back in the saddle, I will continue to write and find places to stage my work. The project has given me the confidence to do so. Participant


A key part of the success of Pass It On was due to the time and attention the mentors paid to their mentees. The artist mentors were selected through conversation and research with participants and support from Artsadmin. The mentoring ensured not only high quality outcomes but guaranteed  that the engagement and process was delivered with respect and with the participants needs where met.