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Summer School 2007-2009

Photo by Nicola Dracoulis
2007 – 2009

The Artsadmin Summer School was a chance for people new to live art and performance to be immersed in process based learning for a month in a stimulating, creative and supportive environment.

Artsadmin invites an artist to curate and facilitate the Summer School for a three year cycle. The artsist not only collaborates with young people but works with them on an equal basis developing their own ideas and skills alongside the participants. This provides a space that encourages experimentation and freedom within a participatory practice.

2007-2009 saw Mem Morrison work with a range of young practitioners on themes of identity, belonging and culture based around spaces in the newly redeveloped Toynbee Studios.

Many of the participants have continued to work with Artsadmin as part of the youth board or youth advisory network developing and delivering projects and events for other young and emerging artists.

The Court Room (2007)

Based in the Court Room at Toynbee Studios the group rediscovered the past of this unique space that was one of the first  juvenile courts in the UK, a place for young people to be tried as minors for their crimes.

The group worked with the Metropolitan Archives and the British Library to develop a work that brought these personal stories to life.

From the Top (2008)

The group worked for four weeks discovering architectural treasures and personal stories of people that could be seen from the windows of the Steve Whitson Studio. The project saw reflective writing animated and accompanied by dancers, violinists and pianists. For the final performance bundles of clothes fell elegantly outside the windows and hundreds of orange balloons were released as participants drew the East London they had experienced on the panoramic windows.

Private View (2009)

Private View played with tropes of the theatre. From the curtain call and the encore to the relationship between “actor” and “audience”. The group brought their personal experiences and reflections to the piece in order to re-appropriate expectations and usages of the theatre space.

Brave artistic and personal development.

I feel extremely lucky to have been part of the summer school. It stands out as one of the most remarkable things I have ever done. I have never been asked to work so hard at being myself.

I have experienced, touched, felt, tasted, seen, slept and lived entirely new ways of working.

Participating in the summer school was an entirely positive experience for me, and I feel it has opened many doors for me to explore within my own work.

A lot of the ideas and exercises we were taught on the summer school I now use in my course. It has really helped my focus and contributed to my way of working.

I have never been so proud of anything I have ever done before.

Photo by Nicola Dracoulis