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A new short film about our 2014 Cambridge University commission, 'Tomorrow, Today' edited by Neil Lenthall

Nice Wee Film

We spent a day a while ago with our new-to-us editor Neil Lenthall making this short from previously unseen footage of our 2014 public art commission at North West Cambridge (now christened 'Eddington', and inhabited by actual people and buildings too).

Enjoy and share!

Summer 2016 - with the NWC development encroaching on the horizon

DIGGING THE FUTURE (TOMORROW, TODAY)

As part of Cambridge's Festival of Ideas, we are working with Cambridge Archaeological Unit for this once-in-a-lifetime chance to smash up a bit of our art, at our invitation!

Saturday 22 October: 11:00am - 3:00pm

Gravel Hill Farm, Artist Studios, Madingley Rise Madingley Road, CB3 0FU

As part of the Prehistory and Archaeology Day, join professional archaeologists on a hands-on dig with a difference: Excavating a contemporary art work. The NW Cambridge outdoor sculpture 'Tomorrow, Today' by artists Karen Guthrie and Nina Pope was completed in 2014 with the help of many volunteers. Handbuilt from thousands of tons of soil excavated for the site's archaeological survey, the artwork will eventually be buried under the encroaching NW development. In the meantime, weather erosion has begun to reveal small artefacts in the sculpture's surface, that can be excavated and recorded for posterity - with your help. Expect to see worked flint, prehistoric pottery and more emerging as you learn about both this unique artwork and how to dig, identify and record artefacts.

(See www.somewhere.org.uk/projects/tomorrow_today for more)

Free places but book ahead here


(NB Equipment provided but wear outdoor clothes and bring along lunch etc)

Karen & Maria very muddy whilst working on 'Tomorrow, Today'

Bye bye Maria D

Our latest intern Maria has recently finished her post with us and wrote this little report. Whilst we don't offer formal internships, If you think you might be able to bring something to Somewhere as an intern do get in touch with us.

I’ve spent a very exciting few months working for Somewhere and now sadly it’s time to say goodbye. My tasks involved anything and everything from finding the copyright to a Winnie-the-Pooh sticker to digitising tapes to making cob buildings.

I’ve approached Karen when I started looking for an academically assessed internship in the creative industries as part of my Masters programme. Having met her at the Floating Cinema 2013 (which Somewhere curate and program) wrap-up party I remember thinking I wanted to find out more about the organisation; and I did just that. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the different experiences I took part in while working with Nina and Karen, which often provided a practical counterpart to my theoretical academic knowledge gained at lectures and seminars. Through helping out on a variety of tasks related to the now-almost-finished feature documentary The Closer We Get, I’ve learnt a great deal about the film industry: how laborious editing a film can be, especially when faced with hours of raw material if making a documentary; how bureaucratic the process is, with permissions and licenses for virtually anything; how expensive filmmaking is, partly due to the music and other rights fees.

If I had to choose my favourite memory, it would have to be the day spent in Cambridge on the NW Cambridge building site, where Somewhere were working on their Tomorrow, Today scale model. I learnt to operate a digger, found out how cob is made (part sand, part clay, part straw) and how strong a material it is, I got to get out of the city and breathe some fresh air while spending the day doing physical work, I met volunteers from various backgrounds brought together by their engagement in the project. For me, that’s what working in the arts is all about: you never know where the project might take you, what skills you will develop, and who you will meet. Finally, the idea behind the model is beautiful in its simplicity; it is the combination of past, present and future.

I wish Nina and Karen best of luck in their future endeavours and look forward to hearing about them (and watching the final cut of The Closer We Get).

Maria

The site for Tomorrow, Today a few weeks ago!

Roman Irrigation Anyone?

Prompted by this news piece today on more discoveries by the archaeology team we've been working with at North West Cambridge I thought I would post a bit more on the process that led us to Tomorrow, Today our big fat cob project we're currently recruiting for!

We have now been have been working as the artists in residence on the new NWC development site for almost a year and it has been a really fascinating chance to work alongside the archaeologists and become involved with the site in a very hands-on way. As we were part of the 'first wave' of artists to be appointed we felt quite keenly that we've been given a unique chance to look back at the history of site, to record its present condition and to try and imagine the future part of the city about to be built.

At the beginning of our residency we joined the team actually digging on site, this was a very muddy, extremely cold week but one we wouldn't have missed for the world! It gave us a chance to think about all these aspects of the project whilst engaged in a very literal way with the physical place. We were completely engaged with the process of the archaeology and caught up by the enthusiasm and expertise that surrounded us on the rather windswept moon-like landscape we were digging. Somehow the archaeologists were able to transport themselves (and us) back in time and really imagine how this part of Cambridge may have previously been 100's of years ago. Meanwhile in spite of lots of fly throughs, models and talks we seemed to be finding it very difficult to imagine what these muddy fields might look like even 5 years into the future.
This experience on the dig in many ways generated both of the projects we're now exploring - Prospection and Tomorrow, Today. Prospection is a proposal for a very long term repeated survey of the new site and tries to 'forward face' the on-going creation of an archive for the place. Tomorrow, Today engages with the present nature of the site, and the current unique archaeological access to the past that been revealed through the dig.
The work will be a large-scale (circa 80m in diameter), outdoor, sculptural model of the future development - which places scale replicas of all the planned streets and buildings right next to the archaeological dig on site. This 'model village of the future' will be hand-built on location using 'cob', a traditional, ecologically-sustainable material made primarily from the earth excavated in situ by the archaeologists. The artwork will remain in place for at least a year, before being buried beneath this new part of Cambridge for future archaeologists to discover!

We're very keen for others to enjoy the experience we've had on the site and so the project offers a unique opportunity to be part of building this sculpture. We are seeking individual members of the public, and formal or informal groups of adults who would like to learn the traditional craft of cob building and to use these skills to help construct the model during its 6-week build, working with the UK's leading cob experts. Each participant will be expected to commit 5 consecutive week days to the project, which will include expert training in cob, in-person guidance from us and hands-on practice creating the model itself. Facilities, tools, parking and refreshments will all be provided.

Participants should be 18 years of age or older, and aware that whilst cob building is a safe and easy-to-learn skill, taking part in the project does require a reasonable degree of physical stamina and is regrettably not suitable for participants with limited mobility.

Interested people and groups are encouraged to register their interest as early as possible - from now until Monday 31st March. Contact cob 'at' somewhere.org.uk for more info.

Some previous 'cob' material uncovered by the current excavations