2014 kicked off rather splendidly for us at top
speed with our Indiegogo crowd funding campaign for our film
'The Closer We
Get', which raised over 15k from 333 of you. It's
still hard for us to believe how generously the project has been
supported (some of you even coughed up way after the campaign
ended, gently into our Paypal account :-)) - everyone says it, but
there's nothing like crowdfunding to remind you how important and
rewarding it is to connect with your audience - it was great to
hear from so many of you i in person. And it's wonderful to reach
the end of the year with the film at long, long last 'in the can'
with the additional support of Splice in London on post-production. We
look forward to an as-yet-to-be-confirmed festival premiere in 2015
and then to lots of screenings to share with you.
Taking part in May's 'Science, Stroke, Art'
season in Manchester with the Stroke Association (thanks,
Chris Larkin) was also a highlight this year - a panel of stroke
medical professionals, survivors and carers watched our rough cut
of 'The Closer We Get' and then Wellcome
Engagement Fellow Dr Erinma Ochu lead a fantastic
workshop discussing issues raised in the film and how to develop
these into outreach ideas that will ensure the widest possible
audience for the film.
It was an outdoorsy year for Somewhere too - Abbey Gardens (which we
designed nearly 6 years ago now!) continues to flourish and
The Friends Group is about to grow into a CIO (that's a charitable
incorporated organisation for those not in the know!) through the
hard work of the members, trustees and patient new administrator
Vicki Lewis. Do pay a visit if you find yourself
in east London in 2015 - it's so much more than a garden.
In 2014 we also made what is probably our most ambitious public
art commission to date - Tomorrow, Today (working with
InSite Arts and the Contemporary Art Society on the NW Cambridge
development of Cambridge University). It's a large-scale outdoor
cob (earth) megapolis which after a year or so will be buried under
the new development, a gift for future archaeologists to uncover.
The project attracted over 50 volunteer cobbers who learned to cob
under guru Kate Edwards and worked in all weathers
to help build this spectacular and unworldly piece with us.
Unofficially you can still
visit on foot, but keep it under your hat :-)
Not content with Tomorrow, Today as an 'output' from our
residency with the Cambridge Archaeological Unit
(led by the inspiring and charmingly hirsute Chris
Evans) we kicked off what aims to be a 25 year project in
Cambridge too - Prospection (yep, in it for the
long game - see you in 2040 for the retrospective). This is another
archaeology-related project, this time surveying the inhabitation
of NWC as it progresses from 'Year 0' (that was 2014 and 2
Portakabins) to 'Year 25' (apparently some 13,000 homes). We made a
'Year 0' prototype with a wonderful group of archaeologists, a
sociologist and various others which we exhibited at Kettles
Summer also saw the return of the Floating
Cinema to London's canals, which we work on with the
brilliant Up Projects. This
year our 'International' theme had us working closely with partners
Jihlava and Ambulante Film Festivals and the Centre for Chinese
Contemporary Art. We watched a helluva lot of screeners to select
our programme of powerful feature films, and also enjoyed planning
some left-field events with the likes of Robert Elms, the Esperanto
Society and Kieron Tyler. We even squeezed a dumpling-making
In 2015 we take the FC project outside of London for the first
time, along the Kennet & Avon canal to Bristol
so do watch this space for
updates on that and get in touch if you have an idea for what we
should think about doing along that route next summer.
Recommendations for ice cream venues welcome obvs.
We had some awesome people working with us this year, and we'd
especially like to flag up the talented Kirsten
Lavers (cob coordinator on Tomorrow, Today), our Cambridge
cooks Al and Cindy (keeping
cobbers well fed), Kettles Yard show designer Koby
Barhad, and Maria Duvidzon (intern) - the
latter remained unphased by swathes of odd tasks from 'find us a
native Amharic speaker' to 'check that this Scottish folk song is
not in copyright'. On 'The Closer We Get'
we've continued to reel in the face of the wonder that is editor
Alice Powell (she cuts, she bakes - is there
nothing she can't do?) and a delight to work with a sound designer
for the first time - Doug Haywood - and to hear
Malcolm Middleton's consistently inspired film
score emerging. We know you'll love the result.
Our mini-retrospective at Cambridge's Kettles
Present, Somewhere' attracted over 8300 visitors over 3 months,
and we welcomed many old and new friends and collaborators to the
latest in our once-every-six-years gallery career. Marie
France Kittler of Kettles Yard deserves a special mention
for her unwavering patience in the face of our films, pickles, old
clothes and faux Tudor pottery.
The past few months of 2014 have seen a few very interesting
speculative invites from Nice People We Might Work With in
the Future. We always enjoy these escapades into the
unknown. Visits have included the awe-inspiring World of Glass in
St Helens (vast range of exhibits, very good ham sandwich in cafe),
the high-Victorian wonder that is the Harris
Museum (Preston) and a patch of land in the former Olympic
Many of you are keeping in touch with us via social media too
which we love to see - we've somehow gathered over 100 new
Likers on Facebook this year and have just launched an
occasional Instagram feed buoyed on by the
encouragement of Andrew "I just do beauty on
Instagram!" Nairne from Kettles Yard, who says
it's mainly him and Bedwyr Willliams in there. So say hello if you
are there too.
Lastly we were very sad to hear this year of the death of
Joan James, a great friend to Somewhere and an
amazingly vibrant and positive woman. Joan was one of the East
Tilbury passengers very much at the heart of our first film
'Bata-ville: We are not afraid
of the future'.
Thank you all for your interest in us and what we do. It means
more than we let on, really it does, so all the best to you and
yours over the festive season, and see you in 2015 for more of this
sort of thing,
Karen & Nina xx