Over the summer of 2021 Historic England will unofficially 'twin' towns, through a programme of creative commissions that see artists working with local people to uncover what they have in common.
The artworks will explore themes of identity as well as the communities’ collective hopes and challenges, culminating in a series of installations, performances and digital work. The artists and locations are:
- Ellie Shipman and Katy Hawkins will work in Keynsham and Bedford to explore the history of the two market towns through creative signage installations
- Freya Gabie will work with local people to celebrate the ceramic industries in Poole and Stoke-on-Trent
- Louise Fazackerley will create a film poem about Blackpool and Wigan’s shared history of dance
- Mooch will ask people in the coastal towns of Ramsgate and Ryde to create miniature models of buildings due to be regenerated
- Quiet Down There will delve into the stories of people visiting launderettes on South Norwood and Leicester high streets
- Unfolding Theatre will co-create 'high street duets' with people living in North Shields and Lancaster based on the shared history of shipping and what it means today
The artists were commissioned as part of the High Streets Heritage Action Zones Cultural Programme, led by Historic England.