This July, Spike Island hosted a week-long summer school in Leigh Woods with a group of teenagers from Hartcliffe Club for Young People. The project was co-facilitated by artists Jack Young and Rebecca Beinart, and produced in partnership with Heart of BS13’s Climate Action Lead, Kirsty Hammond.
Through games, walks, drawing, foraging, building, body mapping, sound recording and more, the group explored their relationship to nature, and connections between the histories of Hartcliffe and the histories of Leigh Woods.
The week-long programme involved the creation of a zine (a DIY magazine) and a podcast based on their experiences, which will be produced and shared digitally across Spike Island and Heart of BS13’s online channels.
The summer school was part of The Body-Forest programme – a series of engagement activities and public events devised by Jack Young, recipient of the 2022 Spike Island Engagement Fellowship for South West-based Curators. The zine and podcast were shown as part of The Body-Forest closing event in December 2022.
The Body-Forest is a programme of engagement activities and public events devised by Jack Young, recipient of the 2022 Spike Island Engagement Fellowship for South West-based Curators. The programme explores how thinking of the body as an interconnected ecosystem rather than as a machine – a metaphor developed under capitalism – might shift the way we think about our human connection to the world. Drawing on the work of biologists Pierre Sonigo and Shrese, among others, The Body-Forest will include participatory workshops, discussions, radical history walks, reading groups and more. The programme will interrogate how the concept of the Body-Forest might de-centre the human, and change the way we think about time, language, desire and community in an age of overlapping social and ecological crises.
Jack Young is an artist and participatory educator living in Bristol. He writes experimental fiction and non-fiction with a focus on queer ecologies, and his hybrid chapbook URTH will be published by Big White Shed in 2022. He co-hosts the literary podcast Tenderbuttons. As an educator, he works with young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds, developing arts-based critical pedagogy with a particular emphasis on multilingual filmmaking, applied theatre and creative writing. He has worked with schools and institutions in Barcelona and London including MACBA, Institut Moisès Broggi, Royal Academy of Arts, Horniman Museum, Tate and Gasworks. Jack is the recipient of the 2022 Spike Island Engagement Fellowship for South West-based Curators. www.jackmyoung.net
Rebecca is an independent artist, educator and curator who explores socially engaged and place-based practice. She currently works as the Engagement Curator at Primary, an artist-led contemporary visual arts organisation in Nottingham. Rebecca uses creative workshops and public dialogue to reflect on collective histories and futures, social and environmental justice, knowledge-making, and the politics of public space. She has working with diverse communities in different settings; and developing collaborations across disciplines. Recent projects and commissions include: Desire Lines (2020-21) a Trust New Art commission for Crow Park in the Lake District; Correpondences (2020-21) with Katy Beinart, exhibited online with Five Years gallery and at Jewish Museum London; Urban Antibodies, research supported by Arts Council England and Wellcome Trust, and a residency at ZK/U Berlin (2017-19); and Jerwood Open Forest exhibition at Jerwood Space, London (2016). rebeccabeinart.info
Heart of BS13 works across the life course, mobilising children, young people and adults towards better health. In a community where health inequalities impact significantly on life chances, Heart of BS13 act to challenge food insecurity, improve the environment and address physical and mental health concerns in the area. heartofbs13.org.uk