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Typecast is a global project working with members of the community who are going through a recovery process from substance misuse. The project initiative has been running for two years, taking place in the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Turkey. The aim of the project has been to facilitate recovery and rehabilitation into participant’s lives without addiction, through the medium of contemporary clay and material exploration.

Delivered at Manchester School of Art, my colleague and I, Jenny Walker, were asked to lead the Manchester strand of this project. We found ourselves working with wonderful people who were so inquisitive about the world and the situations we facilitated for them. We have seen some absolutely stunning work evolve out of personal narratives and stories of both past and future. See the blog written by our wonderful 3DD Student Assistants.

‘The Recovery of things’ – Jenny Walker and Elle Simms in Collaboration with 6 participants from LifeLine Manchester

We feel it’s very important to value where you are, what you can learn about yourself and the world from your own back yard, and above all that interest and beauty can be found in unexpected places.

Our project included a heritage walk in Ancoats, a UNESCO world heritage site historically the site of over-crowding, deprivation and social issues – addiction is not just a contemporary phenomenon!…

Urban decay sits alongside gentrification, evidence of former lives and histories are juxtaposed with new development, progress, new life and future direction. Participants were asked to become urban archaeologists, given finds bags, labels and gloves, they were encouraged to find objects, places and spaces they identified with, documenting, recording, even drawing along the way.

We then went to the Whitworth Art Gallery and viewed Cornelia Parker’s retrospective exhibition, participants were immediately able to see connections between her symbolic transformation of materials and the potential for their own project. A sense of place was constantly explored through Parker’s work that allowed the group to see how they might approach their personal projects.

We would like to especially thank our student assistants, who without them, we would have struggled to deliver the project and see such fantastic results. See our project on the MMU News page – http://www.mmu.ac.uk/news/news-items/3565/

 

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