Image Credit: Copyright © Hank & Margot

A Reflection from Fleetwood on Loss, gains and intentions

Living through a global pandemic has meant a lot of change for people across society.  What that has looked and felt like is different for each of us. When you speak with most people, their experience has not been static, nor one note. However, broad themes that have emerged have largely focused on three areas; the losses that people have experienced, the benefits or advances that some have gained, and, the hopes and intentions that people wish to carry forward for themselves, their families, communities or the environment.

TRANSPORTED is an enchanting three-day outdoor arts event (16-18th July) hosted by SpareParts and set on the stunning Fleetwood coastline. It includes In Memoriam by Internationally renowned artist Luke Jerram, a newly commissioned sound artwork incorporating reflections from local residents, daily opening and closing ceremonies and a community installation piece called Flag-Up.

Following so much isolation, TRANSPORTED creates a collective event and opportunity for people to gather safely together, whilst giving time and space for people to explore and reflect upon the diverse lived-experiences of others from their community.

Background to TRANSPORTED

SpareParts was born and bred in Fleetwood in 2014. Originally it was a partnership project between the Creative Project and People’s programme based in nearby Blackpool, LeftCoast, and Fleetwood Festival of Transport (FFoT). The idea was to introduce outdoor arts and performance to a hugely popular annual event called Tram Sunday. Tram Sunday is a longstanding transport and heritage festival organised by FFoT, a lively and committed volunteer group in the town. The event regularly attracts 50-60k people and was therefore a great platform to reach audiences who did not usually attend professional arts venues and festivals. Many years later and SpareParts has developed into a project team of Freelance Creatives, run out of FFoT, whose work extends into four other locations across the North West and is funded through ACE and our associated partners.

Understandably, FFoT did not feel able to run their festival in 2021; the risk being too great to organise an event that has the ability to attract so many people to the streets of Fleetwood. Instead, I was challenged to consider how we might create something artistically striking and pertinent for, and with, the communities of Fleetwood and Wyre, whilst maintaining a connection to our transport-related roots, respecting the societal and personal shifts that have occurred and ensuring public safety.

A reflection from Fleetwood in four parts

The response is TRANSPORTED; a 3-day programme of artwork and engagement that safety enables audiences to gather outdoors to share, to listen and to reflect on their recent individual and collective experiences. The artwork and activity will map across two magnificent areas at the sea front; Marine Hall Gardens and the newly restored iconic Mount opposite; all set against the dazzling Irish Sea as an ever-changing back-drop.