Creative Conversations: Art, Culture & Society

Creative Conversations: Art, Culture & Society

March 3rd 2011

Pool Innovation Centre, Redruth Cornwall

This event reviewed the work to date on Creative Inclusion in design and planning for the Heartlands Project. This is a large scale Lottery funded regeneration project on the site of the former Robinson’s Shaft mine near the village of Pool, between Redruth and Camborne in Cornwall. I was invited to participate in this event by Sarah Williams, who is Project Manager Art and Culture for Cornwall Council.

The morning included a set of presentations and facilitated conversations that addressed a number of the key concerns of the Heartlands team. The presentations reviewed the strategies for Creative Inclusion during the planning and development process for Heartlands, and introduced some of the inclusive design methods that were used. This included work by Bas Raijmakers of STBY, Yanki Lee, and Kingsley Baird. Those present were then divided into groups of about eight people and invited to discuss future possibilities for arts and culture within the project.

Working with two themes, we generated material that will be collated to influence the next stages of Heartlands. The first theme was, “Can art and culture tackle inequalities, create stronger communities and invite different people to the table?” and the second was, “Could and should, art and culture continue to make an active and forceful contribution to Heartlands in the future? What are / will be Heartlands core ‘creative’ activities?”. Both topics produced lively and diverse comments, with some strong strands emerging in particular around the need for key leadership on the cultural direction of Heartlands. The project team were congratulated on the methods of inclusion implemented so far, and it was felt that they offered a strong model for other community or area regeneration projects.

After lunch at the Pool Innovation Centre, we were taken on a tour of the Heartlands site. It is a huge area, stretching from Pool village, to South Crofty Mine, and from the back of Pool Indoor Market to Cornwall College. The overall project will be an exciting addition to the cultural landscape of Cornwall, in particular for the Pool, Redruth and Camborne area which in many ways is less developed than other parts of Cornwall.