Image credit: Unique Imaging
Adapting to change, making Kinetika more accessible
In March 2020, when lockdowns were introduced and restrictions were put in place, we looked at ways in which we could still engage with our audiences, especially with participants who were already involved with our planned projects. We needed to adapt our place-making model and make it accessible and open to all, helping those who were isolated at home to become connected with each other, and still take part in Kinetika projects.
This approach has benefitted us in some ways, we’re now able to work with more communities across the world utilising online tools and hosting zoom workshops where needed. Learn more about what we did in these mini case studies below.
T100 Festival 2020 – T100 Calling
T100 Calling was a call to action to rise to local challenges and to make large-scale mandalas out of objects from the environment, inspired by Scottish artist Therese Muskus.
Firstly, we created a free online resource pack that explain how people could make mandalas at home. As well as this, we printed 50 packs and posted these to people who were involved and preferred to use offline tools, and then we held a four-week online festival in May 2020. We set up a Facebook page so we could build an online community and people could connect and talk to each other about the project and about life. This group provided a lot of support for those who were lonely or cut off, giving them something to focus on and people to communicate with.
In September 2020, when groups of six people were allowed to meet outside, we held in-person events where six people worked on all, or part of, a mandala, bringing people together in a very isolating time, and opening up conversations about sustainability and climate change within the community.
T100 Festival has continued to utilise online resource packs as a way to gather stories and inspiration for themes, most recently with the call for key workers and key worker stories, used in The Thank You Dance and T100 People in 2022.
Image credit: Unique Imaging
Our 2021 project, MK Mandalas required us to adapt our normal ways of working to be able to reach community groups based in Milton Keynes, when restrictions were still in place. MK Mandalas was a collaborative project between us and IF:Milton Keynes International Festival where local artists and communities in Milton Keynes worked together to design and create 30 mandala silk flags. The designs created were based on people’s reflections of Covid-19 in five themes; coming together, nature, getting outdoors, saying thank you and moving forward.
As the project approached and restrictions were still in place, we needed to ensure we could reach various people in their own homes with exercises that would help them to create and design mandalas for us to turn into silk flags. Normally we would be on site with those involved for a long time beforehand, building up relationships with local artists and community groups but now we had to have a different approach. We focused on digital outreach, creating online resource packs, and hosting online zoom workshops teaching artists and community groups how to create each aspect of the design. When we were able to host in-person workshops, these were kept small and socially distanced, and where required, held outside. Please discover more by watching the project video.
Ali Pretty explaining how you could get involved in Beach of Dreams 2021
The learnings and new approaches to working meant that when we came to create Beach of Dreams we were able to reach out to our digital network and invite them to get involved with this new large-scale project.
Beach of Dreams was an epic journey to walk 500 miles over 35 days along the east coast of England and we needed communities based by the east coast to engage with us and help us to create this all-new adventure.
We asked people living along the East Coast of England to travel to their local beach and use their lockdown walk as a time to gather pictures of something on their walk that inspires them.
The imagery was submitted to Kinetika either in its raw form, or you could turn your picture into a line drawing, wherein we created a design that would be painted onto one of 500 silk pennants, which would be taken on the Beach of Dream walks.
As restrictions lifted and we could meet outside in larger numbers, all were invited to go and see the designs they helped create on their local beach, or for the entire journey, joining Kinetika and other walkers on this exciting project.