In 2016-17 A Moment’s Peace undertook our most ambitious project to date, working across the country to creatively explore housing and land ownership in Scotland.
Led by Lewis Hetherington, Iain Craig and Rhea Lewis, in collaboration with a team of collaborators, common ground saw us create a series of distinct yet interconnected cross-artform performance processes and pieces. At the centre of the inquiry were our participating groups, many of whom were most affected by the inequalities embedded within the system. Through their work the project communicated the complex and compelling stories of our land, our homes and the changing housing landscape.
The programme of work was divided into three main projects.
This was the core performance project within the common ground programme. In Glasgow we partnered with Govan Community Project, to develop an intergenerational theatre group exploring the housing system from the perspective of people within the asylum system, and also with Big Issue Scotland to work with vendors developing new writing and a photographic inquiry into their experience of the city. In Aberdeen AMP worked closely with the residents and staff of Wernham House (Aberdeen Cyrenians residential service), and to represent the 17 rooms which are available at Wernham House for those who need them, 17 new pieces of art were created with participants.
The Podcast Series
Created by JC Marshall and Scott Twynholm, the common ground podcast was a mini series of 7 episodes. Each episode was made in collaboration with different rural and urban communities. We worked with in Mull with Ulva Ferry Primary School, in Dundee with INFORM Theatre at Dundee Rep, in Glasgow at St Rollox Community Hub in Sighthill – to tells stories of meaningful transformations to their local landscape. These episodes can be used as tools for communities and individuals to learn more about land ownership in Scotland, and there are an editional three episodes that feature interviews with experts who are part of community owned companies; including two community owned forests on Mull, as well as the first urban community to access the Scottish Land Fund.
“I have ideas for writing stories. I do a lot of writing to express myself.”
Common Ground satellite workshops
Over the course of the common ground programme, A Moment’s Peace offered schools, and community groups across Scotland the opportunity to participate in our free workshops. Each group had a choice of three workshops, designed to invite them to explore land and housing ownership.
These workshops are still available, and can be adapted to suit the needs of any group.
Who Owns What?
A playful and immersive session for adults exploring who owns what bits of Scotland, and imagining how that might change in the future.
A workshop for young people exploring questions of about who gets to decide what happens to land and why. How could we chance the way these decisions are made to better benefit people and the environment?
We Built This Place
A hands session where groups of all ages get to redesign the place they live and build a scale model of their dream place!
The project culminated with the common ground live event tour across Scotland. These free public events showcased participants work at Dundee Rep Theatre, Platform in Glasgow, Aros Hall (with Comar) on Mull, and The Barn in Aberdeenshire. The part installation/ part performance events included Big Issue Words and Pictures, Project 17, a Glasgow performance from the common ground theatre group, a compilation of the common ground podcast, We Built This Place workshop map and participant sculptures, supported by a selection of books that inspired us along the way.
These events also invited a wider audience to add their voices to the conversation, by placing their hopes for their neighbourhood on our wishing tree, through lending their thoughts to our common ground poll, and with sending a letter to a stranger.
We also screened our common ground short film:
Lewis Hetherington – Lead Artist and co-lead on The System
Iain Craig – Lead Artist and designer
Pete Collins – Co-lead artist on The System
JC Marshall – Podcast drama artist
Scott Twynholm – Podcast sound artist
Claire Willoughby – Satellite workshops artist
Jassy Earl – Photographer and Documentation artist
Gillian Richards – Technical Stage Manager
Jonny Stone – Communications Officer
Emma Campbell – Project Coordinator
Rhea Lewis – Producer
“It was fun, varied and used different parts of my brain - very refreshing!”
“The artists from Common Ground brought skill and enthusiasm to Wernham House and awoke so many thoughts, memories, opinions, ideas and feelings of self-worth. Residents have said they felt respected, listened to, heard and had the best fun. The experience of such a positive partnership continues to encourage individuals to feel connected to their environment and that they are valued."
Aberdeen Cyrenians Project Manager at Wernham House
“it was like I took medication, you came at the right time when I felt very down, at that time I was confused and I was down.”
“I realise my enjoyment in working within groups is something I really enjoy and has inspired me to join other group activities in the area.”
“It was important for Glasgow Arts to be able to bring artists from A Moment's Peace and the Common Ground Project into the arts engagement work developing with local communities in Sighthill as part of the Transformational Regeneration Area (TRA) work. The process of creating a podcast provided a creative and light-touch opportunity for local people to voice their concerns, hopes and thoughts in relation to the redevelopment happening within their area'”
Glasgow Life North East Arts Producer
“I learnt how to create the feeling of images. How to perform theatre.”