I knew we were off to a good start, when Simon Piasecki, the new head of performance at University of Salford said "oh good, you are taking us on a Dérive." With that a small group of artists, performers and educators headed off to a five star hotel (named for an artist of the people) to be part of a performance: conversation in public. Mary Oliver & I commissioned three emerging performance artists to get us started. Rachael Nutter of Littleborough had us deconstruct a yarn from the repertoire of her previous knitting actions; Rowan Oliver-Weaver of Ripponden read stories of the hotel's namesake, LS Lowry, from the picture book The Lowry Lexicon, written by her grandmother and Lowry biographer Shelley Rohde; and Darren White of Chester transmitted the day's news stories by way of can and string. Later the group sat around and worked at figuring out some of the complexities of producing art in Salford, past and present - and how to ensure that the community remains vibrant, affordable and inspiring.
We will be having one more public conversation - Offit Offsite 2, on Thursday evening at 7 pm. Join us for a walk --Dérive-- to another one of Salford's great conversation spots... drinks on us! Meet at Hub M3 .
Offit Offsite asks: what happens when an art centre opens up in a regenerating neighbourhood?
Thank you to everyone who has participated so far, especially Rachael, Rowan and Darren.