Updated: Oct 21
Although it's been a while since we last said hello, we will soon be able to reveal the exciting projects we have been busy working on here at SCT. In the mean time, here is an update on our recent activities.
Crying Out Loud
Crying Out Loud are, in their own words ‘creative producers bringing memorable experiences from extraordinary visual theatre makers to audiences of all ages across the UK’. Since their formation in 2002, they have delivered an annual season of international visual theatre and performance art across the UK and beyond, as can be seen in these images.
As part of their visit to Portsmouth we showed their team around Fort Cumberland, Fort Brockhurst and welcomed them to our studio at the Historic Dockyard; we have since agreed to collaborate on a future project, so watch this space!
Spray and Save
Our third Spray and Save event happened on the 24th of April in the alleyways of Gosport High Street where the amazingly talented Mook, Soak, Midge and Samo created the most astounding pieces of art. Welcomed by the Gosport residents, the event was praised for its approach to engaging people with public art in the historic town centre, with one of the many locals we spoke to remarking how much more vibrant the town centre felt since she was younger.
This success was followed by the next Spray and Save event on the 11th June, still in Gosport but now at Fort Brockhurst, with Soak, Mook, Roo Abrook and Midge. It meant so much to see all the people that came and joined us, supporting the artists and watching how they work. Unlike the previous event, the weather this time was lovely, and although the wind caused the odd problem, the resulting artwork was fantastic as usual. We envision this as the first in a series of cultural and artistic events designed to breathe new life in the under-used spaces of the Fort, and it was also a chance to see the future creative studios. These will be in the former Officer’s mess, and allows the meaningful reuse of the space following critical repair work. Potential tenants are invited to make their interest known - how exciting!
One local artist who visited told us that Fort Brockhurst was an ‘incredible space to have studios’, put her name down for one and recommended other local artists come and view them for themselves, explaining how Gosport’s creative community was in need of convenient, working spaces such as these. Overall our third and fourth Spray and Save events were both very successful.
We also put an application into the Kickstart Scheme; it was a great chance of getting someone to help us but also to know that we’re helping them. We did end up finding someone that fitted in perfectly and that person is me, Berivan.
I’m a 19 year old girl who didn’t enjoy college but was also getting no luck with any other job that I was applying for. Until I saw this job role come up! It felt nice that it was away from my home in Gosport too and had somewhere to actually travel to everyday. I feel like I have gained confidence through having this amazing opportunity, it made me leap out of my comfort zone into an area of work I didn't know a lot about but underneath I knew I had some sort of skills to get me into. Along with that I have learnt new skills in writing and managing our social media. I have learnt to think outside the box for Instagram captions to engage our followers with our posts that little bit more.
I am enjoying working here more than I think I anticipated, I’ve never felt more comfortable in an environment away from people I'm used to being surrounded with. I also have tasks like writing to our Directors, updating them on any issues or just about our upcoming meetings. Getting the hang of writing in a more professional style has been something I've learnt from here too. But writing was something I always struggled with unless it was something I was genuinely interested in, that's why I find the words just type off my fingertips so easily here, every little thing is so intriguing.
Peter Ashley Activity Centres
SCT Directors Deniz Beck, Sarah Chatwin and Walter Menteth are very pleased to have advised and supported the Peter Ashley Activity Centres on their successful strategy negotiating with Portsmouth City Council to obtain a ninety-nine year long-lease on Forts Widley and Purbrook. This heralds an exciting future for both Forts, with the new lease securing their productive and sustainable long-term reuse and conservation, and by providing a wide range of sports and activities for adults and children, their ongoing tenancy also provides the city with invaluable health and well-being benefits.
Demonstrating the diversity of value the Palmerston Forts and other historic Portsmouth assets can deliver for the city and region’s future, we are delighted at what Peter Ashley Activity Centres have achieved, and that the consultancy provided by SCT contributed in a small way to securing its future. This continuing advisory and engagement work has been a core element of our mission - the sustainable and beneficial reuse of historic structures with appropriate, innovative and productive functions.
As some of you may know we share our space within the Dockyard’s historic Pay Office with Ankle Deep Studio. Formed in September 2021 by architect Deniz Beck, MD of Anglepoise Ltd Simon Terry, and lecturer and creative consultant Claire Sambrook, Ankle Deep draws on their respective backgrounds to work with people they believe in from within an experimental and experiential space. Ankle Deep is for the curious in everything; in their own words, Ankle Deep is ‘an experimental space that enables industry and practitioners to work on live projects collaboratively with creative students’ and helps to further nurture their talent with carefully curated collaborations.
Sustainable Conservation Trust manages the building which we share, finding the most flexible and sustainable reuse strategies even before any conversion works take place; Ankle Deep provides its personality through its users, functions and cultural elements and collaborating with students and practitioners in experimental ways. These roles are complementary, with both of our passions emerging within the amazing historic surroundings.
Fort Cumberland artist takeover
At the end of July 2023 the leases for the 14 artists at the Hotwalls Studios will expire and their tenancies will come to an end. These artists have successfully been building their craft practices at the studios for seven years, and in order to continue that growth they need to find a new affordable space within the city. Fort Cumberland was initially identified as an ideal location for this purpose, but development has faltered and only one artist has managed to set up their workspace within the Fort.
SCT, along with other organisations, are keen to resume this initiative and help unlock Fort Cumberland’s potential and remove it from the Heritage at Risk register. With SCT presently working with English Heritage on imaginative proposals at a number of unique local sites, our not-for profit structure, strong community ties and extensive knowledge of local heritage assets would provide the perfect foundation for a dialogue between Historic England and potential stakeholders.
Our Facebook page
We now have a Facebook page where you can find up to date information on what we have going on: