Leading up to this year’s Tram Sunday and Spare Parts Festival on Sunday 16 July, Fleetwood Market played host to a number of exciting arts performances and activities.
The idea was to make the venue a fun, happy and healthy market for traders and shoppers alike. Linking into the Healthier Fleetwood initiative and also being an important strand of the festivals’ access and inclusion programme, arts and creativity is good for the soul and we were keen for as many people as possible to take part.
Linda Copland was commissioned as the market’s artist in residence developing an arts installation which involved decorating a crowd of life sized standing statues. Almost twenty local groups and schools received their figure to create the ‘market crowd’ which was showcased at the venue on Tram Sunday. We are running a competition until Tuesday 1 August; all you have to do is collect a checklist from the market office, find all the figures around the market and return your completed list back to the office. You will then be entered into a draw for a chance to win a £25 market shopping voucher to spend at any stall.
Linda says of her time at the market: “It’s been a fantastic experience working with the stall holders and meeting a variety of community groups. Each blank silhouette went on an adventure, returning to the market as an individual, representing the talent and imagination of the community.”
Linda adds: “So many conversations and meeting of minds took place, debating ideas and negotiating techniques. It has been a pleasure to organise and thank you to all those who contributed ideas, time and positive comments.”
Also part of the arts programme was Adele Robinson, a local poet. Adele held a poetry and creative writing workshop in the centre of the market on 6 July. This encouraged people to write poems, stories and listen to extracts from local writers about Fleetwood.
The programme of events culminated on Tram Sunday where the market was buzzing with activity. Internationally acclaimed BMX stunt rider Matti Hemmings and Etta Ermini dance theatre performed on the outdoor performance area plus lots of walkabout street theatre acts and musicians such as the fantastically funny Granny Turismo could also be spotted!
Chris Wyatt, Wyre’s Arts and Events Development Officer says: “The residency has been a huge creative and market community success over the last few months. 50 mannequins were individually designed by traders, local schools and other local groups. It provided an opportunity for the pieces to animate the market in a number of ways. Collectively, as one vibrant installation, or scattered amongst the stalls and acting as a competitive trail for visitors to find them all and enter in a prize draw. The traders are also using them as signposts, advertising boards and a design based interpretation of their goods and products.”
Chris adds: “This pilot project was good for rapport building with the arts and the artists and accompanied by weekly showcase performances from acts such as the Fylde Ukulele Network, is now generating an accepting artistic culture for the venue.”
Fleetwood Market is open 9am – 4.30pm Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday PLUS bank holidays and Tram Sunday all year round.