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Open House is a long-term collaboration between Kettle’s Yard and our neighbouring communities in North Cambridge.
Open House welcomes an Artist in Residence each year, selected by the community, to explore the local area, collaborate with local residents and create new artwork together.
The resources on the sidebar allow you to find out about our experiences and learning since the programme began.
Open House is made possible by the generous support from Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Cambridge City Council, Artisa Foundation and Arts Council England.
Find out about Open House activity through our fascinating library of newsletters and films. Click here to experience the celebratory outcomes of Open House residencies as well as watch films created by participants inspired by artist residencies. Art and creativity is central to Open House activity. Click here to find things to do and make which have been shared and created by the North Cambridge community through Open House projects and workshops.
Following a series of workshops with local community groups earlier this year, members of the Open House community panel selected artist Enni-Kukka Tuomala as our next Open House Artist in Residence for North Cambridge.
We are delighted that Enni will be working with us and communities in North Cambridge to respond creatively to the local area from now until March 2021, bringing her ongoing live project, Campaign for Empathy, to the community.
Enni is an empathy artist and designer. Her practice focuses on transforming empathy from an individual feeling into a collective and radical power, to create positive social change through public artworks, experiments, interventions and communications.
For the next 12 months, Enni will be running the Campaign for Empathy – the world’s first community-centred campaign to promote empathy as a way to foster a sense of community and connection in a time of physical distancing and social isolation. Running free workshops and creative activities with individuals and community groups based in the area, she aims to make North Cambridge the most empathetic community in the UK!
Enni-Kukka Tuomala says “I am thrilled to be the next Open House Artist in Residence at Kettle’s Yard. We are experiencing an unprecedented moment of fear and social isolation when it’s more important than ever that we not only look after ourselves, but each other. We need to create new ways to connect, come together and feel a sense of community and hope. I am excited to bring the Campaign for Empathy to Cambridge and look forward to working closely with the team at Kettle’s Yard and the local North Cambridge community to use empathy as a powerful tool to bring us together at a time when we need it more than ever.”
Enni has been researching and speaking with members of the local community and will be developing free creativeactivities and workshops which will, initially, take place remotely – online, over the phone and sending letters and activity packs in the post. Please follow Open House #campaignforempathy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as here for updates.
To find out more about the Campaign for Empathy please click here.
Artist collective Wright & Vandame worked with North Cambridge communities from April 2019 to March 2020 to explore and share ways we can all take care of our physical, mental and social well-being in our contemporary lives.
Over two weeks in February they hosted Meeting Ground and transformed Nuns Way Pavilion, a sports pavilion in Kings Hedges, into an inspiring space for visitors to try something new. Meeting Ground was a special celebration of activities and events to support wellbeing in our community and over 14 days we welcomed over 1000 visitors. Every day there were a variety of activities and artworks to discover, including drawing, candle making, family yoga, flower pounding, coffee roasting, sewing lavender bags, origami, walks plus a screening of Disney classic Up! with Cambridge Film Festival.
On display were inspiring artworks made by community groups from across North Cambridge, including Rowan, The Red Hen Project with the Church of the Good Shepherd, North Cambridge Academy, Arbury Primary, Castle School, and YMCA.
Wright & Vandame worked with learners from Cambridge Community Arts who exhibited original artworks on a sky theme at Meeting Ground. Wright & Vandame collaborated with three groups to create soundscapes responding to artworks from Kettle’s Yard Reserve Collection. These groups were from the Grove Primary School, ESOL café, the Grovebury Ladies and the Not Quite Over the Hill Club.
For Meeting Ground, Wright & Vandame created a ‘Sky Film’ which you can watch here. It uses 120 colours that were sampled from photos the artists had taken in North Cambridge over the course of their residency.
Listen to Wright & Vandame’s guided meditation, ‘A Way of Life’, for World Mental Health Day 2019.
Click here to find out more about Wright & Vandame in our interview with them on our blog.
Hannah Kemp-Welch is a sound artist, who was selected by public vote to be Open House Artist in Residence for 2018/2019. Over the past year, Hannah has been working with groups in North Cambridge to create a new series of sound works in Hyperlocal Radio.
The artist was inspired by Cambridge pioneering company Pye Electronics, their history and remaining impact on the local community as well as Kettle’s Yard’s founder, Jim Ede’s own experiences of public broadcasting in the UK and USA. Collaborating with residents of North Cambridge, together they captured stories, songs and sounds, which celebrate the diversity of voices within our community. These were shared in a special broadcast as part of Open House Radio on 13 February 2019 with Cambridge 105 Radio, a community radio station based in the city. Listen here to a recording of the live hour of Open House Radio with Cambridge 105 Radio.
The Hyperlocal Radio display at Kettle’s Yard, 8 March – 22 April 2019, brought together both the sound and visual work created by community collaborators with Hannah Kemp-Welch and Kettle’s Yard Artist Facilitators. Each customised a portable Pye Radio which also contained a sound work created with participants. Hyperlocal Radio continued off-site with additional cases installed at the Meadows Community Centre and Arbury Community Centre in North Cambridge. Listen here to the sound works that were included in the display.
We are very grateful to Cambridge Community Arts Photography Club who documented the Hyperlocal Radio display at Kettle’s Yard. Click here to view their photographs.
Click here to find out more about Hannah-Kemp Welch in our interview with her.
At a public meeting at North Cambridge Academy on the 24th February, members of the public and students at the school voted to select Harold Offeh as the next Open House Artist in Residence for North Cambridge. Harold worked with communities in North Cambridge to explore the local area from February – September 2017.
On 16 September 2017, Harold invited members of the public to join him in a celebration of local food and domestic design at the Open House Gathering at North Cambridge Academy. The event featured displays from North Cambridge community groups, tastings from local bakers, tips on growing your own food from gardeners and activities for all ages. Following the Gathering, Harold hosted a Feast for members of the community who had contributed in some way to the Gathering. Watch the film of the Open House Gathering and Feast here or see photos of the day on the Open House Facebook page.
Click here to find out more about Harold Offeh in our interview with him.
The second Open House Artist in Residence, Isabella Martin, worked with local residents to explore the area and create a new map together in a project called You Are Here. The project is inspired by Kettle’s Yard, celebrating all the individual and unique things which make a place special.
Isabella worked with local groups to share stories and knowledge and develop creative skills to turn these stories into artworks. The artworks formed part of the alternative neighbourhood map. It shows and celebrates what is unique about North Cambridge.
At the end of November 2016 the map was revealed at a temporary print studio and exhibition in Arbury called Make Your Map where visitors joined her to make their own print of the map using a silk screen. The exhibition featured works from Kettle’s Yard’s collection including pieces by Ben Nicholson and Alfred Wallis, reproductions of historic maps which inspired Isabella from the Cambridgeshire Collection and the Scott Polar Research Institute, and artworks created by participants at workshops and projects throughout the residency. Watch the film of You Are Here: Make Your Map here.
Isabella also printed and gifted the map to community hubs in the areas and places which were involved in the map’s creation. To find out more click here.
Emma Smith, our first Open House Artist in Residence, collaborated with local communities to develop a new performative artwork exploring people’s restorative pastimes entitled Variations on a Weekend Theme. From April to December 2015, Emma worked across Arbury, King’s Hedges, East Chesterton and Orchard Park, collecting and sharing activities and past times local residents undertake to feel relaxed and restored.
Emma collected advice and activities from residents across North Cambridge and invited people to share their activities with others. She was inspired by an unpublished manuscript written by Jim Ede, entitled Variations on a Weekend Theme. The manuscript details how Jim and his wife Helen welcomed servicemen from Gibraltar for weekends at their home in Tangiers where they could stay, try something new and recuperate.
In November 2015, Emma transformed the disused Maskell’s Bakery on Akeman Street, and for three days the shop became an ‘art apothecary’ where visitors received remedies for a variety of malaises and situations. While reusing the original bread shelves and glass counter, the shop was completely redecorated and a few selected artworks and glass objects from the Kettle’s Yard collection were on display. Visitors were invited to book a consultation with an Assistant Apothecarist in the shop. To see photos from Variations on a Weekend Theme click here.