DIY 14: 2017 - Bridget Floyer & Susan Merrick: Your Neck Of The Woods

“Why should anybody listen to you if you are not a good neighbour?” - an investigation of the idea of being an ‘Artist in Residence’


Project summary

“You can stand in the street with your megaphone campaigning, but why should anybody listen to you if you are not a good neighbour?” – Alisdair McIntosh

We are angry and frustrated at the world. We want to have an impact on those who see our work, and to try and change things for the better. But just shouting will do nothing: we need more meaningful connections. Should we start with our own communities, our neighbours, people with whom we might have nothing in common but proximity, with whom we have a relationship whether we like it or not? Living in a self-reflective world where online algorithms only help confirm our own opinions, we want a broader perspective. Let’s engage with the people we live amongst, whether we find each other boring or profound, engaged or disengaged, happy or desperate. Each of us will create or perform a piece of art which is actually or figuratively a map of our own neighbourhood or town.  It will be crucial that we do not just shout. The power of language and communication is in everything we do. We will explore the balance between holding core values, valuing experience and expertise, but allowing influence, admitting vulnerability, and staying open, to discover new possibilities. We will try to connect better with the places where we live, trying a range of tools. We didn’t invent any of these ideas, but we’d like to share them together.

6-10 participants will be invited to two workshops in Colchester. We will explore our understanding of community and socially engaged practice, take challenges together, and, with friendly scepticism, share skills, experience and basic tips and tools. In between the two workshops we will each conduct a creative mapping action in our own location.

How to apply

We welcome participants from any level of experience who are interested in developing or questioning their practice and its relationship to their own community, and the methodologies they might use. We are particularly interested in people who live in places which might not necessarily be viewed as a richly inspiring artistic community, where the idea of being an Artist-in-Residence might feel more challenging (and this doesn’t necessarily mean areas which would be seen as having low cultural engagement).

The application (via the link below) requires you to describe your community and suggest an action you might undertake there in response to being asked to make a literal or figurative map of it, influenced by the people you live amongst (if you are selected, this can be changed later!) You will also be asked to give a bit of detail about yourself, your practice and experience level. This can be written or in the form of a short video.


Dates, times and location

Dates: Thu 21 Sept, Thu 19 Oct
Times: 10am-5pm in Sept, 11am-3pm in Oct
Location: Colchester
Refreshments will be provided. We hope to make a contribution to participant expenses - please let us know if you have any particular requirements or needs beyond travel expenses.

The artists

Bridget Floyer is a producer who is currently exploring more personally creative territory through what it means to be a ‘Producer-in-Residence’. She specialises in unusual projects which often experiment with discipline and form, but which prioritise people, and has worked with artists and organisations including Emergency Exit Arts, Emma Frankland, Fuel and Little Soldier Productions. Her company, Larking Arts, is an associate of Farnham Maltings.

Susan Merrick is an Artist and Sign Language Interpreter. Often influenced by her sign language background, visual communication and translation methods play a large part in her work and materialise in the form of film, performance, installations and print. She has recently focused on obstruction of understanding and the subversion of power through translation with specific relation to social relations and feminism. Currently finishing an MA Fine Art at UCA Farnham, she is Artist in Residence with FiLia (Feminism in London) in which she is running Statements in Semaphore, an ACE funded artist led project.

If you have questions about this project, please contact Bridget.

This DIY is supported by Colchester Arts Centre.

Part of DIY 14: 2017 - Call for Participants


Colchester Arts Centre
Church St 
Colchester CO1 1NF