The Troublemaker’s Festival interviews: Simone Sheridan – Palace Theatre paste-up
Simone Sheridan, is an artist, creative producer, and place maker based in Sydney, Australia and is involved in Troublemaker’s Festival with the Palace Theatre Paste Up. What is placemaking? Placemaking is a people-centered approach to the planning, design, and management of public spaces. Placemaking recognises that community members are the experts. It involves looking at, listening to and asking questions of the people who live, work and play in an area to understand both their needs and aspirations. From this information, a mutually agreed common vision can be created. This evolves but starts with small doable things and build to longer term more projects.
Simone Sheridan and Street Art Walking
Simone Sheridan started Street Art Walking (SAW) in 2011 in Newcastle New South Wales, Australia after realising there was a need for graffiti management for property owners whilst looking for artist contracts. She is an experienced project and event manager and graduated in printmaking. Through Street Art Walking Simone Sheridan has been engaged in many site-specific street art projects including murals, placemaking events, and legal fly postering.
“Place-shaking not Place-making”
She is an enthusiastic advocate for arts and placemaking Project for Public Spaces Place Making Leadership which had an inaugural meeting in Detroit, Michigan, USA. After hearing Dan Thompson talk about place-shaking not place-making back in 2013 this has resonated with Simone and she is excited to be involved in Swansea’s Place Theatre project.
Simone Sheridan on Street Art
PD: “How important is street art to you?”
SS: “I really love street art because I feel like it’s a way for artists to take some ownership of public space in a world where so much of our public space is influenced by consumerism and advertising. I walk out of my way to find it and I feel like it’s this amazing, ongoing conversation that builds a sense of community, just like society, where artists get literally pasted over and artworks disappear; it’s ever changing and if you don’t stop to look – you might miss it!”
Simone Sheridan on the Palace Theatre paste-up in Swansea’s King’s Lane
PD: “Can you tell me about the poster making paste-up project as a part of Troublemaker’s Festival?”
SS: ”I was invited to be part of the Trouble maker’s Festival by social artists and curator Dan Thompson as he was the keynote speaker for Creating Spaces – A Community Renewal Conference ran by Renew Australia in Newcastle, NSW in 2013 and he found the temporary (paste-up artwork, The Theatre Lane (paste-up) Project.
SS: “Despite the long and practical name, the project was an ephemeral street artwork that invited designers, makers, and artists to create a poster that would promote a show at the (empty and closed up) Victoria Theatre in Newcastle. The idea was to celebrate the rich cultural history of the building and to spark the imagination for what might have been, or could be on the stage of the heritage theatre.”
SS: “Of course this fits so well with the scenario of The Palace Theatre in High Street in Swansea, so Dan connected the dots and Street Art Walking (SAW) has curated a collection of posters after announcing artists call outs since April this year. There are 35 posters that will pop up near High Street advertising some of the very interesting Palace Theatre shows!
Simone Sheridan on activist Jane Jacobs
PD: “I understand Jane Jacobs, the urban planner was an inspiration to you. What aspect of her work most excites you?”
SS: “ The work created by Street Art Walking since 2011 has been really embraced by the placemaking community, which has then led me to discover the work by Jane Jacobs. I find it validating that a person without urban development training, who was not an architect or engineer (the roles that often determine urban planning outcomes can have a profound impact o on the public domain by empowering people within the community.”
SS: “I think the best takeaway message from Jane’s work, for me, is that she wasn’t afraid to take an opposition to the concept ‘progress’ of urban renewal and didn’t give up when it seemed like many powerful forces in New York City where she lived were against her views. The challenges that she faced standing up against planning focused on cars instead of people, is still relevant. It’s truly inspiring to see the tenacity, dedication, and grace that Jane Jacobs had for her work.”
Simone Sheridan – “Empathy and kindness are vital.”
PD: “How can we balance regeneration whilst being inclusive and respectful?”
SS: “I think people need to shake the system a little more, just like Jane, but perhaps not with anger but with intellect and fact. Often the most passionate residents about regeneration are those who are negatively impacted and their voices can be heard as “negative” or against “progress” yet there has to be a middle ground. People who aren’t directly impacted need to understand and note, before there is a problem in their neighbourhood. This relates to having humility for others. Empathy and kindness are vital.”
SS: “From what I have discovered, many levels of government simply ‘box-tick’ to engage community but do not follow through to empower residents to be involved in their public domain. We seem to get asked to come into meeting rooms, complete surveys and put ideas on post-it notes, but then months will pass with no outcomes or follow through.”
Simone Sheridan – “Give capitalism a huge funeral, one in every city of the world…”
PD: “What one thing would you do to change the world?”
SS: “ Give capitalism a huge funeral, one in every city in the world, which would be like a festival of creativity and community values! But, on a realistic level, I would like to be part of a system that creates incentives for positive change. I would like to see arts taken seriously as community development and social wellness too!”
SS: “I love galleries and museums, they aren’t always enticing for everyone to visit (and sometimes expensive). I am trying to get more colour on walls, free for all to enjoy. I believe that art should be accessible!
Troublemaker’s Festival – 13th -16th July #trouble2017
“Changing the world, starting with the High Street”
The festival reimagines the stretch of street between the station and Castle Square as a pedestrian-friendly place where arts and culture aren’t something special but are part of everyday life. It opens up buildings that people perhaps don’t normally see and uses spaces that perhaps people don’t normally notice. The Troublemakers Festival is for everyone who uses Swansea High Street and cares about it’s future. It’s for people who live on High Street, work on High Street, shop on the High Street, socialize on High Street, pass through High Street. The festival is for young people and old people. It’s for Art lovers and show-goers and pizza fans and it’s for people who’ve never been to a gallery or theatre in their lives. Come along as together a manifesto is created for the hIgh Street. Lose at the Unfair Funfair, Levitate The Palace Theatre, have a Tea Party, join a march, recreate extraordinary speeches from history, watch films, make placards and eat pizza. Be inspired, entertained and provoked. A chance to be at the heart of the change taking place from the station down to the sea. Everyone is welcome!
Come along as together a manifesto is created for the High Street. Lose at the Unfair Funfair, Levitate The Palace Theatre, have a Tea Party, join a march, recreate extraordinary speeches from history, watch films, make placards and eat pizza. Be inspired, entertained and provoked. A chance to be at the heart of the change taking place from the station down to the sea. Everyone is welcome!
Please note some events are bookable. Follow event links within programmes (see below for further detailed information) to book these events in advance.
Please also note: The road will be made pedestrian friendly and will be closed from The Grand Hotel down to Argos on Saturday and Sunday from 10.00 am – 5.00 pm.
Festival partners include The Last Resort, Sew Swansea, GaleriesSimpson, TechHub, Urban Village, Cinema & Co, Oxfam, Castle Square, Elysium Studios and Gallery, UWTSD, PEG Talks, The Environment Centre, The Women’s Institute, Hyst…
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