Wednesday, 26 September 2012

RELAYS - It's not over yet!

Team RELAYS on 14 Sept 2012 with Olympic Champion Jason Gardener, MBE
and  Team GB Paralympic Bronze medalist, Ben Rushgrove 
Since 2008, RELAYS has worked with nearly two-thirds of a million people across the South West of England. On 14 September 2012 we put on a special event for 120 invited guests at Watershed, Bristol to celebrate the success of the project over the last four years.

A number of key speakers talked about how RELAYS has inspired people through creative arts, sport, volunteering and business across the region. The RELAYS Volunteer Awards 2012 were also presented by Olympic Champion Jason Gardener, MBE and Team GB Paralympic Bronze medalist, Ben Rushgrove. I was very proud that Bath Spa University graduate, Kara Rennie, received a runner up award in the category for 'Outstanding contribution to the 2012 Cultural Legacy' for her fantastic work on Illuminate Bath.

There were also performances by B Sharp music group, based in Lyme Regis, and RISE Youth Dance from Bristol, as well as an exhibition of RELAYS event paraphernalia. It was lovely to look back on all that we've  achieved as a team. It's been an amazing journey. I've relished the opportunity to develop and manage such a diverse range of projects and work with so many talented and enthusiastic people, organisations, students and volunteers. I've been writing this blog since the early days of RELAYS and it's a great reminder of all that has happened and how far we have come.

It's not over yet as RELAYS has been awarded additional funding from Legacy Trust UK to help us work closely with Widening Participation departments in Universities in the South West over the coming months to fully integrate our work, and ensure an ongoing legacy from London 2012.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Mail, Maps and Motion in Bristol

 At the weekend I went to a one off event in Bristol combining projections, live music and film curated by Watershed. It was held in the Digby Wyatt Building at Bristol Temple Meads railway station, a big warehouse type space where Brunel's original train platforms are, that is now used as a car park. I really liked the urban location, it was dark inside so the projections looked great, the music was loud and with more than 2,000 people inside the atmosphere was a bit like a club. They rigged four giant screens from the roof of the building forming a rectangle, which meant that you could stand in the middle of the space and watch projections on all sides, (although it was very crowded in the middle so I saw most of it from the edge!)

Black and white archive films were projected illustrating Bristol's industrial heritage, along with some of Brunel’s original drawings and live iPad drawing from Bristol graffiti artist Inkie. The grand finale was a new commission bringing together Joanie Lemercier from AntiVJ (I've mentioned their projection work before on this blog), with Adrian Utley from the band Portishead and a host of other musicians, conducted by Charles Hazlewood.

The event was free as part of London 2012 Festival and See No Evil, an art project that brings together a selection of the world’s best street artists to create a huge outdoor gallery on Nelson Street in Bristol City centre. I'm so glad that I got to see it, it was an amazing experience and reminded me why I love big projections.

Monday, 13 August 2012

My day at the London 2012 Olympics

After years of anticipation I made it to the London 2012 Olympics on Friday. The weather was fantastic and we enjoyed a lovely day exploring the Olympic park in the sunshine. It's hard to believe that the park was industrial wasteland up until a few years ago. The transformation is huge and it's now a wonderful green space, full of beautiful trees, plants and flowers.

We followed a path along the river and came across the Gloriana moored on the river, a royal barge privately commissioned as a tribute to the Queen for her Diamond Jubilee, and the lead vessel in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.  The site was buzzing with people and every now and again we could hear huge roars coming from the crowds inside the stadium and the other venues.

 In the evening we watched the Men's Diving 10m Platform preliminaries held in the Aquatics Centre. The atmosphere was wonderful and there were extra loud cheers for Team GB divers Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield. The duo had narrowly missed out on a medal the previous week, coming fourth in the synchronised 10m Platform competition. However things went better for Tom Daley this time and he went on to win a bronze medal in the final the following day. 

There have been so many magical moments in the last couple of weeks. My personal favourites were the Opening Ceremony that exceeded every ones expectations, Jessica Ennis winning the heptathlon, Mo Farah's 10,000m and 5,000m triumphs and of course Tom Daley taking bronze. Sadly it's over all too soon but I'll remember the London 2012 Olympics for the rest of my life, and we still have the Paralympics to come!