Artists: William Hughes, James Mccoll & Sara Jackson
Partner organisations: Grandad’s Workshop, Monkton Stargazers & Windmill Community Gardens

September - December 2019

The CRATE micro-residency exchange programme is an arts council funded residency, providing an opportunity for artists to work within the community and to take part in genuine skill-sharing opportunities. Selected artists have been placed with specialists from various trade and academic backgrounds based in and around Margate and have been provided with time and space to develop a body of work in response to this exchange. 

The selected artists have been placed with local businesses throughout August and September 2019, with access to studio space at CRATE for three weeks between 3 September until 23 September 2019. They then have time for a period of self reflection and a chance to continue their work and research, with the opportunity to present outcomes between 14 November - 4 December 2019. 

The three artists taking part in the programme, selected by an Open Call process are:

The three partnered businesses, respectively, are:

As this is a funded residency, the artists and businesses are both paid for their time. 

James Mccoll is a multidisciplinary artist who works with text, moving image and performance. His work has a particular focus on mental health, individual struggle and class. He uses re-purposed footage and text and his performances are the direct result of these practices. His work is visual. He drops the extraordinary into ordinary settings. He takes work out of galleries. He creates site-responsive and site-specific work, often creating environments for work to be shown in. Where possible, he shows work in unusual spaces and places, disrupting the day-to-day. He is one half of First Line Theatre, a theatre group producing site-responsive performance art. He has had work shown across the country and internationally. He continues to work with organisations like Forest Fringe, (WOW) Woman Of The World Festival, NSDF and KARST Gallery to produce art festivals and events that support emerging creative practitioners.

James has been placed with Windmill Community Gardens. Windmill Community Gardens is a food growing project based in Margate, running since 2004. They work with local people to build a stronger, healthier, more active community. They run open access activities for all ages and abilities, including Gardening Club on Tuesdays, “Cabbage Patch” group for toddlers and families on Thursdays, and a Wellbeing Group on Fridays.  Their mission is to deliver a variety of inclusive outdoor opportunities for people to come together to make a difference for themselves, others and for the environment. They have two sites which they transformed from derelict land. The first site is the community garden, whilst the second site is a market garden which employs organic methods of growing vegetables which they sell via their veg box scheme and to local restaurants. During this exchange, James will spend a week with Windmill Community Gardens, attending the public activities and assisting with their veg box scheme. 

Sara Jackson is an artist based in Thanet and recently graduated with a First Class Hons Degree in Fine Art from the University for the Creative Arts, Canterbury in 2019. Her current practice is concerned with her working environment, capturing surfaces, textures and traces of the space, playing with the audience’s perception and experimenting with the relationships between architecture, flatness and illusion. Sara is a 2019 recipient of the Platform Graduate Award, which will lead to a month-long solo show at Turner Contemporary in Autumn 2019. She also received the Crate Graduate Award, a month long residency at Crate’s Project Space in Margate. Other projects and exhibitions include Intimately Familiar a group exhibition at the Aviary, Cobham Hall Independent School, 2019; FAB LAB, a group exhibition at Folkestone Brewery Tap, 2019; Cornered, a group exhibition at Canterbury Cathedral, 2018; Journeys with the Wasteland, at Turner Contemporary (off site program at Crate and The Clore Learning Studio) 2018; ICR (International Cultural Regeneration) projects (ESADHAR Le Havre and the Margate Calais project at Resort and Ecole d’Art du Calais) and Lumen print workshop at Turner Contemporary, 2019.

Sara Jackson has been placed with Grandad’s Workshop. Grandad’s workshop is run by Frank White. Frank has gained experience and skills from over 40 years of working in varied environments; from engineering & welding and sheet metalwork to carpentry, plumbing and maintenance, and finally teaching Design and Technology at Dane Court Grammar School. His engineer's curiosity and thought processes have made him a problem solver. Grandad’s Workshop specialises in re-purposing and re-imaging uses for materials to create bespoke and unusual pieces of furniture, and to engineer practical tools. A variety of services are provided by the workshop, including a sharpening and maintenance service for tools and short courses for children and families, such as pen-making. Frank is enthusiastic about passing on his skills and knowledge, crafts tailor-made courses upon request, and creates commissioned pieces for customers. Frank’s workshop has extensive facilities, from welding to woodwork. Sara and Frank have begun engineering an embossing machine.

William Hughes is a visual artist currently based in Broadstairs. Drawing forms the backbone of his practice. Images are culled from a variety of sources; manuals and books, found photo albums and photographs, online and offline image archives. Reproduced in graphite, the work aims to measure the inertia of the translation process from anonymous image to reproduction on paper against the potential of drawing to be a meditative, developmental platform. Through an investigation into themes of nostalgia and labour, the instantaneity of the spontaneous photograph is both exploited and negated by the drawing process and the associations of the medium. His miniature, delicately realised drawings form a loose narrative in which notions of memory, history and the performative rituals of everyday life are explored.

William Hughes has been placed with The Monkton Stargazers astronomy group, at The Thanet Observatories in the Monkton Nature Reserve. The Monkton Stargazers are scientists and engineers willing to give up their free time to educate the public in scientific matters. Monkton Stargazers hold public viewings at the Thanet observatories on the fourth Friday of the month, (except for May, June and July, as the evenings are too light.) The viewings are attended by amateur astronomers and beginners alike, with families particularly encouraged to join. They also facilitate children’s astronomy sessions for a girls' coding group called The Steamettes. William has been working closely with John Hislop, a leading member of the Monkton Stargazers and a former physics teacher. John has been keenly sharing his knowledge of astronomy with William. William is soon to given an impromptu talk at the observatory where he presented his work to attendees of the public viewing.
The programme is a collaborative exchange. The space is also available for the respective business owners/ tradespeople to use to allow for the possibility of collaborative work. We are interested in collaboration and dialogue as a means of resistance. We want to create a platform for genuine skill-sharing and knowledge exchange, and to promote collaboration across professions in the area. This project is essentially about getting people talking and working together who wouldn’t usually do so, and seeing what happens!