Susan Bishop, Curator, Arts & Culture, South Down Project.
Our founding mission is to be recognised as the destination for environmentally sustainable arts and culture in South East England. Events and exhibitions will promote internationally recognised ecological art, design, technology, and science. A cultural learning space will foster innovation and education.
Our ambitious idea is to develop a municipal art gallery and museum celebrating the unique landscape and historic site of Shoreham Cement Works. The cultural destination will be a venue for arts events and a catalyst for discussions about the future of the environment. Exhibiting world-class work from British and international artists the gallery will attract local, national and international visitors.
Shoreham Cement Works symbolises modernism. The grey aesthetic reminds us of industrialisation and the major shift in architectural design that took place in the 1930s. A major change is happening in society right now. Sustainability is driving a new approach to the way we live, and arts and culture are at the heart of our drive for a new lifestyle. We must be ambitious about future provision of arts and culture to innovate and push boundaries. Our cultural heritage plays a major role in inspiring new ideas.
The site of the Cement Works will create cultural and social capital for the benefit of the local community and tourists. Positioning it as a destination for arts, culture and education, the complex will be designed to develop a thriving hub of makers and artists. Special events and a heritage centre will celebrate the landscape and its history. An educational programme will support creative industry, developing world-class sustainable products for the future of mankind.
Susan Bishop,Curator, Arts & Culture, South Down Project.
STATEMENT: Simon Costin, Director, The Museum of British Folklore, statement written for the South Down Project, November 2016.
The Manifesto of The Museum of British Folklore:
"To promote, celebrate and revitalise the folk heritage of Britain.
To provide ways for individuals to discover, understand and explore their own, and others customs and traditions.
To encourage greater public involvement in the rich and continuing tradition of folklore as a vital component of the social fabric and cultural identity of the British Isles.
To be an innovative organisation, working within a network of collaborative partnerships across the country."
The Museum of British Folklore will deliver its Manifesto through:
- Engaging members of the public through exhibitions, workshops, lectures, pop-up shops and digital platforms.
- Developing collaborative partnerships deliver activities and promote folklore.
- Sharing, interpreting and conserving its collection of folklore artifacts.
- Creating and facilitating a range of inspirational educational opportunities for individuals of all ages.
- Providing a platform to showcase promote the work of folk artists of all genres.
- Working to establish a permanent museum space for its collections and activities.
- Encouraging its audiences to be active co-producers of content and direction.
Museum of British Folklore - Origins:
Founded in 2009, the Museum of British Folklore (MoBF) aims to be the first national centre devoted to the living traditions of Britain.
A space where its 700 (and counting) customs can be shown, from Orkney Ploughboy's costumes, fashioned from tinsel, pom-poms and bells and the wooden hobby horses of Kent, to urban ghost bikes and fireworks packaging.
The Museum of British Folklore will be a place in which disparate and diverse events and objects come together to form a whole picture of an island not only full of noises, but of costumes, colours and things...
In contrast to many countries across the world who have national folk museums, there is currently no permanent centre which brings together the many festivals, displays and objects inspired by Britain's rich folk traditions and stories.
The Museum of British Folklore will be outward-looking, creating links with international folklore organisations to share information, exhibitions and collaborate on events to celebrate world folk culture.
Through its temporary exhibitions programme, MoBF already has links to the Whitechapel Gallery, Towner, Christie's, Compton Verney and the Weald and Downland Museum which can be built upon to develop future projects.
With a contemporary perspective on traditions, the Museum of British Folklore will work with emerging and established artists using folklore and seasonal customs as inspiration for their work. This approach will create explicit links between past and present, encouraging visitors to see how folklore inspires much modern day culture.
The Museum Director's background working for high profile clients such as Hermes, Swarovski, Maison Margiela and Alexander McQueen and his own artistic practice will be brought to the design of the museum's displays, providing people with a high quality visitor experience and positioning MoBF within the site's other cultural offers. Folklore is collaborative in nature and in this spirit, participants in folklore practice will be invited to perform and facilitate workshops at the museum to give visitors an experience of seasonal rituals from the inside.
In addition, facets of Britain's folk heritage will be preserved for display and study ensuring that people can enjoy and learn from them for years to come.
The Museum of British Folklore and the Cement Works site:
Linking the museum to the land is important, not only in a physical sense - in the use of vernacular design and local materials in its construction - but also in its content and focus.
Folklore is rooted to a sense of place and the museum will relate to its environment by featuring the many rich folk traditions and stories that are based in Sussex and the South Downs National Park.
These stories and traditions will be fully explored and displayed at the museum, giving local people and visitors a greater understanding of the history, beliefs and cultural expression of the region.
The area outside the museum on and events, further linking the museum building to the surrounding environment and providing visitors with a taste of seasonal customs in all their glory.
Situating MoBF in West Sussex would add to the already impressive cultural offer which extends into East Sussex, up to Kent and through to Hampshire, covering the South Downs National Park region.
There is potential for partnering with galleries and museums in the area, sharing resources and making exhibitions and collections more accessible.
This sensitivity to the site and connections with the local vicinity, employing local people and working with other occupants of the proposed 'Cultural Quarter' makes MoBF a good fit with the current plans for the building scheme.
The Museum of British Folklore building will be constructed using natural materials and ensuring that the building conforms to, or surpasses, current environmental requirements.
This approach will be extended beyond the construction of the building to ensure that the museum is run and maintained with minimum impact on its environment, with the added benefit of low running costs. MoBF will make use of the proposed transport plan which is in place as part of the SDP proposal and it is anticipated that most visitors will arrive via dedicated buses to the site.
Aside from environmental sustainability, the success of the project relies on the local community buying into its aims and feeling like a genuine part of the development and the opportunities it brings.
MoBF can contribute to building relationships with schools and colleges and will encourage employment of local people in a paid and voluntary capacity in areas such as management, visitor services, buildings operations, security and retail.
MoBF will also be a commissioner of new work and can utilise art colleges and artistic talent in the region to run competitions, feature upcoming artists and offer space for performance.
Working with a funding body, such as the Arts Council, MoBF could play a role as a supporter of early career artists and craftspeople. There is also scope to partner on public art projects within the Cement Works site and beyond.
The West Sussex Cultural Strategy has identified the large post-working age group residing in the region. This demographic will be a key part of MoBF's operation, as they have greater disposable income and can offer volunteer time. This will be a reciprocal relationship: volunteering brings the benefits of socialising and well-being to older groups of people and MoBF will benefit from the experience and expertise of its volunteers.
Financial sustainability will be assured through the construction of a multi-purpose building with space for performance, events, conferences etc. A high quality restaurant and retail offer will contribute to museum revenue and the museum will embrace and develop new opportunities for income generation, such as licensing and commercial partnerships.
The South Down Project and the Museum of British Folklore are transformative in their scope and outlook, with a common interest in the land, a similar approach to long-term sustainability and shared aims to rejuvenate the region culturally and financially.
We believe that a national museum with these complimentary values situated at the Cement Works site would make it an even more attractive proposal to visitors, the local community and planners alike.
Simon Costin, Director, Museum of British Folklore. November 2016
STATEMENT: Liz Bishop, CEO, Brighton Fashion Week, gives her view about the importance of the South Down Project.
Liz Bishop, CEO,Brighton Fashion Week.
Brighton Fashion Week has grown to become Europe’s leading event for breakthrough design talent attracting young emerging fashion designers from all over the World launching careers of designers such as Katie Jones, Catherine Hudson and Jess Eaton.
Established in 2010, the event has showcased collections from over 600 new designers on its catwalks. Its dynamic programming is built around a strong eco-sustainable core and is committed to equipping the future fashion industry with the exciting talent, design techniques and knowledge for an industry needing to still consume and enjoy fashion but that also knows how to measure its impact on people and resources in the process.
Each year the event is well attended attracting a good turnout from both the local community and across the World.
This inspirational event not only provides great entertainment for its audience but, provides experience to over 200 volunteers and students working in fashion, film, modelling, choreography, PR, photography, make-up, hair, sound, lighting and styling providing them with a springboard for many to gain entry into their desired field.
Brighton Fashion Week is produced and delivered by a solid team that have worked together for 10 years and work in events and festivals year round. They bring an energy not seen at other international fashion weeks.
Liz Bishop, the CEO, is at the heart of the event leading the team with skill and working alongside the talented creative director Alex Thirlwell. Both headhunt the best emerging talent in fashion around the globe.
All the team bring their passion and energy to the event questioning what exists in fashion today and creating an inspiring platform to showcase the talent of tomorrow.
Above: posted on April 12, 2015 by Lion Works Studios:
“We shot a beauty editorial recently with makeup artist Xoe Kingsley.
Xoe created a sunworn complexion with a warm satin finish, high tone and freckles. The look suggests strength with exaggerated brows and imperfect mascara, embracing a slightly wild beauty. The hair was inspired by the new Wetlook seen across LFW15 but with a nod to long summer days and sea swims. A mixture of Profoto strip lights, beauty dishes and deep umbrellas were used to create the lighting.”
Copyright © 2017 Lion Works Studios.
Siobhan Wilson has been a recent addition to the team. After working in sustainable fashion for over 10 years she brings with her a large international network that is spearheading changes needed to grow the sustainable fashion industry. Organisations such as The Ethical Fashion Forum, The World Fair Trade Organisation, WRAP and Fashion Revolution partnered with the event last year bringing their knowledge and expertise to designers, schools, colleges, universities and the general public.
Brighton Fashion Week’s most recent event received a good amount of press attention that far exceeded their expectations with 96 digital and non-digital publications covering the catwalks and fringe activities.
The PR value was over £155,000 reaching a readership of over 23 million. American Express’ international “Essentials” magazine listed the show under “The World’s Coolest Fringe Fashion Weeks” and “Sublime” magazine awarded it “Best British Fashion Week 2015.”
The South Down Project is an ideal location to host Brighton Fashion Week as an exciting “new destination”, meeting future requirements for a venue which can encompass not only the catwalks but a trade show and facilities for fringe activities.
It is ideally placed with its proximity to London, and also Heathrow and Gatwick Airports for its international visitors, but close enough to Brighton and Hove to continue to reflect the uniqueness and originality of the city.
Carol Rose who headed up the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan from WRAP and advisor to many large high street brands at the time of the last event stated “The Sustainable Fashion Industry is at the moment conceptual, as its real identity, scope and impact has yet to be established and delivered.
Brighton Fashion Week has real potential to fill this space by providing a common place for education and the development of emerging designers whose wish is to transform the way clothes are designed, manufactured and marketed.
It has the potential to be the first initiative to help sustainable brands scale up and bring their products to market to offer a real difference against what exists.
Liz Bishop, CEO, Brighton Fashion Week.
STATEMENT: Richard Ainsworth, Director and Owner, Rodhus Studios, Brighton, explains how significant the Shoreham Cement Works site could be to the creative industries.
Since being founded in 2011, Rodhus Studios has provided workspace for creatives. It houses over 30 makers, designers and artists, from photographers, through to woodworkers, doll makers, screen printers, musicians, fashion and product designers. The aim has always been to preserve the factory as a vibrant work hub where people physically make and do things.
Brighton has a burgeoning creative sector with many home based start ups, it has over 4,000 people working in the creative industries, and Rodhus offers the opportunity for these people to take the next step.
Statement - Shoreham Maker Space
“Craftsmanship has again become fashionable in high places, just as it did in the last few recessions”
Christopher Frayling - On Craftsmanship
There is a burgeoning community of designer makers and creatives based in and around Brighton and Hove. The world of craft based design is very much alive and well and contributes so much to the identity and economy of the area. With two universities nearby; Brighton and Sussex, as well as City College and Northbrook College, providing courses that include architecture, product design, graphic design, fashion, 3D design, photography, and art based programmes and degrees.
A challenge for us as we move on is to educate and inform the next generation about the world of design and making. A generation of young people have grown up oblivious as to how things are made. Young people are more likely to pursue a career in the service sector which means that small manufacturing companies struggle to find the required engineering skills needed for new recruits.
Richard Ainsworth, Director and Owner, Rodhus Studios, Brighton.
In essence, Rodhus is a community of creative businesses under one roof, a collaboration that allows for cheaper overheads with the added benefit of interdisciplinary influence and support.