September –
October 2016

Inspired by the 950th
anniversary of the
Battle of Hastings
25th April 2016

Blog Post #1: Project Art Works

Just a quick word of welcome. My name is Tom, and I am working as an intern on the ROOT 1066 festival. I thought that this would be a good place to share ideas/opinions/news/stories – and so I wanted to begin by giving a brief overview of my initial thoughts regarding ROOT 1066 as a whole.

On beginning, I was delighted to find that community cohesion is one of the festival’s core intents. Some projects, like
Hastings Speaks, are completely reliant on public participation. Others, like the Battle Festival Opera, work with schools to offer unique opportunities for young people. The festival’s creative use of mass collaboration, I suggest, is where its uniqueness lies.



But I found a recent encounter with Project Art Works particularly inspiring. Project Art Works is an organisation that works with people with complex needs – individualising the creative process in order to produce first-class art.

With Project Art Works, Sam Smith has staged his first solo exhibition. It is being held at the
blackShed gallery – and I found it eye-opening. It enlivens the artistic process in a way I hadn’t previously experienced. Central to the exhibition is a short film that shows Smith at work – instigating an intimate interplay between body/mind/emotions/environment/materials. The canvases are vivid, vibrant enactments of expression: testament to Smith’s talent, and to Project Art Works’ recognition of it.

Smith’s exhibition is completely independent of ROOT 1066 (see
here for Project Art Works’ festival-commissioned event – details of which are soon to appear on this website). I simply wanted to highlight their positive ethos as emblemising what I hope this festival can achieve. Contemporary artistic excellence, a collaborative community spirit and a sustained economic stimulus – these are the things that can, hopefully, herald Hastings’ rejuvenation.




Thanks for reading – I’ll be updating again soon.

Image Credit: Sam Smith, untitled C4-5. Acrylic on Board.
Available to purchase here.