After seeing their ‘Calling Tree’ performance, part of LIFT Tottenham’s project in Bruce Castle Park this summer, we spoke to the LIFT team to find out more. Erica Campayne, LIFT Senior Producer, told us about their work in Tottenham and some of their upcoming events. LIFT Festival ran from 1st June to 2nd July 2016.
How did LIFT Festival start?
LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre) is about London. For over 35 years we have presented shows in partnership with London’s major arts venues, theatres and galleries, but also in countless hidden spaces and places across the city. LIFT is firmly rooted in the life of this great city and of its people, celebrating the experiences of the many individuals, cultures and communities that call London home.
Our bi-annual festival transforms London into a stage, presenting the work of world-class artists and companies whose radical imaginations create exceptional work that questions the nature of theatre, engages with the big ideas of our time, and reveals the stories and communities of our incredibly diverse city.
Tell us a bit about the LIFT Tottenham project and why it was set up.
LIFT has always ensured it remains rooted in the city we live in by running various participatory projects that engage with local communities. Historically we ran these projects across London but in 2014 we decided to concentrate on one area. With its character, energy and inspiring creative practice taking place already, Tottenham felt like the perfect area to create a real partnership with the community. We have lots of plans to continue to work with local artists and introduce internationally renowned work to the area.
Was LIFT Tottenham 2016 a success?
It was fantastic, the LIFT UpLIFTers students from Northumberland Park Community School and The Vale school had an absolutely brilliant time as the Official Festival Jury – they attended a number of shows and presented artists with various awards at The Children’s Choice Awards on the penultimate day of the festival. It was great to be able to introduce the students to international work from renowned artists and vice versa! We also presented Calling Tree in and around a 500-year-old oak tree in Bruce Grove Park that encouraged passers-by to stop and contemplate their natural surroundings – this was a really beautiful piece and it’s nice to think that locals would have just stumbled upon it in their daily lives.
We’d love to hear more about the Tottenham artist gatherings. What can artists expect from attending?
The artist gatherings offer local people involved in ANY art form and at any level an opportunity to come together and discover a support network that can inspire and push a diverse range of artistic practices. The evenings do differ but there’s always some networking and an opportunity for artists to showcase their work plus some drinks and nibbles too.
Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring local artists?
Come to an artist gathering! The best thing to do is get out there and meet likeminded people – not only will you find inspiration but you’ll establish a great network of contacts to work with and partner up with in future.
You can get involved in some LIFT Tottenham events this October:
Tottenham Artist Hangout – Monday 10 October
6 – 8pm at STYX, 5 Ashley Road, Tottenham N17 9LJ
Free networking event for local Tottenham artists
Kamyon By Michael De Cock – Tuesday 11 October
1pm, 3pm and 5.30pm in Bernie Grant Art Centre’s courtyard
Suitable for ages 8+
A tale of an ordinary young girl with ordinary dreams, fleeing her home to find a safe place to live, to love and to be a human. Much like the fate of millions of refugees, this story takes place in the back of a truck that has been weaving its way across Europe – stopping now in London to invite you into its world of live music, soundscapes and a story of survival.
GALA By Jérôme Bel – Tuesday 11 October
7pm at Bernie Grant Art Centre
Suitable for ages 10+
Dance performance including 20 local Tottenham dancers
You can find out more about the project on their website at Lift Tottenham