Culture Clash Festival Opens Heritage to New Audiences in Worcester

In March Sound and Art at St Swithun’s in Worcester hosted a one day Culture Clash festival of sonic and visual exploration, bringing together or ‘clashing’ different audiences, artists and art-forms to interpret the heritage of St Swithun’s. The Culture Clash was led by the international sound artist Jason Singh and the textile artist David Littler.  Daytime activity consisted of sessional workshops, exploring creative art opportunities in the space. Participants sampled sounds of voice, organ, bells, clock, water in the font etc. Illustrations and impressions of the space were meshed into kaleidoscopic roundels, which in turn were alchemised into sound patterns. Evening activity consisted of an immersive performance in which the artists own responses to the space were included alongside the artwork created during the day workshops.

Participants ranged from toddlers to the elderly and most had wandered in and took part, some first time visitors, some long-standing volunteers. An organised group of pupils from King’s School, Worcester, also attended to obtain portfolio evidence towards their Artsmark Gold Award.

To further the work of the original festival we ran two mini Culture Clash sessions with New College (the national residential school and college for young people aged 11 to 19 who are visually impaired) and the Acorns Children’s Hospice (who work with 11 to 19 year olds with life limiting or life threatening conditions and their families in Worcester). These mini Clashes demonstrated how this type of creative engagement can help unlock barriers to participating with heritage (whether perceptual, sensory or physical).

If successful with our £2.4M application to the Heritage Lottery Fund, Sound and Art at St Swithun’s will deliver an experiential learning and engagement programme that will provide new, immersive and exciting ways to interpret and re-connect people with heritage. Watch this space!


Isabel Assaly - Regeneration Manager

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