An Arts Council England grant awarded for artist in residency at Holy Trinity Church, Sunderland

The grant will fund a residency in the East End of Sunderland. Based at the Donnison School and Holy Trinity Church in Hendon, the residency will run from March through to October, culminating in an exhibition at Holy Trinity and the publication of a free newspaper.

Wootten will be working with Living History North East, a Canny Space partner who - along with The University of Sunderland and Hendon Young Peoples Project - are working to revitalise Holy Trinity into a valued community hub for local people.

Wootten is also very interested in the plans for The Canny Space and sees this as an area for exploration:

“I would like to investigate the traditional role played by the ‘church’ within this community and it’s historic relationship within working class areas - this project is in part about how this is being redefined and how a church can re-emerge as a new and vital form of community space. I feel this is particularly relevant in this time of spending cuts when communities such as this one always seem to be disproportionately affected.”

Wootten has recently completed two commissions - one for the North Of England Refugee Service, resulting in the publication of ‘Northern Refuge’ by the North East Photography Network, which looks at issues of asylum and migration in local communities in our region. The second was for South Tyneside Council and art consultants Grit & Pearl. This was an interpretation and public engagement project which culminated in a series of large scale photographs on site-specific billboards along South Shields seafront, depicting visitors to the beach.