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13 On Now

Getting To Know You

1st Jun 31st Aug 2017
Project Details
  • Collectivity

In the summer of 2017 Sheila worked with two housing schemes in Fingerpost and Newton le Willows on a project called Getting To Know You.

Designed in collaboration with a regular group of about 15 residents the project was aimed at reaching out to those who were more invisible in each scheme - the people who didn't come down to meetings (for a variety of reasons) or were just a bit more private.

On a red and white checked background a black pin board rests with white letters on. The letters read 'Glynis and Malcolm it was great to see you love sylvia' A jumble of white letters are piled at the bottom of the pin board.

The group wanted to get to know them better (hence the project name), as well as their neighbours, and also one another.

To do this a series of out-of-the-ordinary gestures were created to cause a stir and generate conversation in their respective communities.

For example the opening workshop saw participants create individual floral invitations, which were hand delivered to each of the properties within the scheme. The mysterious hand printed invitations dropped through letterboxes with a note offering everyone the chance to ‘Join Us’ – on a specific date, but with no location offered. This created a talking point, whereby participants and staff were able to share more detail about the forthcoming event. Newcomers to the project then came out to join early participants and see a cellist and violinist perform - including the song ‘Getting to Know You’.

Two people are sat down and one person in a wheelchair are all in a row holding hands.
A person with fair hair in a bob sits in front of a colourful backdrop holding a black pin board. The backdrop is a forest design, with trees, mossy and red and white toadstools. The pin board they hold reads 'My name is Christine and I like Wine.'
A table with a red and white checked table clothe on. A pair of hands hold on to a flower with a tag attached.

Other gestures included the making and gifting of beaded bracelets as well as cards and a series of performative photographs being taken that shared details about themselves with their neighbours (to name but a few of the activities).

At the end of the project residents of the two housing schemes were brought together in a final mid-morning party and the two final artistic outcomes of the project were gifted to all.

A set of white teacups and saucers sit in front of white boxes. The teacups are decorated with line drawings of hands playing dominoes, flowers with tags attached and some text which reads 'you are precisely my cup of tea'. A black stamp on the boxes reads 'from the getting to know you art project'
Five teacups and saucers against a white background. The teacups are white with a golden rim, and show a black line drawing design of some hands playing dominoes.
A set of 5 white teacups and saucers with gold rim and black line drawing design. Inside one of the teacups you can see the words 'the last drop' in black.

These were 260 fine bone china teacups decorated with a pattern designed by the residents in collaboration with Sheila, and a set of 3 posters featuring the portrait photographs they'd been taking each week.

Each scheme received a framed set of the posters to hang somewhere and each resident received their own hand-delivered tea cup.

Since the project has finished the residents have organised a bring your own Getting To Know You tea cup 'coffee morning' at both schemes.

The two schemes Sheila worked with were Parr Mount Court in Fingerpost and Heald Farm Court in Newton-le-Willows.

A person with glasses and short dark hair sits with their arms crossed in front of a colourful backdrop. The backdrop is a forest design, with trees, mossy and red and white toadstools.

Sheila Ghelani

Sheila is an artist whose work spans performance, installation, participatory event and moving image.