Producing & Events Management Intern
Producing & Events Management Intern
As there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ day for an Eyeview intern, here’s a little insight into some of the events I have had the pleasure to work on…
Fabric of Home
The internship starts in the second week of June and I’m assisting London-based artist Amy Pitt with her ‘Fabric of Home’ installation; creating a model-village style ‘map’ of Torbay on the lawn in front of Oldway Mansion. Chatting as we work, I learn that Amy has previously worked on lots of large-scale immersive theatre and community engagement projects.
Building the installation is a highly varied job; within the first morning I have painted plinths for the model homes to be placed on and covered them in material, soil and moss, I’ve twined the twigs and willow forming the ‘roots of the community’, and I have spent much of the morning interacting with the public and local dog walkers who, understandably, are very curious to know what is going on inside the fences. Inviting curiosity and sparking conversations is at the heart of the Eyeview programme, and this project certainly achieved this!
In the afternoon, members of the community bring their models to be put into the installation, and Amy records their stories for a personal touch. One gentleman became involved upon walking into the Winner Street base (which is a converted furniture shop) with the hope of purchasing a bookcase!
Whilst building the installation we have been blessed with bright sunshine and good weather, but with the installation exposed to the elements for the next two weeks there is concern about their resilience to the elements. Amy’s solution becomes my next job for the day: spraying the models with the same solution that makes rain coats waterproof! Over the week the installation starts to take shape and continues to generate interest and spark conversations.
The following week is spent talking to passers-by as anticipation builds for the fences to come down, and promoting the next stage of the installation-our mass sewing event taking place the following weekend on the 8th and 9th of June, where everyone, regardless of age or ability, is invited to take part and contribute something to the installation. This is very well received and over 600 people showed up to participate!
It’s Friday and I’m assigned to help out at the Street Music event. This was originally planned to be an evening of Street performances along the seafront in Paignton featuring a collaboration between musicians from the UK and visiting musicians from Hong Kong, curated by Hugh Nankivell and Steve Snowden, with the aim of these providing a platform for emerging artists to present their work and encouraging future collaborations (another Eyeview principle!).
However, the weather was not a cool summer evening as had been envisioned, and Friday witnessed relentless downpours of rain. A last-minute wet weather plan involved moving the event into St Andrews Church, Paignton. Whilst this created a different vibe to the one originally intended, it was an exciting evening with an interesting and unusual use of space as different areas of the church were explored through music.
Duties on the evening involved putting up lots of flags and posters, welcoming guests, looking after the musicians, volunteer management and providing lots of warming tea!
Saturday morning we’re up bright and early to set up the Winner Street takeover: a celebration of neighbourhood and kindness in an entirely car free space! Thankfully the weather has brightened a little, although we are all still on guard to take action at the first sign of rain. This day involves a big team and lots of jobs with the creation of music, dance, play and creative zones as well as pop up performances.
As interns we are asked to do multiple jobs by different event managers at the same time and its slightly chaotic but very fun. Our day starts by setting out deck chairs and tables, followed by securing trees to create a tree-lined zone that will host Ashley Peevor’s Grass Men performances, a grounding session and a tai chi class.
We’re then handed chalk spray cans and told to spray pictures onto the road (this goes against every law-abiding instinct but we had been assured it would, eventually, wash off) so we let our creativity go wild and soon the street is covered in brightly spray painted with signs, swirls, and with every summer related item you can think of!
As the afternoon rain comes in, I’m put in charge of running the ‘Acts of Kindness’ exhibition, curated by Participate Arts and featuring artworks made by local school children. The exhibition features some truly heart-warming stories from the local community and is very well received.
As the weather brightened up its straight back into street party mode, wiping down chairs, getting a gazebo to cover the music stage and bringing out the maypole for dancing. Before the events even finished it’s time to start dismantling parts of it, packing down all the deckchairs and tables-it’s heavy work!
After spending Tuesday morning opening the Eyeview shop on Winner Street and running the ‘Acts of Kindness’ exhibition, I jump in the car and head to All Saints Church in Brixham, where I meet a volunteer who briefs me on my duties and I am left in charge of the venue: a vast church with a light display curated by Sean Harris entitled ‘The Cave Hunters and The Truth Machine’.
The eerie light show runs on a loop every 20 minutes, conveying what Harris describes as ‘a journey from a mythically described universe to one of science’. It’s an innovative use of space, playing on a church’s use as a place of quiet contemplation and prayer. I chat with guests as they come in and keep a tally of how many visitors have appeared that afternoon. At the end of the day I hand the keys back to the church warden who closes up and am rather glad to leave the constantly looping soundtrack that accompanies the light display.
As well as those mentioned above, I also worked the Electric Sound Palace at the Paignton Picturehouse, the ‘Take a Seat’ performances in Torquay, and ‘The Offering’ procession that culminated at Torre Sands.
It’s been a highly exciting opportunity and an intriguing insight into the world of events. I’ve witnessed first-hand how event professionals, volunteers and communities have come together to create something truly (extra)ordinary.