Past/Present/Future – Spirit of Dickens in Slough
Past, Present, Future marked 175 years since Dickens classic A Christmas Carol was published. Our Winter Festival 2018 provided an opportunity for residents & artists in Slough to celebrate our history, our current artistic & community achievements & look ahead to what next for our people & place.
Using the amazing heritage backdrop & context of The Mere, we worked with local spoken word, poets & writers of all ages to share their experiences of Slough past, present & future. Local choirs and musicians created, shared and integrated their work to form one performance piece. The Mere not only offered a beautiful building & backdrop, but the opportunity for participants & audiences to explore a largely unknown Slough history of Charles Dickens publishers ‘Bentley’s’ as creative inspiration for creating, performing, reading & hearing poetry, prose & lyrics today.
We connected to the core themes of the story as a starting point for work. Past, Present, Future echoes the ghosts that Scrooge meets & is also broad enough for all to interpret in their own artistic & secular ways.
In partnership with EEA we installed ‘Paper Peace’, a 12-foot poem light sculpture by artist Robert Montgomery at two Slough locations, The Curve and The Mere, as part of its national tour, encouraging a further level of engagement with art experiences. 2018 also marked the centenary of World War One Armistice and this piece alongside the Past/Present/Future connected themes showed the power of art, words & togetherness in rethinking our world.
In additional to the finale event at The Mere, we worked with over two hundred Slough residents who took part in art activity across Slough – in our libraries, shopping centres, pubs and at cultural hub The Curve. People of all ages have responded to & reflected on the connected themes of redemption, forgiveness, community & what makes us truly rich…
In partnership with Slough Museum, Slough Libraries, The Curve, The Charles Dickens Museum, Emergency Exit Arts and HOME Slough.
Supported by Arts Council England