Deborah Smith Projects | Contemporary Arts Organisation

Thetford Art Projects

An exciting programme of new artworks called Thetford Art Projects comes to Thetford town during March 2011. The artists respond to the specific characteristics of the town aiming to capture the diversity of the people who make up Thetford through exploring concepts of place, history and community.

The first in the series Twentyfourhoured Thetford by the Ultimate Holding Company is a digital portrait of the Norfolk town of Thetford, UK. It was created by the people of the town through the submission of hundreds of photographs, objects, writing and drawings – all collected in a 24 hour period by UHC.

Organisations and individual contributions included – the bells of St Peter’s Church ring ing this to herald the start of Twentyfourhoured Thetford; at 12.24pm on 4th March, lessons at Thetford Grammar School came to a halt whilst every pupil spends 24 minutes creating a small piece of work for the project; the Teenage History Club at Ancient House Museum created a board game based on their favourite incidents in Thetford’s past, with the group inviting visitors to play; children from Thetford Music Project’s Singing Group contributed a recording of The Ballad of Tom Paine, a song written for the 2009 Paine Bicentenary Celebrations by song leader John Weeks.

The digital portrait can be seen here A four-page spread was also published in the free monthly magazine aboutthetford May 2011 and distributed 10,800 to households.

For the second project in the series, DodoLab presents The Thetford Travelling Menagerie. Their goal to use stories and images of local animals (past and present, real and imagined) to inspire people in the community to share their perceptions of Thetford today. The stories and images of animals offered to trigger memories and tales, a menagerie of beasts to conjure up stories of Thetford, its history of change and its current state of flux. What belongs, what’s been lost, what keeps people away, and what draws them in? What can we learn and share about migration, displacement, settlement and change from the creatures and natural world around us?

DodoLab’s work of a series of banners with graphic animal imagery adorned King Street, at Ancient House Museum with specially made knitted animals by the Ancient House Knit and Knatter group, and an installation in the foyer of Thetford Library.  Their Thetford Travelling Menagerie storybook and badges were used to trigger conversations and reflections on the community at a one off event in the Market Square. View here The Thetford Travelling Menagerie findings and The Thetford Travelling Menagerie Storybook.
Commissioned in 2010-2011 by Breckland Council and funded by the Breckland Partnership through Migration Impact Funding.


Twentyfourhoured Thetford, Ultimate Holding Company, 2011