Here is an overview of some of the artists ECDP have supported and worked with over the last 11 years, through our commissions, projects and events programmes. This page is a hidden page on ECDP’s website, put together for the Space Commission application.
Lu Williams was selected for our NPO artist commission in Basildon, delivering a project to create a collaborative community ‘Zine’. Lu Williams creates, self publishes, platforms and archives zines. Zines are an incredibly good way of documenting facts, stories and ‘feeling’. They can hold conversations, encourage collaboration, build and celebrate community. The intersections between Lu’s identities as a queer, working class women, Essex born and bred, have greatly informed the artist’s work and socially orientated practice. She founded Grrrl Zine Fair, comprised of live events, zine workshops, Grrrl In Print collective zine and a 300 publication strong feminist zine library which tours the UK. Grrrl Zine Fair platforms women, trans and non-binary artists, putting diversity and accessibility at the forefront of Lu’s artistic practice.
Arooj Khan was selected for our place-based artist commission in Grays, delivering a project entitled Grays + Me: An Alternative Mapping Project, exploring people, place and regeneration. The project encouraged residents to re-map where they live, in their own personal way. Artem et Populis is the artistic alias for Arooj Khan, a seasoned arts practitioner, researcher and impact measurement specialist, with experience of programme design and delivery with and for people facing disadvantage. She is also currently completing a doctorate in Human Geography, whereby her research utilises creative research methods extensively, therefore she is able to design fit for purpose arts focused methodologies to sit alongside more widely used approaches. Arooj has worked with the Centre for Urban and Community Research in a freelance capacity to evaluate a number of different arts projects.
Close and Remote
Close and Remote (Sophie Mellor and Simon Poulter) were selected for our place-based artist commission in Jaywick Sands, delivering a new project Days Like These. This was a celebration of everyday beauty, working with local community groups using watercolours, sound recordings and virtual reality. Close and Remote have established a national practice working on commissions with a range of organisations, recently working with FACT, Creative Barking & Dagenham, Essex Cultural Diversity Partnership and Home Slough. Recurring themes in their work include unusual places, unusual suspects, watercolour painting, home-brew VR and what the artists call ‘tiny spectacle’. Their practice is observational, not attendant to one method and often based on research.
Artist Tom Cross was appointed for ECDP’s commission in Aylesbury Library, the first in a series of commissions in Buckinghamshire over the next three years in partnership with Farnham Maltings, funded by the Rothschild Foundation. Tom is a visual artist who uses animation and drawing to tell his and other people’s stories. He graduated from Wolverhampton Polytechnic with BA (hons) in fine art and a Postgraduate Diploma in animation from St Martin’s School of Art. Tom’s previous commissions include animations by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Bodleian library, and an installation for the foyer of Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Tom has also worked as a Creative Catalyst for Create Gloucestershire, helping two libraries in the Cotswolds develop their cultural offer. Tom also runs creative wellbeing projects for vulnerable people of all ages.
Born and raised in India, Lata currently lives and works in Essex. Lata is a visual artist specialising in contemporary sculpture and has completed masters in fine art in both India and the Slade School of Art, London. Her work is held in private collections throughout Europe, India, Middle East and the far East. Lata’s work reflects upon her own life, the experience of migrating from the East to the West. The work offers the sense of re-familiarisation with Lata’s origins in India. Through Lata’s extensive travels, she has participated in International Artists Residencies that have allowed her to further explore different mediums and practices. In addition Lata has also been a key activist in establishing an artists community in South Essex and now has established her studio at Acme, High House Production Park in Purfleet. ECDP has worked with Lata regularly over the years, commissioning the artist as part of the Creative Diversity Hubs programme, supporting the artist’s Transit project, and Lata was one of four artists and storytellers on ECDP’s Kavaad showcase and creative exchange at the Surajkund International Crafts Mela 2020.
Based in Thurrock, Hi Ching is the founder of FIPA – Foundation for Indian Performing Arts, an Essex based collective experienced in creating, performing and organising diverse arts and heritage projects. Commissioned by Essex Cultural Diversity Project in early 2015, their new work Junkiri is an outdoor art installation involving the Nepalese community in Thurrock. Under the Artistic Direction of Hi Ching, FIPA installed a collection of interactive firefly sculptures in various town throughout Essex that could be lit up by an accompanying phone app. Each firefly represented a well-known member of the Nepalese community. An accompanying online oral history collection was linked digitally to the sculptures, opening up the heritage and culture of the Gurkha community in Essex.
Seema Anand is a Storyteller, Artist and Narrative Specialist. She is a Doctor of Narrative Practices, working with the uses and the implications of ‘Oralness’, specialising in Story telling. Seema specialises in global mythologies – comparing and retelling stories through different cultural nuances to give everyone ownership of the tales. Her ongoing work in researching and collating stories from the ancient Asian texts is an invaluable resource, both in the corporate and the education sectors. Story, according to Seema, is a physical skill and a visual art and her work is developed to include alternative aesthetic and cultural perspectives for all ages and capacities. ECDP has partnered with Seema on many different projects over the years, including the Kavaad Picnic in rural locations of Essex, hosting events as part of a project inspired by ‘Princess Sophia: Suffragettes and Women’s Votes, exploring BAME women’s engagement in the democratic process. Seema has also hosted events as part of our Festival of Norfolk & Punjab.
Lisa Temple Cox & Nicola Burrell
In their collaborative practice, Nicola Burrell and Lisa Temple-Cox work with places and histories to create artworks that sit in and belong to their site. They work in a range of media both permanent and temporary, and their practice is informed by public and community engagement. Lisa & Nicola are currently working collaboratively on Essex Cultural Diversity Project’s commission in partnership with National Trust, where they are working with diverse communities in Colchester to create a large felt-based map and accompanying book, to explore this National Trust’s Bourne Mill, geographically and culturally, and highlight the beauty and ecological diversity of the site.
Sade Fadipe started out her career as a linguist and later followed her passion to become a teacher by taking on a Post-graduate in Education in London, UK. After teaching in London for over a decade, she spent time out in remote areas of Northern Nigeria where she garnered enough interest to run an early intervention reading scheme. This high-lighted a dearth in picture books relevant to context. While training, she penned an indigenous alphabet script for her trainees. Little did she know that her ABC rhyme would one day evolve into ‘A Fun ABC’ – published in the UK, 2016 and distributed across the globe! A Fun ABC, now in it’s 3rd edition is also titled A Visit to Grandad in the US, 2019.
She has also written her first chapter book for older readings in which she weaves cultural parallels giving a further opening into the African continent. Snowy Joy published in 2019 is also on Amazon. Sade lives in Essex and is married with two daughters. Sade spoke at ECDP’s recent Stand Up For Diversity event, and was due to lead storytelling sessions for our Essex Book Festival events in Harlow and Basildon, which were unfortunately cancelled due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Everton Wright (EVEWRIGHT) is an Essex based British artist, with parentage from Jamaica. His work is a conscious ‘mash up’ of drawing, sculpture, combined with digital film and live installations. Evewright’s work explores the intricate connections between the body and our experience of the modern environment, and he communicates this through bold interactive art, also using urban and rural landscapes as his canvas. We recently supported Evewright’s Caribbean Takeaway Takeover: Identities and Stories, which recorded stories by elders of the Windrush Generation, and was exhibited free to the public at S&S Caribbean Café & Takeaway, a focus for the black community in Colchester.
Mike Robert is an award winning composer with specialisms in electronic, experimental, media and educational music. His artistic practice involves sound, music and multi-disciplinary artforms in collaboration with, and for, local communities to inspire wonder, learning and engagement. In the past five years he has worked alongside children and teenagers with special needs, SLD and PMLD; refugee and migrant communities; cross-generational choir groups; schools, special schools and home education groups; families and geographically defined communities; and arts and heritage organisations.