Interview - Janie Nicoll on returning to community arts festival Streetland

The Glasgow-based artist tells us why it matters

As Glasgow-based artist Janie Nicoll prepares her return to community arts festival Streetland, she tells us why she thinks it matters

At last year’s Streetland festival in Govanhill you could really feel the buzz: from the visual arts to the films and talks being created, worked on or looked at. I was creating artwork for the outside of a building on West Moreland Street but went along to lots of the screenings and other events and there was a really great community interest. This year the plan is to make some specially-made bunting with the help of local youth groups, which will draw on the wider idea of traditional street parties. The bunting will be hung around Westmoreland Street Community Garden, a space that has been regenerated back from wasteland, for Streetland 2011.

The festival is being held on the weekend of the Royal Wedding, so it’s an ironic use of bunting, you could say. I did a similar ‘bad boy bunting’ project in Rochdale and it really helps communities scratch the surface a bit: think about which people and places they want on there. Ultimately the best thing Streetland can do is to offer the community and visitors to the weekend a sense of ownership and allegiance about what’s being created: you can’t really ask for more than that.

Janie Nicoll is currently working with young people in Dufftown as part of the Mortlach Walks Commission and will be undertaking a CCA Creative Lab residency in January 2012.

Streetland will run 29–30 Apr.

Streetland Festival

Community festival and street party in Glasgow's Govanhill, currently one of those exciting areas with a burgeoning creative scene. Activities include workshops, participatory arts projects, performances, music and food courtesy of Soul Food Sisters.

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