Community

Wellcome Collection community engagement reaches out beyond our walls to groups who might not know us, have visited us, or who want to engage with us in a different way. We participate in large scale events such as Bloomsbury Festival, but also offer more bespoke experiences with one-off projects and our introductory programme, Wellcome Repackaged (see below). We’re always keen to explore potential partnership projects, but plan things quite a long time in advance. If you’ve not worked with use before, Wellcome Repackaged is a great way for us to get to know each other.

Wellcome Repackaged

A two-session thematic, creative mini project that introduces Wellcome Collection and the community group to each other. Session one takes place at the community venue, with object handling, creative hands-on activities and lots of interesting conversations. For session two, we invite the group to visit us at Wellcome Collection to see the galleries, be creative and have more conversations over tea and biscuits. These mini-projects are free for community groups.

If you would like to discuss taking part please get in touch with Eleanor on e.lanyon@wellcome.ac.uk

Current projects

Co-production audio project

Over the summer we worked on a collection of creative audio pieces to accompany ‘Bedlam: the asylum and beyond’. The exhibition traces the rise and fall of the asylum to explore the diverse and often contradictory ideas around mental illness: how it is experienced, how art, medicine and society have sought to define and treat it, and how we might come to terms with it in the future.

We worked with members of Core Arts, an organisation that supports mental health service users to develop their creativity, and artist Jessica Marlowe. Participants used a variety of audio techniques to respond to the exhibition themes and exhibits, drawing on their own lived experience and offering unique perspectives mental health conditions, treatment, representation and social attitudes both now and in the past.

The audio pieces created are available on handsets in the gallery and you can listen them on our website.

Previous projects

Bloomsbury Festival 2016

Over the summer we’ll be running community workshops that creatively explore this year’s festival theme: language. We hope to showcase the outcome(s) of these workshops during the festival’s public events in October.

Somers Light

2015 was the UN International Year of Light. Wellcome Collection worked with partners, Origin Housing, and the Crick Institute to develop and deliver a community engagement project on Sidney Estate, Somers Town, inspired by the theme of light. A programme of summer holiday workshops and several larger-scale events were held on the Estate for local residents.

Narrative Environments students from Central St Martins worked with local residents to develop designs for a more permanent installation in the central courtyard that would enable residents to socialise, play and enjoy the outdoors. Residents voted for their favourite from three designs, and we are currently engaging a production company to make the design a reality.

More information about our community projects to follow.