This week Spot On Lancashire launches Monument, a new digital artwork by Burnley based digital artist, Elliott Flanagan. Inspired by Spot On Lancashire’s archive, boasting 25 years of professional performing arts in village halls and libraries, Monument recognises Spot On’s vital role in bringing people together through shared experiences.
Burnley based artist, Elliott, was inspired by the idea that with Spot On, the art is what happens around the interval. The Covid-19 pandemic has put paid to many of these social interactions and has meant that it is even more vital to recognise and reflect on the impact Spot On has on the people and areas it works with.
The communal experience of joining together to share the intimacy of a Spot On co-ordinated performance has become poignantly magnified by its absence. These precious things that used to be taken for granted have visceral impact now. The visuals within Monument are abstracted from archive photographs and videos of a Spot On show hosted in 2000, along with recent filmed rural walks in Lancashire.
Elliott emphasised that his intention for the film was not inspired by lockdown and all of its negative consequences, but it did have an impact on how the film was created and where he focused his research: “People don’t need telling how bad things are. It’s tough out there with lockdown and a recession… This work is about escape – soaking up everything that’s going on. It’s like escaping for five minutes and stepping into something that’s immersive and is of both this world and another world.”
Sue Robinson from Spot On is thrilled with the film. “Not only is it great to be able to commission artists in these difficult times, it is one of the ways that Spot On ensures that the people of Lancashire can access high quality artworks normally only found in urban cultural venues.”
Debbi Lander, international curator and director of Lancashire’s bid to be city of culture 2025, commented “…it reminded me that what I am feeling or going through – other people are too. In that sense it achieved the goal of a shared experience. The piece gave me a considerable amount of comfort and a reminder that life isn’t normally like this.”
Monument is Spot On Lancashire’s second digital art commission following the launch of ‘Hit the North’ by Matt Wilkinson last year. These annual commissions take digital art out of the gallery and, as with the other work that Spot On Lancashire does, make it readily available to those who don’t normally have access to high quality professionally produced artworks.
Monument is one of a number of projects being managed by Spot On while it is not able to tour professional performing arts to libraries and village halls in Lancashire. These include Spot On at Home, a new tabloid magazine produced in partnership with Lancashire Libraries with articles and creative things to do at home and Spot On Stories, ten minute films on facebook and YouTube by professional artists made just for Spot On, giving audiences the opportunity to take a moment out of their day and be entertained. A new season of Spot On Shorts for adults is being launched on 22 October.
Monument can be accessed via the Spot On website from Tuesday 13th October at 6:45pm: spotonlancashire.co.uk/whats-on/monument
A conversation between Debbi Lander and Elliott Flanaghan can be downloaded from: spotonlancashire.co.uk/news/elliott-flanagan-and-debbi-lander-interview