Funded by Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Arts Council England and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation via the New Theatre in Your Neighbourhood project. Originally commissioned by Southbank Centre, London.
In 2012 we were commissioned by the Southbank Centre to present some ideas as part of the Women of the World Festival. We commissioned 15 artists to present short performances about a woman who inspires them. We worked with sculptors, poets, actors, musicians, designers and comedians to create a secret garden in the basement of the Southbank Centre. The event was experienced online and in person by over 10,000 people. They joined us for food, drink, music and performance and the atmosphere was electric and memorable.
Artists involved were: Makiko Aoyama, Rachel Blackman, Sophia Clist, Helen Eastman, Akiya Henry, Rachel Mars, Natalia Kaliada, Katie Mitchell, Victoria Moseley, Melanie Pappenheim, Clare Patey, Leisa Rea, Jenny Sealey, Peggy Shaw and Erica Whyman. The creative team included Malika Booker, Natasha Chivers, Lizzie Clachan, Nic Green, Lois Weaver and Melanie Wilson.
To watch films of the short performance pieces from the performances at the Southbank Centre in 2012, visit phenomenalpeople.tumblr.com.
The Cultural Institute at King’s commissioned Fuel, as one of their four inaugural Knowledge Producers, to undertake further research for Phenomenal People. Throughout 2013, Kate and Louise spent time with academics at King’s College London exchanging ideas and responding to a set of challenges at the roots of the process – what are the implications of curating these women’s stories, and whose voices might be obscured in the act of choosing? Knowledge Producers, a programme created by the Cultural Institute at King’s College London, was tailor designed to help artists answer these sorts of questions. Bringing Fuel and cutting-edge King’s College London researchers together, it allowed an academic perspective on those questions to emerge, shaping Phenomenal People, and provoking yet more discovery. Fuel’s discussions with its collaborators afforded academics with fresh insights into cultural and artistic production and their input changed and shaped the project
In 2014, in collaboration with King’s College London as part of the Cultural Institute’s Knowledge Producers programme, we launched an online space where you could tell us who you think deserves recognition, find out about other extraordinary women, and join a conversation with King’s academics, artists and many others.
We presented live performances by brilliant artists in a special indoor garden that toured around the UK. In each location, the garden was created by local and international artists including renowned Artistic Director of Graeae and co-director of the opening ceremony of the Paralympics, Jenny Sealey, artist and designer Sophia Clist, and stand-up performer Rachel Mars. Alongside this we launched an online space, a digital garden, where you could tell us who you think deserves recognition, find out about other extraordinary women, and join a conversation with King’s academics, artists and many others.