Sutton St James Commission

I began initial conversations and ‘investigations’ in earnest yesterday in Sutton St James. What began as a chat over breakfast became a serious root around in several residents and community organisations archives. I was happy to meet many people trying to deal with or solve local issues of isolation and loneliness by themesleves. I applaud them for this there was Cheryl and her womens group, Sue and her outreach, Nigel with his crossroads lookout and Mr Steve and his free healing. However one man in particular stood out – Colin 84, who since his wife died and with support from a neighbour, has joined a knitting circle where he makes jumpers, He also opens his life to others from international communities, supports his family to engage in work for Red Cross in West Africa and travels regularly to Jamaica. This determination “to live”, as he puts it, is a reaction to this dealt hand – that of an “uneducated pig farmer” from the rural Fenlands. All of which made me reflect again on the role culture and ask how can the arts support this good work, meet people half way or do any better than whats already there?
An Instagram feed of photos I’m taking across the project can be found here