Out of the Ordinary Places (OOTO Places) is an Ideas Test programme working in four areas of North Kent where commissioned artists created projects shaped by people and place.
Developed to support more people to get involved in the arts, four new projects took place in Iwade, Sittingbourne, Strood and the Isle of Grain. OOTO Places explores how local residents and artists can co-create new and experimental work that reimagines and challenges perceptions of place and in turn raises wider social and political questions.
From October to December 2015, OOTO Places invited people in Strood, Isle of Grain, Sittingbourne and Iwade in North Kent to participate in new artist-lead projects in their local area. At the core of OOTO Places was a call to action, asking local residents to collaborate with artists and each other to shape their projects by taking part in discussions, workshops and performances. From guided walks steeped in historical tradition to designing monumental billboards; VJ workshops exploring the politics of partying to creating a new subversive pantomime.
Ideas Test commissioned work by Ruth Ewan, Mikhail Karikis, Richard Houguez and Lucy Joyce.
Social Art Map
Dr Sophie Hope has been working as an external critical eye to the Out of the Ordinary Places programme. In June 2015 she outlined the process for mapping the projects through the “Social Art Map”. This aimed to outline the journey of individuals in each commission and the OOTO programme as a whole.
The social art mapping process looks at the artist, collaborators and participants’ journeys, mapping the progress of the projects’ strengths, weaknesses and areas of uncertainty, with a focus on how we can learn from this process when making future off-site contemporary work in diverse locations.
Dr Sophie Hope describes Social Art Map as “a resource for peers working in areas of practicing, commissioning, curating, collaborating and participating in contexts where artists work with people in the co-creation of a public outcome.”