Meet the You Me Us artists

On the left in a circle, a black woman is concentrating on writing in a notebook. Next is the You Me Us project logo which is a blue circle with hands of different skintones around it. In the centre of the circle are the words You Me Us. To the right in a circle frame is a older white man with grey beard. He is talking to someone on a mobile phone. He is smiling as he is talking.

In March 2021, a community panel made up of people from Medway and Swale and local organisations and community members chose 4 artists to lead groups for our You Me Us project

Find out more about our 4 You Me Us artists and their projects below, including subtitled videos in British Sign Language (BSL).

Anil Sebastian – Telephone Choir

Singing

Anil is a smiling person who is wearing a yellow beanie hat and a blue shirt with a black top underneath. They are sitting on a black sofa and have a red artwork behind them. On Anil's shoulder is a very fluffy grey tabby cat who is looking at the camera.

My project in one sentence: One-to-one call and answer singing on the phone!

Anil says;

We all have a voice – and your voice is unique to you. It’s yours to explore, express yourself with and enjoy. Music is in all of us and it is a way to come together. I hope this project will allow us to feel more connected to our own voices and to each other.”

 

 

More about the project

You’ll make music together with Anil over the phone using only your voices!

You’ll explore and play with voices using an easy ‘call and answer’ game.

To take part all you will need is your telephone and a quiet space.

You don’t need any previous singing experience and there’s no right or wrong – You’ll just be expressing ourselves in the moment through some call and answer games.

Anil will record parts of the call and join bits of your singing that you’re happy to share with other people’s and their own.

Together you’ll make a beautiful piece of music with all the voices of people who take part.

 

• Find Telephone Choir on social media: #YouMeUsChoir

Anil’s Website

 

Dan Simpson – Lifelines to Link Us

Poetry and Spoken Word

Photo of Dan Simpson. Dan is a white man with a beard. He is standing in front of a microphone with a black background behind him. He has his arms up in mid performance of a poem.
Photo c/o Dan Simpson

My project in one sentence: Connecting people through the experience of writing and sharing words from lockdown.

Dan says;

“Throughout lockdown I’ve seen the impact of writing to connect communities. I’m excited to use the power of poetry and spoken word in Medway and Swale, empowering people to express themselves and hear each other. Creatively sharing experiences can only bring us closer together, beating loneliness and isolation through the words that link us.”

 

 

More about the project

There are lots of ways to get involved in Dan’s project:

  • Poetry in the Post! Quick and easy writing challenges on worksheets to be completed at home, including ideas to share work publicly.
  • Join in with an online workshop, where Dan will guide you through exciting writing exercises – and you can share your creations with everyone else.
  • And simply send Dan your words about lockdown and he will add it to my “crowdsourced poem” – a massive community poem made from everyone’s ideas.

After that, it’s time to share your work further…

  • Dial-a-poem: speak to someone else who made a poem to share your art and experience
  • See your poem online in our digital showcase!

 

• Find Lifelines to Link Us on social media: #YouMeUsPoetry

Dan’s Website

 

Sophie Stone – an outside space

All and any forms of art, e.g. painting, music, audio recordings, video recordings, poetry, stories, written accounts, descriptions, drawings, photographs.

My project in one sentence: an outside space is a project focused on connecting with the outdoors and sharing these experiences through creativity.

Sophie says;

an outside space is about thinking beyond the inside of our homes and to see the beauty of the outdoors that we see every day. an outside space is a project that encourages people to engage with the outdoors and to share these experiences creatively. The past year has been incredibly difficult and one way that I have coped is by doing this activity every day, and I am grateful to be able to share this with others.”

 

 

More about the project:

an outside space is a project about connecting with the outdoors, alone or together, be it in nature, looking out of a window, in a garden, on a balcony, queueing outside a supermarket, or walking down the street.

You’ll share your experiences of outside spaces through creative activities, such as drawing, painting, photography, audio recordings, video, stories, descriptions, and poetry. You’ll then send these to Sophie via email, social media, post, or over the phone.

The focus of an outside space is to think beyond the inside of our homes and to see the beauty of the outdoors that we see every day.

Sophie will help you with prompts and ideas for what to look for and what to do and manage group sessions for people to connect and share their experiences of where they live.

There will be an online collection of an outside space on social media, and Sophie will create a new experimental film with a selection of the contributions with the help of everyone taking part.

 

• Find an outside space on social media: #YouMeUsOutside

Sophie’s Website

 

Hannah Whittaker – Drawing on Wisdom

Writing, Storytelling, Drawing, Painting, Collage

A black and white photo of Hannah Whittaker. Hannah is a young white woman with long mid-colour hair. The photo shows her head and shoulders. She has a smile on her face. The photo was taken by Greer McNally.
Photo: Greer McNally

My project in one sentence: Drawing On Wisdom is a community storytelling project to creatively share experiences and wisdom.

Hannah says;

“Everyone loves stories – they provide escapism, empathy, wisdom and connection. But we often overlook those around us as a source for such stories. My hope is that this project will be a platform for sharing the wealth of experience that those in our community have to offer.”

 

 

More about the project

Drawing On Wisdom is an community storytelling project that brings together the older and young members of the community in Medway and Swale, to think about their shared experiences of challenges they’ve had.

Older members of the community will be asked to write memories of their of childhood, challenges that they faced and any wisdom they would like to give to the younger generations who face the effects of uncertainty that Covid-19 is having on their lives.

These stories will then be used in online workshops.

In these workshops you’ll listen, talk about, and note down your reactions and what you felt about the stories.

You’ll then create images (drawings, paintings, collage, anything you like) to illustrate the stories, focusing on the part of the story that most stood out to you the most – whether it’s a detail you can see or an emotion that the storyteller was feeling.

The final products will be an illustrated book, comprising the older storytellers writing with your workshop illustrations. Copies will be given to participants, but also to local libraries, as well as being available online.

The books will include a QR code in the back which readers can scan to submit their personal responses to the stories via their phones.

Every time a response is received these will be given to the original storyteller, who’ll know that people are reading and connecting with their story.

 

Find Drawing On Wisdom on social media: #YouMeUsWisdom

Hannah’s website

 

 

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