Engagement Producer : 2018-2022

Four hundred years ago, a group of English Separatists – men, women and children – left their homes, families and jobs in the Bassetlaw area and set sail on a boat – the Mayflower – with hopes of building a new community and a better life in Massachusetts.

A project working with local people to help select and host a major arts commission inspired by Bassetlaw’s Mayflower story that responds to this history in a way that prompts conversation, and explores its relevance today.

With curator Kate Stoddart and a group of young people from Worksop and Retford we went on a journey of visits exploring how contemporary artists work with people and place to help inform the selection process. A film about this first phase, Journeys, can be viewed via the link. Together we shortlisted, interviewed and finally selected artist Hetain Patel.

His work LAND/NG was produced in 2022; a short film choreographed through workshops with local performance groups, involving a cast of 60 Nottinghamshire and community choirs, filmed at Worksop Priory and premiered at the Savoy Cinema in Worksop.

The film is made in solidarity with the Wampanoag community in Massachusetts – without their help the newly arrived settlers would not have survived their first year – it draws on ideas about our relationship to place, belonging and community, wherever we land.  

“How would it feel to dance a new dance to express a wish/intention/prayer for the future that promotes a very different  approach to land and people than the colonisers of history“? Hetain Patel

Photos: David Severn

Photo: Jo Wheeler & Misterton Youth Club, Projection with William Brewster’s Letter Home