For over 200 hundred years pioneers, industrialists and workers have chanced their luck in this ‘edge place’, and left their mark on what is a rich but often overlooked landscape. Through a series of specially commissioned short films, lens-based projects, screenings and events, Second Chances investigated the human stories and relationships behind innovation and enterprise, whether new and old can mix, and what kind of culture and ethics should govern such a space.
From marshland to gasworks, from livestock jams to high-speed rail, from graft and grit to glass and steel… the project explored Bristol’s forgotten city district and contemplates its past and possible futures.
Second Chances was part of “Animating the Zone”, a series of commissions to engage people with Bristol Temple Quarter. Animating the Zone is a new collaboration co-ordination by Watershed, Knowle West Media Centre and Mayk, with funding from the Arts Council England. The aim is to encourage artists and the public to explore the area designated as the Enterprise Zone, engage with its history and its future economic potential as a major location for creative enterprises.
In January 2014 Watershed will host a special screening of three of the commissioned films, by Joe Magee, Nathan Hughes, and Sharon Townson and Ellie Kynaston. Reserve your free ticket here.
“For centuries the message has been disseminated that it is simply our moral duty to get our heads down and work hard. The government celebrates Alarm Clock Britain and the church warns us that Satan finds work for idle hands. We are either the morally right strivers, or the morally wrong shirkers. Austerity Britain is relying on YOU!
Bristol’s Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone has historically embodied the very concept of enterprise, exploding into life during the industrial revolution and helping to spearhead western industrial capitalism. The new equation ‘time equals money’ saturated men’s minds through moral propaganda as they worked to the rhythm of machines.”
Joe Magee’s short film explores the concept of how we value time. Is it wrong, or even a sin, to waste time in Bristol 2013? Is it a betrayal of a welfare society? Or is it no-one’s business but your own how you choose to spend or value your time? And from where exactly does the moral influence originate, that drives on the wheels of capitalism?
This narrative map charts the richness of Temple Quarter, with its industrial glories, hidden gems, tall stories, and many strange and marvelous enterprises. Amongst the sometimes forgotten landmarks and legends, the map offers an irregular guide through a sample of the artwork, stories, subjects and installations created as part of Second Chances.
This narrative documentary is a psycho-geographic audit of the Enterprise Zone, revealing the people who work there and the politics and socio-economic processes that shape it. Weaving through waterways, lost histories and the polish and shine of new development, the film reveals what the transfiguration of this part of Bristol means to those impacted by it. The film celebrates quirkiness and biodiversity over homogenisation and makes a plea for the picaresque.
This documentary short film tells the story of the Bristol Wood Recycling Project through the personal narratives of three volunteers who work there. Each person has a different story to tell, but together they show that the work here is much more than simply recycling wood, and how enterprise can be a physical, social and emotional process.
Just as Temple Meads Station opened in 1840, William Henry Fox Talbot was busy improving photographic drawing, as it was termed, not too far away at Lacock Abbey near Bath. His creation of the calotype opened the way for modern photography by enabling the multiple reproduction of an image.
Using Fox Talbot’s hand-crafted techniques and water from the River Avon, Mark’s portraits of the people who work at the station (now and in years gone by) reverberate with the unseen energy, rhythms and meticulous graft that keep Temple Meads running everyday. The images are exhibited on the platforms at Temple Meads Station.
This interactive work installs large-scale frames at key sites to create ‘live’ photographs of iconic Temple Quarter scenes. With accompanying historical tales, the sculptures invite the viewer to re-imagine Temple Quarter’s present and future, inspired by its rich past- from rat-catchers and marsh people to lost shot towers and port walls.
You can use the frames to take your own photographs and email them to: firstname.lastname@example.org, where they will be displayed as part of an on-going live gallery on www.second-chances.co.uk. The frames are installed on the Island Site on Redcliffe Way and on the St Philips Greenway.
From farmland to industrial yard, to farmland again, and perhaps an arena next, Temple Feeds plots the story of the land and the people who work at the Diesel Depot temporary market garden, run by social enterprise the Severn Project. The seven 30 meter polytunnels form a city-centre growing and distribution hub, supplying restaurants and shops in Bristol with the freshest of local salads and vegetables.
Ibolya collaborated with and trained the workers in photographic techniques through the long hard winter of 2012/13. The images reveal how it is possible to make a change in your environment, your own life, and grow a perfect lettuce in the most unpromising of places. A pop-up exhibition of the work is on display on the Bath Road over-looking the Diesel Depot.
Tickets for the Second Chances event sold out in less than 12 hours and on a sunny evening in May, over 100 people took part in the Second Chances guided tour, pop-up film experience and debate. The event started at a secret location in the bowels of Temple Meads Station, and took people on the lost trails and sites of the Temple Quarter.
Guided by historians Mark Steeds and Mike Bone, the tour included the gifting of a harvest of fresh lettuce from Benito the Peasant at the pop-up farm on the Diesel Depot, the unveiling of “live” photograph installed on the banks of the Avon, a specially commissioned film about the passionate enterprise screened at the Wood Recylcing Project, and a peek inside the alternative Enterprise Gift Shop at the Sofa Project. The event closed with a lively debate and film show of two new films by Joe Magee and Nathan Hughes at the flagship offices of Burges Salmon at Temple Quay.
The speakers and audience provided a lively debate with a real mix of perspectives from business, resident and the creative sector. The speakers were Colin Skellet (Chair of the Local Economic Partnership) Dick Penny (Director of the Watershed), Carolyn Hassan (Director Knowle West Media Centre), Dominic Murphy (resident in The Dings), Robin Hambleton (Professor of City Leadership at UWE), and Nathan Hughes (film maker).
The guests dined on a “Feast de la Zone”, with produce and dishes sourced from the past, present and future of the Enterprise Zone, including rhubarb ice-cream, artisan bread, and trout blinis.