Chris Barber, Resident Organist, The Musical Museum
Photo: Leila Houston
Photo: Leila Houston
Encrypted Sounds of Wellbeing is not just a solo project by Leila Houston, but rather a collaborative effort that involves the wider community. The project relies on engagement with the community, collaboration with a diverse group of artists, and commissioning new works from selected artists.
Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, Leila adapted to the restrictions and moved the project online to keep it going through lockdown. The online exhibition showcases the project's efforts to create a sense of togetherness despite physical isolation. The project's IRL counterpart can also be viewed at The Exchange Bar, 50 Rutland Street, Leicester, LE3 1RD from 10th to 18th October 2020.
In her practice, Leila Houston strikes a balance between technology and community. Growing up in a community center run by her parents, she understands the importance of environments that bring people together to work, create, and share experiences in an authentic and unmediated exchange. While the pandemic has disrupted our ability to meet face to face and shoulder to shoulder in traditional spaces like restaurants, dance floors, galleries, and theaters, virtual spaces have emerged as a blessing and a curse in these socially distanced times.
Artists: Leila Houston, Courtney Askey, James Chantry, Echolocation, Ash Eddy, Kirstey Eggleston, Ashley Fitzgerald, Glenn Fitzpatrick, Daniel Gray, Jack Halford, Beverley Isaacs, Kate Jackson, Kerry Jackson, David Johnson, Khush Kali, Paul Mazzitelli, Johnny McJohnston, Mike Millward, Zory Rubel, George Sarell, Georgia Ward, Anonymous Artists.
Encrypted Sounds of Wellbeing
This project examines the intricate nature of human wellbeing and its connection to the contrast between the natural world and our modern reliance on technology. In the project's video work, a cyclist's journey along a peaceful canal path is disrupted by the unexpected and jarring sound of a Wurlitzer organ, creating a sharp contrast with the tranquil environment. While technology can improve our lives and contribute to our wellbeing, it can also lead to disconnection and stress, as the project acknowledges. The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasised the importance of technology in our lives, enabling us to remain connected and providing access to essential resources.
The striking illustrations featured in this project were created by a collaborative effort of young creatives from diverse backgrounds, all of whom are associated with Charnwood Arts. These artists participated in a series of online workshops as part of the Encrypted Sounds of Wellbeing project, facilitated by Charnwood Arts, and led by artist Leila Houston.
Provide opportunities for young unaccompanied asylum seekers and young refugees to engage in artistic expression, the public was then invited to participate in the project by colouring activity sheets based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs, providing a key that served as an interpretive guide. Through collaboration and participation, Encrypted Sounds of Wellbeing fosters a sense of community and shared experience, bringing people together.
Join us on a journey into the minds of the Young People Making Places group, as they delve into Maslow's theory of needs through the Encrypted Sounds of Wellbeing project. Facilitated by Charnwood Arts and led by the talented artist Leila Houston, this series of online workshops provided an opportunity for young people from diverse backgrounds to share their thoughts and ideas. Their enthusiasm was infectious, as they explored the depths of Maslow's theory and shared their incredible insights with us. With their passion and creativity, the Young People Making Places group is a shining example of the power of collaboration and community engagement in creating meaningful art.
A project put together by Leila Houston, supported by Silver Vine Arts. This project is supported using public funding by Arts Council England. Organised as part of World Mental Health Day 2020.
Special thanks to artist-led Silver Vine Arts and other professionals who have supported this project: Kerry Jackson , Courtney Askey, Khush Kali, Zory Rubel, James Chantry, Melissa Fletcher, Elizabeth Dyer, Alex Machin, Ben Fredericks, Elisabeth Gaunt, Anna Lucas, Daniel Kelly, Johnny McJohnston, R10, Two Queens, Charnwood Arts, LCB Depot, The Exchange Bar.
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