- 1 January 2014 - 1 November 2017
Empowering young people with art and technology
Networked Narrative was a successful partnership programme (2014-2017) that empowered young people from across Burnley, Wigan and Hull to have an influence over the decisions involving two art commissions by artists Re-Dock and Mark Titchner for both online and public spaces.
The project took place within a drastically changing, political landscape, where our partners including; libraries, youth services and local authorities faced huge redundancies, restructures and drastic funding cuts. Yet, the project endured through great art, the help of good food, humour, patience and determination.
Our final evaluation report tells the story of commissioning art with artists, young people and organisations across three different locations within the expanse of the Northern Powerhouse Corridor, resulting in incredible exposure to a broad & often disenfranchised public. We believe the artists took risks in creating inclusive and personal works, which resonate the voices of young people and comment on the places they are from.
Thank you to everyone involved for their understanding, kindness and goodwill in believing in the artists’ proposals. Without trust and resilience, it would simply not have been possible.
Watch the film Looking Back.
- More information
- Public Programme
- Commission 1
- Commission 2
- Blog Articles
Young individuals (aged 13-25) from across Burnley, Wigan and Hull are at the heart of this project. During 2015-2016, we offered young people the chance to work closely with artists and a range of professionals to have a say and influence over the decisions involving two art commissions for both online and public spaces.
In 2015, Re-Dock was selected by a panel of four young people for our online art commission to create a text adventure game Northern Powerhouse: Last Towns Standing. Re-Dock invited artists with diverse backgrounds and skills to help the young people collaboratively make a fictional world based on their real world surroundings. Launched in 2016, the text adventure game is accompanied by the exhibition Northern Powerhouse 2065, which is currently touring to libraries across the North of England. Read more about it here.
For our public art commission, Mark Titchner was selected by a panel of young people, based on his idea to make the thoughts and opinions of young people visible in public spaces. What I want more than anything else is a series of new artworks by the artist that explore young people's responses to the question, "what is it that you want more than anything else?' Messages written in the young peoples’ handwriting will be made into artworks encountered at:
Hull Central Library from 25 March - 31 December 2017
Download the Hull Brochure (PDF)
Burnley Central Library, Burnley College, Burnley Youth Theatre and other locations across Burnley from 15 July - 31 December 2017.
Networked Narrative is a four-year partnership programme (2014-2017) that aims to empower young people with art and technology, working with libraries and communities. Ensuring their voices are heard, we want young individuals to make decisions and shape certain outcomes involving the commissioning process. By doing this, we hope to inspire a new generation of creative individuals to develop essential life skills (such as self-confidence, anatomy, self-belief, build good relationships, effective communication skills) that will enable them to take direction of their own lives and that of their community.
Networked Narrative is made up of four key partners: FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), Hull Culture & Leisure Ltd, Inspiring healthy lifestyles and Lancashire County Council.
In 2016, for Northern Powerhouse: Last Towns Standing by Re-Dock, we worked with supporting partners: Artlink, Burnley Central Library, Wigan’s Youth Voice and Engagement Team, Gateway, Wigan Council, Wigan Libraries and Wigan Youth Zone.
In 2017, for What I want more than anything else by Mark Titchner, we worked with supporting partners: APOCA Parking, Artlink, AGMA, Burnley Central Library, Burnley College, Burnley Council, Burnley Youth Theatre, Fleet Dynamic, GMCA, Grand Arcade, James Reckitt Library Trust, Leigh Sports Village, The Turnpike, The Old Courts, Wigan’s Youth Voice and Engagement Team, Gateway, Wigan Council, Wigan Libraries, Wigan & Leigh College, WigLe Dance and Wigan S.T.E.A.M.
With support of public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England's Strategic Touring fund, this project uses art and technology to empower and inspire young people and their communities, particularly in areas with low art engagement.
Artist At Work: Mural Painting in Leigh
Artist Talk: Mark Titchner
Burnley Workshop: Banner Making
HULL: What I want more than anything else
What I want more than anything else in WIGAN
Lancashire County Council provides a wealth of learning and cultural opportunities to enable people to achieve their full potential in life. This project aims to build upon developing future creative communities in Lancashire by engaging young people with the arts, libraries and museums.
For What I want more than anything else, FACT and Lancashire County Council are working with supporting partners: Burnley College, Burnley Borough Council, Burnley Library, Burnley Pendle and Rossendale Council for Voluntary Service (BPRCVS), Burnley Youth Theatre and Young Carers at BPRCVS to enable artworks that represent the voices of young people from the area to be exhibited in public spaces throughout Burnley town.
Inspiring healthy lifestyles works with a wide range of internal departments and external agencies including public health services, Youth Voice and Engagement teams, Social Services, Housing etc in delivering various arts initiatives and commissions that aim to address community issues. Working in partnership and at a strategic level is key to developing these initiatives alongside local communities, organisations and other Arts Development units within local authorities across Greater Manchester and with the Arts Council of England on common priorities, such as the creative economy, health and wellbeing.
For What I want more than anything else, FACT and Inspiring healthy lifestyles are working with supporting partners: AGMA, APCOA Parking, Fleet Dynamic, GMCA, Grand Arcade Wigan, Leigh Sports Villiage, Newbridge Learning Community, The Old Courts, The Turnpike, Wigan Council, Wigan Libraries, Wigan & Leigh College, WigLe Dance and Wigan S.T.E.A.M to enable artworks that represent the voices of young people to be exhibited in public spaces throughout Wigan & Leigh.
Wigan S.T.E.A.M is an innovative lottery funded project offering young people in Wigan opportunities to access the very latest in technology, the arts and digital development.
The Turnpike is an independent arts organisation producing high quality and inspiring new cultural opportunities for all, removing systematic barriers to participation and raising aspiration and resilience across the community. Since January 2017, it has occupied the first floor of an iconic 1970s brutalist building in the heart of Leigh, Greater Manchester.
Fleet Dynamic a privately owned, family business are sponsors of the What I want more than anything else artworks in Wigan & Leigh.
Hull Library Service managed by Hull Culture & Leisure Ltd strives to make arts and culture “a proven and valued contribution to building stronger communities, inspiring learning and improving health”. Working in partnership with Artlink and James Reckitt Library Trust, Networked Narrative will develop their collaborative work across the cultural sector and strengthen their cultural offer of the city.
Hull was announced UK City of Culture in 2017 in 2013, where the year will be split into the four themes: Made in Hull, Routes & Roots, Freedom and Tell the World, aiming to deliver 365 days of transformative cultural activity in 2017.
FACT is the UK's leading media arts centre, based in Liverpool. Offering a unique programme of exhibitions, film and participant-led art projects, we use the power of creative technology to inspire and enrich lives. FACT is the lead artistic partner for Networked Narrative, which enables us to develop an ambitious programme of art activities outside of Liverpool, as well as building new networks and capacity for touring, in Burnley, Wigan and Hull, places identified as having low arts engagement across the North of England.
Made up of four key partners: FACT, Hull Culture & Leisure Library Service, Inspiring healthy lifestyles and Lancashire County Council, Networked Narrative uses art and technology to empower and inspire young people, working in libraries and communities across the North.
During 2015-2016, we invited individuals, aged 13-25 from Burnley, Wigan and Hull to participate with artists and a range of professionals to inspire and influence the decisions involving two art commissions for both online and public spaces. This involved FACT commissioning Re-Dock to create an online text adventure game Northern Powerhouse: Last Towns Standing and touring exhibtion Northern Powerhouse 2065, while Mark Titchner was commissioned to produce What I want more than anything else, a series of public artworks for each of the three locations.
Networked Narrative is four-year project (2014-2017) made possible with funding from GMCA/AGMA, James Reckitt Library Trust and the generous support of public funding from the National Lottery through the Arts Council England Strategic Touring fund.
What do young people think our world will look like in the future? Networked Narrative is pleased to announce the launch of Northern Powerhouse: Last Towns Standing, an online text adventure game made by Re-Dock, with young individuals from across Burnley, Wigan and Hull. Wigan is a harsh place to live (after a nuclear explosion in the year 2035) with dead zones where technology doesn’t work, Burnley is over run with robots, with an enslaved population of artificially created humans, but Hull is a pretty nice place to live as long as you work in the two main industries of advanced robotics or bioengineering.
To accompany our text adventure game, Northern Powerhouse 2065 is an exhibition currently on tour to libraries & community spaces across the North of England, which showcases objects from the game (also known as "artefakes") including new modes of communication, such as emoji gloves, a FutureGen lab swipe card and the sacred ‘book’.
The touring exhibition launched in Burnley Central Library and has travelled to Wigan Library and Hull Central Library. It will then exhibit in Bransholme Library, Leeds Central Library, Accrington Library, St Helens Library and Wigan Youth Zone. To celebrate the end of the tour, it will exhibit at FACT during March 2017 and we hope it can exhibit in a library in Liverpool from then onwards. For a full list of touring venues and dates, click here.
If you are a library venue or non-art space based in the North of England who is interested in being part of this touring programme, please email NN@fact.co.uk
Northern Powerhouse: Last Towns Standing is an online art commission by artists Re-Dock, working with young individuals aged 13-25 from across Burnley, Wigan and Hull to create an online adventure game for the world to enjoy. Text adventure games are a form of interactive fiction, using software to simulate non-linear narratives. The format has the potential to cross over into diverse interests between gamers, writers, readers and creators. The young people have experienced a range of workshops that explored DIY cartography, world building, creative writing, making objects and programming to bring their world to life.
Re-Dock invited artists with diverse backgrounds and skills to help the young people collaboratively create a fictional world based on their real world surroundings. Helium balloon mapping with Saoirse Higgins took the young people outside the library to explore their hometowns from a bird's eye perspective, Neil Winterburn took those insights to create an alternative world and map, writer Kate Feld worked to flesh out the characters and world into and the final workshop with Glenn Boulter and Ross Dalziel brought the world to life through software and tangible objects.
“It’s been amazing working with the young people and co-creating the world of tomorrow. I’ve had a some interesting insights into their relationship with technology, where some see the benefits, but equally some are cautious of where things are heading” - Hwa Young Jung, Artist, Re-Dock.
“I have really enjoyed working with Re-Dock, because I have met artists I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet before. I particularly enjoyed the twine workshop, because it involved coding and playing lots of different text adventure games. I couldn’t believe that some of the games were really hard to figure out, so I can’t wait for our game to be made” – Chloe Brotherton, aged 15 from Burnley.
Northern Powerhouse: Last Towns Standing is fully documented here.
Download the Northern Powerhouse Brochure (PDF)
Network Narrative’s public art project, What I want more than anything else by Mark Titchner was a series of commissioned artworks that explored young people’s responses to the question, “what is it that you want more than anything else?”
This public art project involved young individuals aged 13-25 from across Burnley, Wigan and Hull, who were given the chance to have their thoughts and opinions made visible in public spaces.
In 2016, Mark delivered a series of workshops in each location of which he posed the question and invited them to make art. Responses varied from the deeply personal, to everyday wants and global concerns. Having accumulated a mass of materials from the whole experience, the artist decided to work with the young people’s handwriting, creating personal artworks for each particular site. Hull Central library was the first to host the project in March, followed by new artworks being developed across Wigan Borough and Burnley that same year. Each location had different messages relevant to the young people from that area.
Mark’s artistic practice is based on language and the use of words, and much of his artwork is experienced in the public realm. This project is an advertising campaign of the mind, placing the young people’s desires back into their communities. The words, ‘I want’ are central to the artworks, as powerful declaration of the self. The use of the young people’s handwriting is extremely significant: not only does it unify the works, but also signifies the pure, unfiltered voices of each individual.
Hull Central Library launched the project What I want more than anything else with ten new artworks exhibited around the library for Hull UK City of Culture. Artworks, ‘Eden’ and ‘Mina’ will be exhibited until the end of June 2018. Download the Hull Brochure (PDF) or watch the Hull Film.
A further twenty newly commissioned artworks reclaimed spaces across Wigan & Leigh in June 2017. Wigan STEAM, Wigan Library, The Turnpike, The Old Courts, Wigan Market Hall, Wigan Grand Arcade and other public locations exhibited new artworks from June - December 2017. Download the Wigan Brochure (PDF) or watch the Wigan Film.
Burnley Central Library hosted the grand finale of What I want more than anything else with a large installation of flags assembled at the Place de Vitry with both new & touring artworks exhibited at Burnley College, Burnley Youth Theatre and inside the library from July 2017 - January 2018. Download the Burnley Brochure (PDF) or watch the Burnley Film.
A brief timeline of the story so far...
In August 2015, a team of young people from Burnley, Wigan and Hull examined the portfolios and websites of 16 artists from the UK and was asked to nominate four artists, based on what they thought of their art and if they were interested in working with them.
In September 2015, three artists were shortlisted and offered a research & development fee to develop an initial proposal for a new public artwork that was in response to the following Artistic Brief.
In February 2016, the artists were invited to Manchester to present and pitch their idea to a panel of ten young people from each of the three locations. With guidance from the partners, the young people’s decision was final and they chose the idea that belonged to artist Mark Titchner.
In April 2016, Mark was officially appointed as the artist to create Networked Narrative’s next public art commission.
During May - October 2016, a series of workshops held in each location enabled people aged 13-25 to spend time with Mark to explore their hometown and places of personal interest; learn more about public art and art in the everyday; as well as creatively responding to the question: "What is it that you want more than anything else?" through making text-banners, badges, t-shirts, sound art and self-portraits.
In February 2017, Networked Narrative invited young individuals living across Hull (aged 11-14) to take part in a 'text painting' competition to creatively explore the artist’s question: “What is it that you want more than anything else?” All artworks entered were displayed throughout the library until 30 April, alongside commissioned works by acclaimed British artist and previous Turner Prize nominee, Mark Titchner.
In March 2017, What I want more than anything else by Mark Titchner launched in Hull Central Library to coincide with Hull UK City of Culture 2017. Over 100 people attended the launch and Jessica Bucknall, aged 14 from South Holderness Technology College was the winner of our 'text painting' competition with her artwork "I want to know that my disabled brother has a future in this judgemental world".
In June 2017, What I want more than anything else by Mark Titchner launched with twenty new artworks developed for public spaces and venues across Wigan & Leigh. Venues & Locations include: Grand Arcade APCOA Car Park Building, Grand Arcade Shopping Centre, Leigh Library, Leigh Sports Village, Library Street, Newbridge Learning Community School, The Old Courts, The Turnpike, Wigan Library, Wigan Market Hall, Wigan S.T.E.A.M and WigLe Dance.
In July 2017, Burnley Central Library hosted the grand finale of What I want more than anything else with a large installation of flags assembled at the Place de Vitry with both new & touring artworks exhibited at Burnley College, Burnley Youth Theatre and inside the library from 15 July - 31 January 2018.
When Networked Narrative came to a close in December 2017, a public gathering was held at FACT, Liverpool to celebrate the projects achievements, screen our film and disseminate our final evaluation report produced by Dawn Cameron that can be downloaded here.
Art exploring contemporary themes felt by young people are more relevant than ever, and we hope we payed justice to everyone’s effort within the public spaces of Burnley, Wigan and Hull.
Watch highlights of the last four years, in our film Looking Back.
Answering The Question: A poem written by Callan Waldron-Hall in response to Mark Titchner's newly commissioned artworks in Burnley.
Callan Waldron-Hall returns to Burnley Library to report on the grand finale of Networked Narrative's public art commission, ‘What I want more than anything else’ by Mark Titchner.
Winners of our Burnley Text Art Competition
Two talented individuals, Teigan Bateman, 11, and Chloe Waddington, 14, have jointly won the top prize.
Young people fly the flags for Burnley at the launch of Networked Narrative's public art project, 'What I want more than anything else' by Mark Titchner commissioned by FACT, Liverpool.
Burnley Text Art Competition
Inviting young individuals from Burnley, aged 25 & under to take part in our “text art” competition. All entries will be displayed at Burnley Library alongside commissioned works by British artist Mark Titchner from 15 July - 31 August.
Young creative, Bethan Griffiths shares her story of working with Mark Titchner and what the whole experience was like for her.
Young artist Cameron scoops up top prize
Cameron Mennell, aged 12 from Newbridge Learning Community is the winner our Wigan 'text art' competition with "I want to make the homeless happy".
Young person, Mina Lawton tells us her story
Mina Lawton shares the best bits of working with artist Mark Titchner
Wigan Text Art Competition
Inviting young individuals from Wigan aged 25 & under to take part in our “text art” competition. All entries will be displayed at S.T.E.A.M alongside commissioned works by acclaimed British artist Mark Titchner from 10 June - 15 July.
Artist, Mark Titchner, speaks to us about his work on our Networked Narrative project, "What I want more than anything else"
Inviting young individuals from Hull aged 11-14 to take part in our “text painting” competition.
Callan Waldron-Hall returns to see how the Networked Narrative project has progressed with artist Mark Titchner and young creatives from Burnley, whose ideas will shape into public artworks for their town at the end of this year.
Callan Waldron-Hall gives us an insight into what happened in our first workshop with artist Mark Titchner and people from Burnley.
Mark Titchner is the next artist to create artworks with young people from across Burnley, Wigan and Hull.
David Jenkins has spent the last twelve months working with artist colelctive Re-Dock to create the game Northern Powerhouse: Last Towns Standing, and was invited to be part of the selection panel for Networked Narrative's new commission.
Discover what the some of the artists and young people had to say about their involvement in creating the text adventure game.
Game Review: Northern Powerhouse: Last Towns Standing
Oscar (aged 15) reviewed Networked Narrative's brand new text adventure game before it went live. Read on to find out why you should play it too!
Emma Seery considers how communal and co-working spaces in our librares have transformed the way we use them.
Ilona Walker reports back on the conclusion of the Text Adventure Time project, an online game that young people from Wigan, Burnley, and Hull have been working on since April.
Jake Thorne reports back from a workshop, where participants are devising a plan for the survival of the human race in 2065.
Zoe Yvonne Delaney charts the text adventure unfolding from the fantasy genre into the real world.
From Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, Helen Seddon is the second of our partners to share her thoughts on Networked Narrative, a project that, with the upmost certainty, she would have wanted to be involved in at 16!
June Lightfoot, Children's Senior Librarian from Hull Central Library shares her thoughts on the project so far.
Stephen Fallows discovers more about balloon mapping, and what relevance this has to text adventure games!
Learn more about Balloon Mapping and how to do it yourself at home, plus information on how to get involved with the next workshop session.
Hannah Lea discusses what volunteering can do for young people and talks about her time spent supporting a new art project happening across the North West.
Young people come to Liverpool to lead and advise us on the project identity, design and brand.
Discover how the project will blur real life with adventure, creativity and the online gaming world.
Learn more about the online commission, where artists Re-Dock will work with young people in libraries to create ‘an epic saga of the north’.
Young people attend the first Summit in Hull to learn Wiki skills and decide on the genre of their text adventure game with artists Re-Dock.
If you have any questions regarding Networked Narrative, please contact Jakub Jezierski, Networked Narrative Project Assistant on email NN@fact.co.uk or call 0151 707 4414.
Alternatively, you can contact the person from your area.
If you live in or near:
Burnley email Jakub Jezierski on NN@fact.co.uk
Wigan email Helen Seddon on H.Seddon@wlct.org
Hull email Matt Soare on Matt.Soare@hcandl.co.uk
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