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Paul Allender - Action Research Bursary

image: 'Cow' from trip to Weston Park Museum 2013 Paul Allender is 1 of 4 artists awarded an Action Reserach Bursary through the Yorkshire Artspace Engaged Practice Starter Studio Programme. He is developing ideas and work in response to the Parson Cross neighbourhood during 2013;

Reserach Question: How do people who live/work in Parson Cross want to engage with me?

I am talking to people from Parson Cross, through groups organised by SOAR and others and via my publicity poster, about if they would like to do something ‘cultural’ with me. This could be painting, sculpture, photography, performance, going to galleries and museums, conversations or something else.

I am currently working with two sisters and another woman doing photography. So far we have done some great studio photography, outdoors photography and visited a museum. The picture above is by one of the sisters in Weston Park museum. Coming up are gallery visits and a session discussing photography books. I have two more young women interested in photography and two more interested in a range of visual arts. I am also working with a young male illustrator from Honk Kong and an experienced painter who wants to find out more about what is happening in the area. It still feels like early days but things are going well.

Additionally, I have made links with a great painter who has done street art on the estate and tentatively agreed to do some work together. When I began this project I was worried about finding people who would want to work with me. Now I am concerned that I might have too many! I am juggling appointments at the moment. I have learnt three big things since starting this work:

1. That lots of people on Parson Cross have moved there from elsewhere – South Wales, Germany and Watford in the case of the people I’m working with

2. Lots of people, mainly women, are interested in art and culture.

3. That it is difficult to get men to come forward!

I hope that some of the people I am currently working with (and maybe some new ones) will continue to work with me for the whole of this year and beyond. I’d like to develop some longer-term, trusting relationships so that we can develop and work together.

See my blog for more information on my work on Parson Cross