Build It Together was a six month public-facing artists’ residency and exhibition at GROW Plymouth, focussing on co-creation of a new body of collaboratively produced artworks by LOW PROFILE and Plymouth residents.
From April to October 2023, we invited Plymouth residents and visitors to join us once a month for open sewing sessions to make a series of new banners using simple patchwork and hand-quilting techniques.
In the relaxed sessions (where participants were free to come-and-go) more than 60 people worked together to make artworks we designed that draw on histories of radical quilting, union banner making and protest.
During the sessions, we guided conversations around celebrating the power of coming together to achieve change through community building, group effort and collective action.
The banners were exhibited for the first time at Grow, alongside a pop-up shop (featuring 14 artists and makers from across the city) and a series of ‘Proposals for Plymouth’ developed during 2023.
We’re interested in how artists’ impressions and visual mock-ups get used as part of the planning and redevelopment of places. Usually, they are made by architects and property developers as part of public consultations and PR campaigns, as explainers of what will follow. The proposals playfully highlight, question and challenge systems of decision-making and power in public spaces, as well as expanding ideas of what is possible. They are hopeful messages that speak to the importance of community, offer rally cries to those who are trying to make change happen in difficult circumstances, and highlight important spaces for culture, education and togetherness.
Viewing the proposals allows people to imagine the text-works in real life whilst giving us space to consider how these currently not-yet-realised ideas could be ‘put to use’ in the future.
In September 2023 we also held a celebration event to mark 20 years of LOW PROFILE working together as artists.