In 2016, Idle Women were conferred the Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence award for a major partnership in St Helens with Heart of Glass and Anu Productions. This lead to the launch of the major art project Helen – a three-year programme of events and activities – of which Power Tools is the concluding work.
More information on each of the participating partners of both Power Tools and the umbrella project Helen are given below.
Idle Women is an arts and social justice project that creates inspired, vibrant and adventurous spaces with women and girls in places where they are least imagined.
Since establishing Idle Women in 2015 they have developed projects with women on the water - involving the design, build and tour of the Selina Cooper (a bespoke narrowboat and residential workshop space); on land - the purchase in partnership with Humraaz support services of land in trust for women to create the first physic garden in the UK dedicated to the health & wellbeing of women and; bricks and mortar - the establishment of a physical and digital tool library created through a programme of workshops in construction and trade for women leaving domestic violence refuges.
Idle Women is a creative collaboration between Cis O’Boyle and Rachel Anderson that combines site- specificity, sculpture, performance and research. Working with principles of co-creation, Idle Women generates bespoke projects through long term relationships with women and cross-sector partnerships.
Charmian Griffin produces web projects for artists and visual arts organisations. She teaches art criticism at Central St Martins, works for Artangel, and writes on art and technology, including for Dirty Furniture, Rhizome and The White Review.
LUCA is an independent production company based in London run by filmmakers Posy Dixon and Liv Proctor, specialising in documentary. Working across all formats from feature films and TV series to music videos, they endeavour to add to conversations, experiment and open up new avenues of thought wherever possible. They also run The Rooms, a series of open-source practical, technical workshops run by women, for women in the film & TV industry.
Helen is a once in a generation art project created as a partnership between Heart of Glass, Idle Women, and Anu Productions and the women of St Helens. Helen is made possible by Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence programme.
Arts Council England
Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspire us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.
Heart of Glass
Heart of Glass is an agency for collaborative and social arts practice based in St Helens, Merseyside. Its core values, philosophy and approach as a project are founded on co-production with the community and the active participation of the collaborator, non-artist, audience and viewer in the creation of great art. People, both individually and within communities of place or interest, are central to both our thinking and our practice. Heart of Glass is made with, of and for St Helens. Through our projects, we create a space for dialogue, research and experimentation for artists and citizens in which the inter-relationship between people and place can be explored, gathering and valuing diverse perspectives in understanding, articulation and development of St Helens as a place, supporting people as constructors of that narrative, drawing out its ‘DNA’, and using that ‘DNA’ as a unique artistic platform for expression.
ANU productions established in 2009 have created 21+ pivotal works, public art commissions, gallery installations and museum interpretations, creating a new ecology and brand that is gaining worldwide momentum. Their work is derived from historical events, physical space and ethnographical sources. Each project contains multi-narrative strands, whereby viewers become participants within the environment, seeing the work through a lens of now-then now through a series of intimate encounters.