Over a pint at the Brain Jar on a quiet Tuesday evening, I had the pleasure of chatting to community minded artist and writer Dawn Woodmansey of Ground, a hidden gem of a venue on Hull’s Beverley Road, writes Vicky Gillham.
We talked art gardens, laid back drawing classes and Mammal Jams. Not sure what a Mammal Jam entails? Neither was I. apparently, they’re wild!
The brainchild of a small collective of Hull-based artists, Ground opened 5 years ago. The group had all been away from the city for work and study, but wanted to come back and set up an open access art venue that was experimental, but a welcoming home from home.
They envisaged a hub that would be truly accessible to residents of the surrounding estates and would break down the usual barriers of galleries and art classes.
Having enjoyed Ground as a customer, Dawn (who has previously worked at The Warren young people’s resource centre in Hull), joined the collective just two weeks ago and is already bringing fresh new ideas to the group.
“I really want to develop the outdoor space, make an art garden and have pot making workshops” explained Dawn, who has experience in a wide range of creative medium.
“What I really love about Ground is the ethos; everyone is welcome and the approach is person-centred: people are allowed to explore their own interests at their own pace. There are no rules!”
And the Mammal Jam? It’s a yearly grassroots festival hosting Hull’s finest musicians, activists, artists and plenty of tasty food. This year’s eclectic lineup included permaculture, puppetry, placard making and power ballads – someone likes a bit of alliteration!
Ground is currently funded to open three days a week and you can find out more about regular music, art and poetry sessions and one off events on their Facebook page or website.