Dynamic Dunescapes Dune Engagement Case Study
Collaborative Arts Animation in Lincolnshire
Sand dune system:
Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe NNR, Lincolnshire
Case Study Subject:
A community arts project; intergenerational, collaborative animation inspired by Lincolnshire's coastal sand dunes.
About The Dune System Habitat Management Intervention
What was the issue/change you hoped to make?
Encourage conversations about sand dune habitats. Celebrate sand dunes, and help people feel more connected to nature and wildlife.
What was the suggested intervention?
It was part of the Lincolnshire Dynamic Dunescapes action plan to deliver community arts events within Lincolnshire, with the intention of building an understanding of the project and involving people in the range of project activities available.
What did you do?
A collaborative animation about sand dunes was made from paintings created by schools, care homes and community groups.
In this instance, a collaborative animation, is a collection of paintings produced by different people that, when put together in a particular sequence, create an illusion of movement.
How did you do it?
The Lincolnshire Dynamic Dunescapes Engagement Officer commissioned two artists (Phillip Duckworth and Ben Sandler, Juneau Projects) to help develop this activity.
- We started by asking people to send in video footage of sand dunes, species and wildlife.
- Artists Phil and Ben broke down this footage into frames, which were then used as reference images for people’s paintings.
- We sent out art kits to groups who wanted to get involved, with all the materials they needed to complete the painting activity (including brushes, paints, palettes, a welcome letter and instruction video with guidance on how to do the activity, mixing colours, different brushstrokes etc., reference images and clear plastic sheets).
- Groups completed the activity in their own space and time by painting onto the plastic sheet, using their reference image as a guide underneath.
- Groups were then asked to return their artwork to Phil and Ben – who scanned the images and put them back together in the original order.
How was the intervention monitored?
It was monitored through correspondence with the leaders of each group activity.
What modifications, if any, did you make to your initial plan and why?
The Lincolnshire Engagement Officer originally planned to deliver community art events face-to-face. However, at the time, schools and care homes were going into lockdown / implementing social restrictions due to Covid. We therefore decided to send out art kits for groups to use in their own space and time, to ensure that activities could be completed by all ages and backgrounds, and targets could be met within the given time frame.
What issues arose and how did you overcome them?
Some groups took longer to complete the activity than expected, e.g. when whole school classes had to isolate, however we were expecting delays due to Covid and accounted for this in planning.
A couple of schools approached the project expressing interest in the project, however by this point we had already brought and distributed the kits so it was too late. Instead we sent them information about the ‘Art of Saving Sand Dunes’ programme and other ways that they could get involved with Dynamic Dunescapes.
How much did the intervention cost?
(£1301.83 in materials and £3180.57 in artist fees)
What was the scale of the intervention?
Groups were invited to take place from across Lincolnshire; Scunthorpe, Alford, Skegness, Theddlethorpe, Mablethorpe, Binbrook and Boston.
How were the public and others engaged?
At the very start of this community art project we asked members of the public to share their videos of plants, wildlife, and landscapes of Lincolnshire’s sand dunes, via:
- DD website and YouTube channel
- Local radio: I spoke about this (and Dynamic Dunescapes) during live radio interviews with BBC Lincs and BBC Humberside
- Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust news
- Local news and press release
These videos were used to create a short video clip about sand dunes. The video clip was broken down into separate frames, which were used as guide images for people’s paintings.
How were communities or volunteers involved?
Group leads helped deliver the art activities to their groups, and included teachers, community and care workers.
How were local schools involved?
Schools from across Lincolnshire (especially those with existing LWT links) were contacted about the community art project. Several expressed interest - 6 schools were sent art kits, and 5 completed activities with the children.
Several community support groups and care homes were also contacted:
- Magna Vitae - a community and arts charity based in Lincolnshire who support various groups including older people living with dementia or in isolation
- Aspen Lodge - a Residential care home in Skegness
- Scott House – a day care centre which provides services for adults with Learning Disabilities, Physical Disabilities or Acquired Brain Injury
- Alderson House – a residential home for adults with meantal health conditions
All groups were allowed to keep the art kits for future activities as part of the project legacy.
Did the intervention work?
Please describe how. What has changed?
Yes. A total of 740 people participated in the activity across Lincolnshire from multiple ages and backgrounds. An additional 16 were reached considering there was at least 1 (or more if specified) teacher or group lead.
We built connections with schools, developed relationships with various community groups, and encouraged conversation about sand dunes. I think people enjoyed getting little creative, as we received positive feedback via email from various groups.
What could be done differently?
One school received their kit, but were unable to complete the activity before the end of their school term because the children had to isolate. The lead teacher then left, and their replacement could not find the art materials / kit that had been sent to the school. I made multiple attempts to communicate with the new teacher, but to no avail. Next time it may help to encourage groups to only apply if they intend to complete the activity.
Watch the final animation
Watch the video call for participants
Images from workshops
Development phase featured in local news:
Feedback from Magna Vitae community group lead
“The first group enjoyed it very much with several commenting they were pleased they came and how it had brought memories back about their enjoyment of painting. What went down well was the fact we weren’t looking for talented artists which seemed to allow them to be much more engaged with having a go.”