Recalibrating our Compass

By June 3, 2021 July 5th, 2021 News

In April we loaded up the car with cameras, recording kit, PPE, and a crate of Treens Cornish beer, and for the first time since early 2020, followed our Compass north, to Leeds. If we didn’t live in Cornwall, we’d probably live in Leeds. What started as a small commission for Compass Festival in 2011 (Take me to the Bridge/Porous City) has become a 10 year creative relationship with Compass Live Art, and a love of a city and it’s people that keeps drawing us back. Oh, and the beer is very, very good.

As artists who work with people, it was indescribably joyous to be meeting, walking and talking with friends, participants and partners of the Public House project. It’s been a slow burn, and we’re so grateful to all those involved for their enthusiasm and willingness to share their knowledge, stories, time and expertise with us. One highlight was an afternoon interviewing a small group of ex-Tetley employees in what turned out to be a mini re-union for them, and a fun and fascinating afternoon for us. In fact it was a visit to the “Tetley Pensioners” weekly gathering at Dewsbury Road social club in 2019 when they first told us about the Yorkshire Square fermenting vessel (but that’s a story for another time).

We even got out of the city, with a visit to Otley, wonderfully hosted by Greg Mulholland of Campaign for Pubs and Otley Pub Club, and a trip to Harrogate Brewing Company to interview the inspirational Rachel Auty of Women on Tap.

Special thanks must go to Anna Turzynski, senior producer at Compass Live Art for hosting the residency with such care and positivity, and to Katie Marriott of Nomadic Beers for great hospitality and letting us get in her mash tun for a photo shoot!

We’re now busy behind the scenes preparing for the live culmination of Public House. Keep your eyes peeled on Compass Live Art for announcements on dates!

About Small Acts

Katie Etheridge and Simon Persighetti are artists and performance makers who create live participatory projects that explore the interrelationships between people and places. Since 2011 they have developed a unique collaborative practice operating at the intersection between architecture, community, place and performance. Engaging people all stages of the creative process, they develop multi-disciplinary methodologies designed to explore, expose and contain multiple perspectives and sometimes conflicting narratives of place.