Past Lives with First Art in Mansfield

On Saturday 2nd May we ran a Cake for Memories swap cafe with First Art. First Art are an ACE funded, People and Places project, focusing on Mansfield, Bolsover, Ashfield and North East Derbyshire. They have turned an empty shop in the town centre into a small arts venue for the next three weeks and are running lots of activities from the shop to find out what creativity means to people in Mansfield. They have also organised a stunning exhibition in Mansfield Market Place, working with, featuring large cube photographic light boxes. The project is called Portrait and features photographs of local people. The work looks amazing and has been received very well locally.


Working with First Art offered a great opportunity  for us to reconnect with Mansfield.We finished making the Mansfield film in Feb 2015 and showed the film with live music at the Mansfield Palace Theatre. We’ve been busy recording the soundtrack for the DVD and working on Past Lives Derby since then, so to meet up with members of the Mansfield community again and for us to show the film to a new audience was a lovely experience.

Reminiscence Vintage set up their stunning vintage cafe in the shop and we offered tea, coffee and cake to anyone who walked in the door who wanted to share a memory of Mansfield. We were inundated with over 100 visitors throughout the day and we heard many stunning memories from people of all ages.


First Art Shop full of participants, having tea, cake and coffee provided by Reminiscence Vintage


Dave Sturt listening to locals share their memories about Mansfield


Debbie Adele Cooper is working with First Art to run a photo mapping project across their 4 regions. Participants can map their photos of Mansfield on a digital online map, and a physical map in the shop. We also used the map during the Past Lives event to map memories of Mansfield. This picture shows participants adding their memory to the map with help of volunteers.


You can catch up with us at Mansfield Library on Sunday 10th May at the Great Nottinghamshire History Event. We’ll be showing four Past Lives films (Bolsover, Nottingham, Ironbridge and Mansfield) in the small cinema, and we’ll have a stall with delicious cake from Reminiscence Vintage. Drop by and say hello.

And if you have photos of Mansfield you can take part in First Art’s Map of Mansfield project, at your photos will be printed and exhibited in the shop on the Market Place.

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