Whitmore Reans Remapped

In the summer of 2022 we worked with Newhampton Arts Centre and Gatis Community Centre to Creatively Map Whitmore Reans in Wolverhampton

Whitmore Reans is an hyper-diverse area of 7-8k people on the edge of Wolverhampton city Centre, with considerable social deprivation.

As part of its post-COVID recovery the Newhampton Arts Centre (NAC) sought to redefine the role that it plays in the lives of Whitmore Reans. To re-think and re-discover their local communities they tasked GeoTone, along with four other artists, to lead this process, research, co-creation, sharing and discussion

The purpose of this project was to create a new kind of map for this incredible area, that highlights its existing networks, activities and needs. 

At A Glance

  • We worked with 117 participants.
  • Audio Creation Workshops
    We invited people to engage with ways of expressing Whitmore Reans sonically using micriphones, instruments and digital effects, to create a soundscape, framed within the folkloric tale of the Whitmore Reans Lantern Parade
  • Treasure hunt
    An activity afternoon for young people, culminating in a trip to the on-site installation of our red telephone box where they were asked to share their experiences and views about the area.
  • Interviews & map maping
    Recorded interviews and conversations with visitors and volunteers at Gatis Community Space, using a map of Whitmore Reans as a starting point. We held space to holisticaly capture people’s experiences, thoughts and ideas about the area. These conversations often took interviewees’ visit to Gatis as a starting point and often centred around the nature of community and their connection – or lack of connection – with the area.
  • Red Phone Box
    To carry on the conversation while we weren’t on-site, we designing and creating a participatory audio installation (with help from Gatis volunteers), which recorded visitors’ thoughts and ideas about Whitmore Reans, Gatis, and community.

“Gatis CIC did not intially foresee the value of bringing in outside creatives to work on the project. We initially planned on using local artists, but GeoTone provided an honest view of what they see when they come to the area. It’s been quite refreshing and has opened our eyes in ways we wouldn’t have thought of ourselves. It’s also enabled us to foster partnership opportunities for the future” – Gatis Community Space

“Whitmore Reans Remapped has revealed how a committed team of artists and community leaders who are dedicated to communities and the unique individuals that make them, can connect and bring together a range of voices using art, in effective ways that other methods are unable to.”Reans Remapped Evaluation Report

Newhampton Art Centre’s programme has always embraced a mixture of creative and community-focused activity. Amongst the 21 resident organisations onsite is a radio station, two recording studios, a group of visual artists and also adult day care. Regular classes weekly include dance, youth theatre and English for Speakers of Other Languages. 

In October 2022 the work was shared in an exhibition, in the gallery hall at the Newhampton Arts Centre. It shared the local participants’ responses to re-mapping Whitmore Reans through film, photography, storytelling, music, sound, light, digital and graphic art.

The project concluded with a public exhibition and community sharing event drawing the community stakeholders together in discussion towards recommendations to Newhampton Arts Centre.

This project is supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and produced by Curiosity Productions.

“Working with GeoTone was invaluable; everyone developed new skills, the youth club developed their creative skills, and the participation enabled them to have a voice and space and time to express how they feel about many things.” – Gatis Community Space