Group of people stand holding plaques in demonstration.

Jeanne van Heeswijk

Between 2019-2022 we have been working in collaboration with WHALE Arts to support community engagement with contemporary visual art in Wester Hailes, working towards a commission for Edinburgh Art Festival 2022 by Jeanne van Heeswijk, an artist recognised for her long-term community-embedded projects across the world. The project will have co-creation with the community at its heart, and through activities and dialogue with community organisations, residents of all ages and local schools, will explore fundamental local issues.

Public Faculty No 14
What are you invested in?

From 30 September – 3 October 2021, Jeanne van Heeswijk and Bobby Sayers invited residents of Wester Hailes to Public Faculty No 14: ‘What are you invested in?’, a four-day event in collaboration with WHALE Arts’ Stitch ‘N’ Time group, at Westside Plaza Civic Square in Wester Hailes. The artists held informal conversations with both invited community members and passers-by about forms of investment, both financial and non-financial, personal and city-wide. Together weaving and visualising conversations into a series of wool blankets, sharing ideas about development, sense of community, active citizenship and other ingredients that make up the social fabric of Wester Hailes.

Jeanne van Heeswijk creates long-term community embedded projects, combining performative actions, discussions, and other forms of organising and exchange in order to work with communities to take control of their futures. Public Faculty forms part of a series of events which the artist has organised around the world. These engage in collective learning through a process of knowledge exchange and deep listening within the context of a particular place, working with communities to re-think, re-define and re-enter public space through collective cultural action.

The project is organised in partnership with WHALE Arts, and Studio Jeanneworks. Supported by the PLACE Programme, a partnership between Edinburgh Festivals, Scottish Government, City of Edinburgh Council and Creative Scotland.