Stepping Out: Creative Lab October 2022

15 December 2022

A Creative Lab for practitioners in British South Asian Arts

Stepping Out was a Creative Lab run over three days in October 2022 for practitioners in British South Asian arts who are curious about creating new performative work for outdoors. 

A group of 10 practitioners undertook an intensive exploration into creating, sharing, and developing new ideas – developed with peers, and led by partners. 

The Lab was devised and developed by independent consultant and creative producer Sud Basu in partnership with Simon Chatterton of 101 Outdoors Arts and commissioned by Without Walls as part of our talent development activity.

The Lab took place at the 101 Outdoor Arts Creation Space, Thatcham, with participants and team members staying on site for the duration of the event. The opportunity was primarily aimed at UK-based South Asian artists who are interested in making work in public space who would find value in exploring this with others in a supportive structure. It was also open to any other artists making work that reflects and considers the experience of British South Asians.

‘Everyone created a safe environment for me to be emotionally and creatively vulnerable. The Lab encouraged me to take that step forward in being an artist breaking the cultural and social expectations of the labelled South Asian British Muslim woman’ – Creative Lab participant

A group of people sat in a warehouse on chairs and the floor. There is an instructor at the front who is gesturing to the group.

Key Aims

Stepping Out aimed to provide a clear introduction to practitioners keen to explore outdoors as a space for making new work. The key areas this lab focussed on included:

  • Building awareness of the range of outdoor arts and public realm opportunities for South Asian arts
  • Support and increase appetite for exploration of work made for the public realm by practitioners involved in South Asian arts
  • Strengthening local and national networks for artists
  • Providing individual support and skills development
  • Promoting of peer activity, networks and CPD
  • Increased local confidence and pride of sector

To encourage wide engagement in the Lab, bursary and travel costs were offered to all participating artists, and to lower any barriers towards application.

100% of participants felt motivated and encouraged to think more about making work for Public Space, 40% of the group felt they now had the skills to progress directly towards exploring work for Public Space, and 30% felt that with further support, they could see new work for Public Space being created in the short term.