Heritage Project at The Workhouse, Southwell, is a 5-year long collaboration partly funded by National Trust with Nottingham Trent University; it was enabled by National Trust’s Research Strategy aimed at ‘fulfilling the role of heritage in the modern world, realising experiences that move, teach and inspire’. The project was focused on The Workhouse, Southwell to reveal its Genius Loci (distinct character), to unearth its forgotten, denied and unexpressed stories; and to unveil them through Scenarchitecture, Moneta’s performative methodology that utilises architecture and performance to provoke visitors to think differently about history, identity and today’s world.
Scenarchitecture blends Imagination with Memory using a given architectural site; it works with the complex overlay of historical and contemporary fragments embedded in the host building, and it combines them with the stories, memories and meanings of the people that lived there. The aim of this process is to unveil feelings, to reveal invisible links between places and people, using perception and sensibility.
Moneta’s project was developed through research-led teaching: since 2015, a number of Theatre Design students had been involved as active researcher for content creation; they had been paired with Workhouse’s volunteers to engage with the building and its archive material; together, they devised different 'stories' inspired by The Workhouse’s archive; in the first two years of development the project inspired students’ installations; from 2017, after gaining interest from National Trust, the ‘stories’ evolved into a collective, costumed promenade performance open to public around The Workhouse, with the volunteers as storytellers and Moneta as project manager and director.
The project is now a regular and popular feature of The Workhouse’s Public Programme inspired by a specific year’s theme. Outputs included photos and video, website and blog, newspaper article, exhibition; in 2019, a documentary captured the development of the project and final performance.
The aim of this research enquiry is to foster a collaboration with Nottingham Castle realising public activities to improve visitors’ engagement. Methods used to explore these enquiries involved Scenarchitecture, a trans-disciplinary methodology developed by Moneta, that uses the process of reading, understanding, and interpreting the Genius Loci as an in-depth exploration and expression of Spatial Practice and community engagement. Recent studies on phenomenology of Place (Relph, 1976; Alexander, 1977; Norberg-Schulz, 1980), and the role of Genius Loci in Placemaking (Brooks, 2001; Golan, 2012), are confirming the importance of considering a multidisciplinary approach to enhance heritage sites using perception and emotions. Heritage sites with their peculiar identity and character, provoke intense spatial experience in those who engage with them, having the quality of Place, i.e., the power to focus human experiences, and actions spatially. The enquiry was about researching and then revealing historical characters that had a role in the NC’s history, and to help audiences engage with them on a perceptual level through storytelling, site-specific performance and CosProps as the medium. The project involved six students of BA (Hons) Theatre Design at Nottingham Trent University as part of the Realised Design curriculum, that selected and designed a CosProp for each character. They devised the performances in collaboration with six students of The Television Workshop in Nottingham. The work was funded in kind by NC (supporting staff and use of spaces and facilities) and by NTU (£1000.00). The final outcome is a promenade performance across different stories and characters located in specific places of the NC Grounds; the audience followed the promenade in small groups to adhere to Covid19 regulations. A questionnaire after the performances evidenced that ‘the performance enhanced the experience of the Nottingham Castle grounds’ (73.3%). The dissemination of the work includes pages on NTU and NC website and a video published on YouTube.
The Exposition illustrates the body of work of 15 years of research-led teaching and professional practice that produced 17 performances, 2 installations and 4 exhibitions in Italy and UK, during the period 2006-2021. They are documented with photos, video documentaries, social media, info about the research and design process to demonstrate impact, significance, and originality. All the output presented in this portfolio involved projects in partnership with universities, research centres, theatres, and cultural institutions.
Performances had been developed through Scenarchitecture, a trans-disciplinary methodology developed by Moneta’s research, that blends Scenography with architecture and urban design. Scenarchitecture involves the process of reading, understanding, and interpreting the inner character and performative attributes of architecture and sites, as an in-depth exploration and expression of Spatial Practice and community engagement, essential aspects for any design intervention in a specific place. Scenarchitecture, in fact, can also help designers, stakeholders, and citizens to engage with the character of the place as a propaedeutic step for the co-creation of architectural and urban design that are respectful of places.
Performances and related exhibitions, in the roles of designer, exhibitor and director, had been an important step for the author to disseminate Scenarchitecture methodology, and to assess it in different areas: in Research-led teaching at Nottingham Trent University (UK) and University of Rome La Sapienza (Italy); in Professional practice for theatre design and architectural design, as co-founder of cultural association Archabout; in Professional practice for live events in marketing and communication, as co-founder of ethical and un-conventional communication firm Smart Jokes.
Samband, översättningar och läckage mellan handskapade objekt och digitala formuleringar. Kopplingar mellan textilen och det digitala undersöks genom skulptur. Metoder för gestaltning av konstnärlig forskning genom utställning.
Green Thing - double forever - VIS draft exposition
Green Thing is an ongoing collaborative art work, a negotiated creative exchange, between 2 artists, who are also daughter and father; actively engaging in a dialogue about Green Things. ‘Greeness’ is explored in relation to how this manifests and develops symbolically, physically, historically, and within each of our practices. Creating, documenting, performing and sharing exploratory processes: collaboratively producing an evolving, palimpsestic work.
We recently completed a remote, online iteration of this project, Green Thing pt.2 [Green thing pt. 1 was undertaken in March 2020 in the Pipe Factory, Glasgow] while in residence at 2/42 Studios, in the Pipe Factory, Glasgow as part of their Remote Series: work accumulated daily over the span of one week, created by both Higgins’ (Glasgow and Sheffield), in tandem, but apart, which culminated on Thurs 16th at 19.30-20.30PM (UK) with a live online screening and conversation. We Green Thing pt.3 - double forever - will be extracting conversations, dialogues, and forms to mould a further iteration.
Green becomes contagious in this way. The work multiplies, fluctuates, is transmitted between one another, released upon the public. It mutates and it passes back between us, it divides and multiplies. After the last iteration, we couldn’t stop seeing Green.
It is palimpsestically created, not only because we write over one another, talk over one another, and create together and in relay, but because we are palimpsestic. Our relationship by its very nature means that, whilst we have many different lived experiences, it is essentially shared. We literally share blood and guts. This genetic presupposition results in eerie, unspoken tangents and patterns. It also proves great distinctions.
Further from Green thing pt.2, - double forever - will more directly bring together themes around Green, Space, Bile, and Solidarity, to reflect the cyclical interrelational relationship each of these areas have with one another. Right now, green space looks and feels very different than it used to, bile is seen in a heightened state, and solidarity is more important than ever - but we cannot translate these things as we would instinctively; humans have to interact differently. The Greeness within this is rife and key to understanding the progression of psychological, geographical shifts in society as we see it.
Green Thing pt.3 - double forever - whilst explorative in its very essence, feels a formalisation of this palimpsest, although still created in perpetual transmission utilised and exploited through the research catalogue as a framework for it’s latest form….A dialogue produced between us through various online platforms - remotely.realised etc ….is the world we are in, ……..to be formed through and in the RC
This exhibition was designed by the author at Nottingham Trent University, Newton Building (2-5 May 2017) and Broadway Cinema Gallery (6-12 May 2017) in Nottingham, UK. Commissioned and funded by the UK branch of Soka Gakkai International, a worldwide network of lay Buddhists; it was inaugurated by the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Mohammed Saghir, NTU Vice Chancellor Edward Peck and SGI-UK General Director Robert Harrap.
The exhibition, originally conceptualised by Dr. Lawrence Carter, Dean of Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel, USA, has not been just focused on the life and work of these three extraordinary men, but was especially aimed at realising a physical space to start a process of inner transformation as an individual, as an initial to act to change society and the environment.
Moneta selected and designed for two locations as places for dialogues about peace: Nottingham Trent University, for its fundamental role in education as a key to improve social cohesion; the Broadway Gallery in the Lace Market, to promote an active role for peace in the heart of social and cultural life of Nottingham.
Featuring photos and information about Mohandas K. Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Daisaku Ikeda, viewers had the chance to engage with lofty ideals and principles within the grasp of their own daily existence, but also to explore the significance of true dialogue with an opportunity to listen, meet and share thoughts with others.
Based on Ikeda’s philosophy of ‘inner disarmament’ and ‘human revolution’, a Conversation Cafe’ has been designed as an invitation to partake in ‘Dialogues’, for listening to self and others in a safe environment. The number and quality of these ‘Dialogues’ and their feedback demonstrated the importance of establishing a direct connection with each single person visiting the Exhibition to promote action for peace.