Acomb Time Traveller

Acomb is where it’s AT! With funding from City of York Council’s Acomb Ward, New Visuality spent the total of 7 days of Spring sunshine walking around Acomb, settling into English Martyr’s Church Hall state of the art Art Studios, and creating GIFS, films, and illustrations based on the area’s increasingly interesting continuum. “The Celts were here first,” says director Greg McGee, “and they were highly civilised, with matriarchal structures sitting side by side next to warrior classes and poets, who were especially prized by citizens. So next time someone tells you York began with the Romans, tell them to do their research, like us! Acomb explore is the perfect place to do it.” Acomb Explore, the newly revamped library, provided a central meeting point for the teachers of ‘Time Traveller’, namely photographer Herve Ishimwe Ntwali and Arran Leith, 17 and 20 respectively, and both recent attendees at the charity’s award winning Art Camp (York Culture Awards 2016 & 2017). Arran says, “It was exciting to be given that amount of responsibility. We were joined from time to time by the younger artists, but generally Herve and I had free reign. We popped into Chill in the Community cafe, we popped into Acorn Meats, and the Gateway Centre, the Quaker Meeting House, all with a brand new SLR camera donated by a local photographer. We felt like proper reporters! Acomb is a fascinating place.” Herve agrees, “We came back to the art sessions and retold the stories, printed the photographs, and worked on designing characters and posters for each time era Acomb went through.”

Acomb schools were pleased to participate in the project. Says Michele Wall, Deputy Head teacher, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, “The sessions this year were an opportunity for 20 of our pupils to use cutting edge digital creativity, due to economic realities, they would otherwise not enjoy. On every level, it is a fabulous opportunity. The children have been talking about it, bringing their artwork into school. They had a great time.” Westfield Primary, too, saw their pupils participating and winning awards (Shine! awards). Headteacher Tracey Ralph says, “Were looking forward to seeing the children’s digital work exhibited at According to McGee and all around Acomb.”

It is at the much celebrated ADAM (Acomb Dance Art Music) Festival that Greg McGee sees the art reaching the widest audience. “Social media and articles are great, and are a crucial part of modern communications. But you can’t beat attending an event and seeing the work in the flesh. Our posters and comic strips will be on display in locations to be confirmed in ADAM, which is in essence the perfect window of opportunity for the community to come out and support the area. We’ll do our bit,and we’ll start with the past, present and future, nailed the New Visuality way!”

Artwork created during ‘Acomb:Time Traveller’ has been on display at Tower street gallery According to McGee and will be exhibited in locations around Acomb during this year’s ADAM (Acomb Dance Art Music) event, July 14th, 10pm – 2pm.


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