Arts project aims to map happy memories

MAP OF MEMORIES: Ben Easton and Victoria Pratt from Invisible Flock, Rebecca Ball from the Cultural Spring and Rich Warburton.
MAP OF MEMORIES: Ben Easton and Victoria Pratt from Invisible Flock, Rebecca Ball from the Cultural Spring and Rich Warburton.
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ARTS leaders have set up a project to create a map of happiness across Wearside.

The initiative, called Bring the Happy, asks people to pinpoint geographic locations they associate with a happy memory.

Pod manager Gemma Hagan, Rich Warburton from Invisible Flock and the Cultural Spring's David Callaghan.

Pod manager Gemma Hagan, Rich Warburton from Invisible Flock and the Cultural Spring's David Callaghan.

Each memory is then recorded on a “happiness map” and is helping to create a digital archive of happiness from around the world.

Memories already donated include one from a pensioner recalling her delight at VE Day, marriage proposals and the births of children.

The project will culminate in three live music shows, being held at North Shore on the University of Sunderland’s St Peter’s campus, in late February.

Memories are being donated over a five-week period at installations in Sunderland.

One of the Roker Pods is being used as a mobile installation and is currently in Fulwell.

It will then be moved to Cleadon, East Boldon, Boldon Colliery and Castletown over the next few weeks.

The National Glass Centre is being used as a weekend installation.

The project is the fourth major commission from The Cultural Spring, a three-year Arts Council funded project working to increase engagement in the arts in five wards in Sunderland.

Artist Victoria Pratt, from Invisible Flock, the company delivering the project, said: “We’ve been delivering Bring the Happy in towns and cities across the UK and abroad since 2010.

“The idea came out of the recession really, when so many empty shops started appearing on our high streets and there was a lot of doom and gloom around.

“The project is all about happiness and we usually create installations in empty shops where people come and tell us about their happy memories.”

People attending the installations get a glass marker to place on a map to correspond with their memory and the happier the memory, the higher the marker.

For more about the Cultural Spring project go to www.theculturalspring.org.uk.