Arts project aims to ‘map our happiness’ in Sunderland

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ARE you happy?

A new arts project will map our happiness across Wearside and South Tyneside.

People will be asked to pinpoint geographic locations across our region which they associate with a happy memory, as part of a project called Bring the Happy, which will begin in January.

Each memory will be recorded on a happiness map and form part of a digital archive of happiness from around the world.

The memory may also be used in a live music show, the culmination of the project, which will be held in the Roker Hotel, Sunderland, in late February.

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 on 10 wards in Sunderland and South Tyneside.

Artist Victoria Pratt, from Leeds-based Invisible Flock, who will deliver 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.”

Project bosses are sourcing Sunderland locations for the installations and are planning a special collaboration with the National Glass Centre.

The installations will start on January 20 and remain open until February 19. People attending the installations get a marker to place on a map to correspond with their memory. The happier the memory, the higher the marker.

There will be two live shows at the Roker Hotel on February 26 and 27. Those who provide a memory will be invited to the show.