The Electric Fireside

The Electric Fireside, jointly funded by the Arts Council England and The Brick Box, is a socially engaged arts project which began in Bradford in October 2014. It draws people together to share stories and express themselves creatively, lighting up places which needed a bit of love.

Activities include an interactive light installation which incorporates reclaimed coal effect electric fires with special effects and digital functionality. Alongside the installation, artists use dance, storytelling and puppetry to facilitate audiences sharing the stories of their home and community.

There were two Electric Fireside events in Bradford in 2014: the first on Saturday 11th October on Bateman Street in Manningham, the second on Saturday 18th October on Cater Street in Little Germany. The installation and associated storytellers then travelled to London where it formed a core element of Light Night Canning Town festival on Saturday 29th November.

The project aims were to

  • Engage and develop new audiences
  • Empower local communities
  • Reconnect people with spaces that are under-used or perceived as undesirable
  • Build trust between communities and local stakeholders / authorities
  • Investigate why spaces underperform and share possible solutions
  • Advocate for public realm spaces to be used more effectively
  • Develop cultural connections between Bradford and London
  • And have a lot of fun whilst we’re at it!

The Electric Fireside went on to be commission by Artichoke at Lumiere Durham 2015, where we worked with community groups in County Durham to host the installation.