Listening to the people for art

Artist Jason Nelson pictured at one of the public consulatation events for Visioning Levenmouth public art project, run by Bcukhaven Beehive
Artist Jason Nelson pictured at one of the public consulatation events for Visioning Levenmouth public art project, run by Bcukhaven Beehive

An art project aimed at finding out what Levenmouth means to the people that live here with a view to creating a piece of public art is gathering pace.

The Visioning Levenmouth programme, being led by the Buckhaven Beehive in conjunction with fellow Buckhaven-based group CLEAR, has been working with local groups and residents in order to come up with ideas for a piece of public art they would like to see on land adjacent to the new Levenmouth High School at Starkie’s Woods.

Visioning Levenmouth 2020  - One of the 'ideas houses' which Jason Nelson, artist, has been working on as part of the project.

Visioning Levenmouth 2020 - One of the 'ideas houses' which Jason Nelson, artist, has been working on as part of the project.

Artist Jason Nelson has been working on the public consultation stage of the project, and told the Mail things are starting to pick up after a few weeks of putting plans in motion.

He is hoping to visit both high schools in the next couple of weeks to get a clearer picture of how people feel about Levenmouth and what they would like to change.

He has also distributed postcards throughout the local area which ask three simple questions: What is precious to you about your community? What is unique about your community? And what do you think connects your community to the wider Levenmouth area?

“When I’ve been working with people, I’ve also been asking them what one thing they would change about Levenmouth,” said Jason.

There has to be space within this project for creative thinking

Jason Nelson

“The sort of stuff I’ve been getting back is from the aspirational to straight up community concerns.

“When you ask people what they want to change, they tend to focus on the negative - the junkies, unemployment, crime - no-one ever says ‘I’d give everyone a million pounds’!

“But it’s about asking the questions after that, about why they want to change something.”

Jason has already worked with a number of local groups on a series of workshops, including Methilhaven Home and Family and Community Support Team East.

Suggestions for welcome additions to the area range from the simple ‘more green spaces’ and ‘new playparks’ to the more ambitious ‘castles’ and ‘outdoor schooling’.

All of the ideas have been captured on see through panels, which Jason has turned into house-like structures, which CLEAR is hoping to use at its growing spaces following the conclusion of the consultation period.

“The dialogue I’m having with people is all about finding stuff out right now,” said Jason. “There has to be space within this project for creative thinking, not just ‘We have to get rid of that’ but how you can help issues instead.

“I really want to create a positive vibe.”

Blair Denwette from the Beehive added: “Whether the comments are positive or negative, they are all relevant. It’s all about engaging with people and and hearing their own feelings - that’s what’s important.”

Look out for Jason’s postcards which will be in a variety of spaces over the next few weeks. Also, you can still text ‘mym’ and what you think can be done with the space to 07537402400 (usual charges apply). Jason is hoping that the next three weeks will culminate in an event at the Buckhaven Beehive to showcase exactly what has been found over the last few months, and to give people another opportunity to contribute to the project.

“I have learned so much up to this point,” said Jason, “and hopefully things are really going to start getting busy over the next three weeks.”

To keep up to date with the project, follow @levenmouth2020 on Twitter or go to visioninglevenmouth2020.moonfruit.com