Youngsters share cycling stories

James King, 14, from St Leonards, and Cathryn Kemp, Telling Stories project curator. Photo by Martin Everett
James King, 14, from St Leonards, and Cathryn Kemp, Telling Stories project curator. Photo by Martin Everett
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YOUNGSTERS are being given the chance to tell their own stories about cycling for an Arts Council England-supported performance in Hastings.

Cycle Babble is the name of the project which is run by Telling Stories: Hastings, Radiator Arts and the From Pier To Eternity biking group as part of the Coastal Currents festival.

Young people at the drop-in community bike workshop in Marina, St Leonards had their biking tales recorded on sound equipment.

The resulting collection of stories, jokes, fables and experiences will be made into a sonic art work which will be broadcast from a mobile sound machine as part of the From Pier To Eternity procession to Hastings Museum and Art Gallery on September 21, for the opening night of the Telling Stories: Hastings exhibition.

Cathryn Kemp, project curator of Telling Stories, said: “This project is all about giving young people a voice and including them in a contemporary art project.

“We’ve all got a story to share – and as the bikes will be part of our opening night we felt that cycling stories was a nice way to engage those who might not have access to public art.”

The team of artists and volunteers include Patrick Nicholson and Andy Tompkins, from Hastings Urban Bikes and From Pier To Eternity, Erin Veness and Mary Hooper from Radiator Arts, Lucinda Wells and Alex Brattell from Telling Stories, and photographer Martin Everett.

Armed with recording equipment, the group spoke to young people and adults dropping in to the community bike workshop which runs every Wednesday from 6pm to 8pm at The Labyrinth.

Once all the stories have been collected the team will edit the sound piece and then build a sound machine which will play the stories as it travels with the bicycle procession up to the museum, starting at Hastings Pier.

The team will be back to record more sound on August 1, at The Labyrinth and ask for youngsters to drop in for a Cycle Babble.

For more information, go to www.tellingstories.info.