This year sees the 25th anniversary of CoolTan Arts, and to celebrate we are launching ‘CoolTan Arts: A Trip Down Memory Lane’, a digital book and exhibition.
The book features key events and archived materials from CoolTan’s 25 year history. It includes details of CoolTan’s early days as a squat in Brixton, the controversial 1995 Sex, Health & Education exhibition, Glastonbury attendance, the 1997 International Mail Art exhibition and celebrations of more recent projects including the Largactyl Shuffle.
Profiles of early CoolTan members and current participants also feature, providing an insight into the life of CoolTan and its transition to a mental health charity.
The accompanying exhibition features archived materials and photographs from CoolTan’s history. Artwork created by participants and volunteers as part of this project will also be on display including digital portraits and collages, graphic design and original artwork.
The project comprised an 18-week workshop looking through archival materials and edting them into this creative, digital book. Participants and volunteers worked alongside staff, tutors and former members, gaining skills such as digital design, research, interviewing, writing and decision making, all with the generous support of the London Community Foundation.
Quote from Lilianna Nalumansi, Chair of Trustees at CoolTan Arts:
We’re delighted to be celebrating all the creativity of CoolTan Arts from over the last 25 years. All those currently involved with CoolTan Arts were invited to join in, and in true CoolTan fashion, participants came together with a myriad of skills and their efforts and results have been put centre stage. We hope the creative publishing workshop encouraged participants to build their personal and artistic skills on a meaningful project with professional outcomes. The book and exhibition aims to show the character of CoolTan for the unique and special place it really is – full of life, creativity, ingenuity and mutual support.
Acknowledgements: With thanks to Rachael Dinnage, Facilitator of the workshop group, and all the participants and volunteers who have given their hard work and time to the project.