Empty Shops

Empty Shops

As part of exploring the idea of “pop up”, Transported took over two empty spaces during August 2013 in Holbeach and Boston

Working with Transported and with Dan Thompson of Revolutionary Arts and the Empty Shops Network, local artist Carol Parker programmed activity to be in both shops over the month, using both local artists and some who travelled a little further, as well as using the shops to display work already created during Transported’s initial consultation phase.

Review by Katie Smith & Gillian Wing

The Transported Pop Up Space project held in Boston and Holbeach empty shop spaces over August has been evaluated by the two artist members of the Transported Evaluation Task Group, Katie Smith and Gillian Wing. We set out to gather the views of the commissioned artists, the shopkeepers and the community researchers who participated so that any lessons could be taken into account when the Transported phase two pop up space strand is developed.

The project delivered a range of creative activities and the overall perception of those participating in the survey is that it was successful and much appreciated. Main themes highlighted for the future include:

  • Location in terms of neutrality, accessibility, transport and associations arising from previous use of the space has a significant impact, as do time of year and how welcoming the atmosphere is.
  • Adequate time to brief those leading the activities and for shared reflection across all participating is important to maximise learning.
  • A well thought out marketing campaign is essential in order to ensure the previously unengaged have the option to participate.
  • There is the opportunity to build sense of community as well as encouraging personal creativity.
  • An important opportunity can be provided for families to experience shared activity and to encourage intergenerational integration.
  • Pop up spaces could provide an excellent ongoing community based focus for the Transported project and a great way of sharing the benefits of Transported around a rural demography.
  • Continuing pop up spaces would provide a good impetus towards building sustainability for Transported.
  • The project provided encouragement that more isolated rural areas can have access to the kind of creative activities usually reserved for larger centres of population.

Want to find out more or interested in setting up your own Pop Up Shop?

Transported worked with Dan Thompson during the Empty Shops project: read his Empty Shops Report and his handy Pop-Up Shops Handbook.

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