CounterCulture



     
     

    The project was led by two professional community artists. 
    Award-winning writer Deborah Curtis took participants through the creative writing process.
    While talented artist and photographer Jennifer Stevens created original artworks with members of the community for the project.

    When asked what had inspired this unusual choice of material Deborah Curtis said: 

    'Our shopping receipts are by their nature mundane, ephemeral and inconsequential. They are in fact made to be thrown away. But when you start to look at them more closely they can provide a rich seam of material for story-making. Turning up an old shopping receipt can lead to poignant discoveries … a gift bought for a past lover, flowers to cheer up a sick friend, or  a card to welcome a new birth. '

    Artist Jennifer Stevens added:  ‘A shopping receipt is in itself a potentially fascinating artefact. When enlarged and examined in detail it becomes highly significant. And shopping is an activity that everyone can relate to.  Shopping receipts can also be used to unravel past events. The police use them to track a victim’s or suspect’s  movements. Whatever we buy  - we leave a paper trail behind us.
    We were delighted with the range and diversity of the writing and artworks produced.
    Following a generous grant in 2012 from the Co-operative Community Fund The Field Theatre Group held a series of six creative writing and arts workshops in Littleport.  Community artists from The Field Theatre Group worked hard  with participants to create stories, poems, artworks and much, much more from these ordinary, everyday scraps of paper
    .

                                                   

    We unlocked the secrets and surprises.... 

     the stories and memories hidden within the humble shopping receipt ... 

    And turned them into stories, art and poetry !

    .
    The finished pieces formed the basis of a performance and exhibition at the Yl Performing Arts Centre in Littleport 
    Contributors and guests enjoyed a private view on Saturday 7 September.
    We were extremely fortunate to have internationally renowned poet Ms Wendy Cope OBE as our special guest.
     Wendy presented the winner of our writing competition with her prize. Littleport resident Lin Bennett was delighted to receive a cheque for £100 for her winning entry.
    Lin had never entered a competition before, and indeed, had never written a poem before.
    Well done Lin ! 

    Our thanks also went to author  Mike Rouse who judged the entries for us.

    The work is published on this web page for others to share
    .

            
     

    Installations were created for the exhibition by  Jennifer Stevens
      

    Participation in CounterCulture was free and open to all Littleport residents, 

    regardless of age, experience, and background.  


    Here is the winning entry in our writing competition

               The Field Theatre Group
                     CounterCulture
                       September 2012
                           Littleport
     
                  THE TILL RECEIPT            
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Qty  Item                   Unit          Total
                                      Price        Price
                  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
          
    WHAT’S THIS I SEE ?                                           
    A PACK OF SWEETS                            
    SOME CHOCOLATE CAKE,
    A BOX OF TEA.

    A CARD FOR SENDING TO A FRIEND               
    THIS TILL RECEIPT JUST HAS NO END !
                                                
    A BRIGHTLY COLOURED PLASTIC MUG                                           
    SOME RABBIT FOOD                                           
    A THICK GLASS JUG.
                                              

    A BUNCH OF GRAPES TO HAVE WITH LUNCH                
    A BOX OF EGGS FOR SUNDAY BRUNCH.

                                                 
    I ONLY WENT IN THERE TO BUY                                       
    A WANTON SLICE OF APPLE PIE.

    AND NOW MY SHOPPING BAG IS FULL
    MY PURSE, ALAS, NOT FULL AT ALL !

    AND IN MY HAND, THE PRINTED BILL.
    FRESHLY SPAT OUT FROM THE  TILL.

    WHAT’S THIS I SEE ?                                           
    A PACK OF SWEETS
    AMONGST THE CAKE
    JUST FOR MY TEA.


    A CARD I MAY SEND TO A FRIEND,
    THIS TILL RECEIPT JUST HAS NO END !                                   

          TOTAL BEFORE SAVINGS              £?
    BALANCE DUE                       HELP !    

    CASH      WHO KNOWS !                                      

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    Op           Till            Store       Date        Time        Txn
    0114        2              4988        08/11/12
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .        

    Written by Lin Bennett
    thefieldtheatregroup.goodwithwords.co.uk



    At night when I shop in the store of my mind.
    You wouldn’t believe the things that I find.
    I wander the moonlit aisles on my own.
    And you’d be amazed at the things I bring home.

    A whistle of wind, a necklace of bone.
    A pebble, a footprint, a wishing stone.
    A jewel of great price to wear if I dare.
    A ribbon of sky to wind through my hair.
    You wouldn’t believe the things I find there.

    A seahorse, a secret, the song of a whale,
    The eye of a storm and the teeth of a gale.
    A slippery mermaid, fresh from the foam.
    You’d be amazed at the things I bring home.

    A ruby, a pearl, and the ghost of a girl.
    A dragon’s tooth, my long-lost youth.
    A cup of moon water, a forgotten daughter.
    You wouldn’t believe the things I bring home.

    A cupful of snow, a sliver of rainbow.
    A flagon of wine, scented with star-shine
    A droplet of time, a snippet of rhyme.
    You’d be astounded at what I might find.

    A basket of stars, and a casket of bees.
    A cloud of birdsong, a murmur of trees.
    The song of a rose and the smile of a flower.
    A handful of dust from a meteor shower.
    You wouldn’t believe the things I can buy.

    The moon in a bottle ~ a storm in a cup,
    A mountain, a molehill, I snatch them all up.
    Nothing’s too big or too small to take home.
    To colour my dreams through the long days alone.

    At night, when I shop in the store of my mind.
    You couldn’t conceive of the wonders I’ll find.                             Deborah Curtis



    The following is a small sample of the words of wisdom to be found in your shopping basket !

                Food for Thought     
                   The Field Theatre Group
                          CounterCulture
                         September 2012:
                               Littleport
     . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . .

    Qty       Item                       Unit      Total

                                              Price     Price
      . . . . . . . . .               . . . .  . . . . . . .  

    MAKE TODAY A GOOD DAY.
    DON’T BE A COUCH POTATO …
    WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE !
    GET OUT THERE AND EARN YOUR DAILY BREAD.
    USE YOUR LOAF !

    YOU CAN’T HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT.
    THAT’S JUST THE WAY THE COOKIE CRUMBLES.

    YOU’VE GOT TO BRING HOME THE BACON.
    NOT TO MENTION, CUT THE MUSTARD.

    THERE’S NO POINT IN CRYING OVER SPILT MILK.
    THAT’S WHAT COMES OF PUTTING
    ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET.

    SO ~ NO SOUR GRAPES TODAY.
    BE AS COOL AS A CUCUMBER,
    AND AS NICE AS PIE.
    BECAUSE YOU HAVE OTHER  FISH TO FRY !

    YOU’RE NO-BODY’S FOOL.
    YOU KNOW YOUR ONIONS !

    AND IF LIFE HANDS YOU A LEMON,
    YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO ….

    BECAUSE, AFTER ALL
    LIFE IS A BOWL OF CHERRIES.                   
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    Op        Till        Store    Date     Time     Txn
    0114     2          4988     08/11/12
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Written by DC
    thefieldtheatregroup
    www.goodwithwords.co.uk