Gresham’s Wooden Horse is a project initiated by Isabel Lima, bringing together disparate communities living in Gresham, Middlesbrough. Many of Gresham’s terraced houses have been demolished or boarded up in recent years. Its population is diverse yet social deprivation discourages local people from finding mutual commonalities and with different communities rarely interacting. Against this backdrop, Gresham’s Wooden Horse has initiated an informal forum for cultural exchange – for old and new Gresham residents to establish a sense of ownership of their neighbourhood.
This participatory, place-based project was originally commissioned by Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art and supported by Arts Council England, Platforma Festival/Counterpoints Arts and Thirteen Community Fund.
Isabel Lima is an artist and researcher based in the UK since 2001. Isabel develops works which question the sense of belonging, identity, place and culture. Her own family history of displacement is the catalyst for her research. Isabel initiates collaborative and/or participatory works with different groups of people, namely refugees and asylum seekers. The outcomes of her projects usually take the form of video, performance, publication and installation.
In her current research, Isabel is investigating the role and responsibilities of the artist as a mediator and image producer when engaging audiences specifically around issues related to ethics, risk and precariousness.