I’m writing this post to introduce myself, as the Artist in Residence for the Asking Andover Project. This is my first post on the project blog, and there’s a few things to catch up on.

I’m an Associate Artist with CAS (Chapel Arts Studios) and worked with CAS and Andover Museum to develop the project, after we ran community workshops together at the Four Fun Fridays events last Summer.

My work as an artist focuses on people’s relationship to place, and how art can give us a range of ways to explore and share our experiences of where we live, work or study, so the Asking Andover project is a perfect fit for me. You can find out more about my work and background here, on my website.

So far on the project I have been carrying out research into the local area, taking photographs and using them to develop new Walking Pages based on the town’s Heritage Trail.

I’ve also been running creative sessions for museum volunteers and staff, looking at how art can help us to share our memories, and to tell the stories of personal objects.

At the moment I’m focusing on setting up an Interactive Project Space in the Museum’s gallery, ready for its launch at the open day on 2nd May.

I’m excited to be a part of this project and to be learning about Andover from the people that live here as well as my own explorations. I am really looking forward to the Project Space evolving over the next few months as local people add their memories, share photos, lend objects and I start to develop my own artwork too.

CAS Director David Dixon helping with the Project Space Installation

As well as people visiting the Museum and taking part in the activities set up in the Project Space, there’s a whole range of different creative activities that I and others will be running. You can see what’s on in May here.

If you visit the Project Space or take part in one of the activities, we’d love to hear what you think. You can contact us here or use the #AskingAndover hashtag on social media (see @AskingAndover and @JamesAldridge4 on Twitter).

I hope to see some of you at Andover Museum soon, and look forward to hearing your memories of living and working in this fascinating town.