NetPark is the World’s first Digital Art Park and a new, permanent visitor attraction for Southend.
“In all the years I have lived in the area – including the years I lived practically opposite the park – I’ve never just sat there in such a mindful way as that.”
“NetPark – impressive, meaningful digital art work”
Address: Chalkwell Park, Southend on Sea SS0 8NB
Opening Hours: 6am – 8pm
Fifteen engaging and playful artworks and stories take you different journeys around the park that are in turn, surprising, funny, informative and thought-provoking.
Designed for a variety of audiences, the range of works ensures that there is something to enchant all ages and allows for a shared experience or individual contemplation.
All the works are GPS located and experienced through a smart device, either iPad, iPhone or Android. All are best experienced with a set of headphones.
The collection includes artworks created by artists and five site-specific stories created by Southend school pupils working with writers and illustrators.
HOW TO ACCESS THE ARTWORKS:
The following NetPark apps can be downloaded / accessed on Android phones and iPhones/iPads:
Android: Matmos, Running to Flight, The Oneironaut, Play Southend, Everyday Fiction, Spiky Black
iPhones/iPads: Spoken Word Poetry Tours, The Garden of Remember (iPad only), Spiky Black, Everyday Fiction
The full collection of all 14 NetPark apps can be experienced on Metal’s iPads – to enquire about iPad hire, dates availability and costs, please contact us on email@example.com.
Matmos: Site-specific music created from original sounds recorded from the everyday park life.
Joel Cahen: Oneironaut – a promenade work that places you in the position of a traveller or lucid dreamer
Rosie Poebright: Running To Flight – a processional work explores your physical and emotional responses to the landscape.
Mark Grist and MC Mixy: Spoken word poetry tours, including the love story of a couple growing up in and around Chalkwell Park.
Spiky Black: Amanda Loomes and Alison Carlier’s app responds to the historic Rose Garden and the punk gardener who tends them, takes listeners on an abstracted but informative exploration of how roses are bred, grown and named – all set to a fantastic soundtrack.
Woodland by French and Mottershead is a contemplative piece that asks listeners to find the shade of a big tree, lie down (perfect activity for a hot day) and go on a poetic audio odyssey spanning 1000 years to explore how the afterlife of a human body is part of the natural life cycle of the earth.
Everyday Fiction: An audio work derived from the artist’s time in-residence at Chalkwell Hall in 2016, exploring the ambiguities between reality and fiction that we encounter in everyday life. Real events and imagined lives are brought together in a heart-breaking story of loss, grief, and mental illness.
The Garden of Remember: this app explores memory and its relationship to dementia. It was made as in collaboration between Metal, Southend Borough Council and National Health Service (NHS, England). The Garden of Remember has been managed by local artist Elsa James and NetPark Mental Wellbeing Co-ordinator, Emma Mills working with people living with dementia, local school children and young people over a series of workshops in 2016.
Play Southend, Now or Never – Re-discover and explore Southend through play! Have you ever hummed a Lulu lullaby? When was the last time you walked backwards in silence, towards land? Play Southend Now or Never! is a unique App for mobile devices that will make you experience Southend in fresh, imaginative and mischievous ways.
The Disappearing Spell written by pupils from Chalkwell Hall Junior School, working with writer, Lucy Sheerman and illustrator, Maggie Li.
Witch Quest written by pupils from St Georges School, working with writer, Vahni Capildeo and illustrator, Maddy Vian.
Scentopia written by pupils from Thorpe Greenways Junior School, working with writer, Syd Moore and illustrator, Karl Lawson.
Cake Work written by pupils from Milton Hall Junior School, working with writer, Jeremy Hardingham and illustrator, Zoe Barker.
Hello, Friend Monster written by pupils from Westborough School, working with writer, Vahni Capildeo and illustrator, Claire Softley.
“The apps become a park pursuit bonus, even encouraging you to spend more time being engrossed in the surroundings.”
A number of innovative accompanying NetPark projects are underway in partnership with Southend Borough Council public health team: The Wellbeing Project is exploring how digital arts in an outdoor setting can improve mental health and well-being; the Dementia Project is working with digital arts to capture stories and memories and promote awareness.
NetPark launched in October 2015, read some of the great press reviews here:-
The Creators Project; The Echo Newspaper; The Design Week; LS:N Global; BBC Radio 6 (from 1:50); The Guardian; The Observer
A new digital park logo to indicate public green space with open wi-fi was developed as part of the NetPark project.
Designed by Malcolm Garrett of Images&Co, a British designer with a worldwide reputation in culture and identity, known for his work in the music industry in the 80’s with bands such as Duran Duran and Simple Minds.