Further up in the air
Up in the Air (2000 - 2001) and Further Up in the Air (2001-2004) were two ambitious programmes of artists residencies in Sheil Park, Liverpool, jointly initiated and managed by artists Neville Gabie and Leo Fitzmaurice. The residencies and resulting temporary installations coincided with the redevelopment of the whole Sheil Park site, the demolition of existing 1960s tower blocks and the creation of high quality new homes on the same site.
Both projects were developed with the support Liverpool Housing Action Trust (LHAT) and residents in the Kenley Close and Linosa Close tower blocks (subsequently demolished in 2001 and 2005 respectively). LHAT was set up in 1993 to oversee the improvement or redevelopment of high rise blocks across the city and adopted its own arts policy in 2000. The success of the two projects in meeting a variety of agendas is confirmed in informal evaluation from artists, residents and LHAT.
Ten artists took part in Up in the Air and eighteen artists in Further Up in the Air. Building on the success of the first project, information for artists was produced for Further Up in the Air and a press release garnered even wider interest. Both projects have been well documented and critically received in seminars, conferences and publications. One of the exciting and unusual aspects of the two projects has been the continuing programme of activity they have generated.