THE FANDANGOE SKIP
THE FANDANGOE SKIP *ON TOUR*
Alternative spaces to explore grief, loss + mental health
The Fandangoe Skip was a collaboration project which we were a part of alongside, artist Annie Nicholson, AKA The Fandangoe Kid, the Skip Gallery and Caukin Studio. The project, a community arts installation, sought to smash the taboos around grief, loss, and mental health, using a converted skip, but with the added twist of providing free ice cream (provided by the brilliant Portuguese Love Affair in Hackney), chats and a whole host of creative workshops and talks curated by The Loss Project. The Skip was in situ in Greenwich Peninsula Square and in Canary Wharf in July and August.
One of my favourite moments among many was the mini grief rave, hosted by the fabulous Nick from @streetsoundsystem we spun some tunes and danced together with strangers to remember those we'd loved and lost. It felt like a collective boost of joyful energy, and seeing people who had never met throw some shapes and show each other such care and kindness really reminded me of how important it is to tend to joy when experiencing any kind of grief or loss.
The Fandangoe Skip *on tour*
We were then delighted to be commissioned by Brookfield Place to take the project to NYC in October. A similar premise with ice cream from @bluemarblebk and another jam packed programme with some amazing facilitators including Reiki, Beyonce dancing, patterns of the city, letters that have never been sent and loads more.
Not only is the skip (or dumpster if you're stateside) a beautiful piece of art, it also goes to show how everyday objects can be turned into something that can support people with grief and loss.
Why are ice cream and alternative spaces important?
One of the reasons why we have loved being a part of this collaboration is because it brings together all of the things we think are important when tending to grief and loss. An opportunity to find different rituals, ways of being together and exploring what is often a really complex experience. Ice cream was a conduit to encouraging people to come and chat to us, and offered an invitation in a very friendly way to help people to share their own stories.
The brilliant work of The Fandangoe Kid, Skip Gallery and Caukin Studios in creating these alternative spaces are also key. People were taken aback that we had used a skip/dumpster to create something so beautiful and joyful. Tending to difficult times and emotions doesn't have to be in a clinical setting, with strip lights, dodgy music and still life paintings of fruit on the wall. It can be joyful, candy coloured and a work of art.
The project enabled us to bring a whole heap of disciplines, philosophies and creative mediums together to show what is possible in this alternative space of acknowledging and exploring grief and loss. It doesn't have to be something scary or overwhelming, it can give life.
SMASHING THE TABOOS AROUND MENTAL HEALTH AND LOSS
THE FANDANGOE WHIP 2021
Following 2021’s successful UK tour of The Fandangoe Whip, Annie Nicholson, AKA The Fandangoe Kid has partnered with Skip Gallery and CAUKIN Studio to present The Fandangoe SKIP, an ice cream kiosk made from a re-purposed skip in London and New York. The original project toured the UK offering ice cream and mental health support to diverse communities as we began to emerge from the global pandemic and all of its challenges. Founded by artist Annie Nicholson, this project seeks to smash taboos around grief and mental health and offer spaces to open up.
The project is especially important to Annie, following the loss of many of Nicholson’s family members in 2011 in an accident in New York City, she wishes to build upon the success of the original Fandangoe Whip to mark the ten year anniversary of the tragic bereavement that has shaped the course of her creative practice, and her life.
THE FANDANGOE SKIP 2022
The Fandangoe Skip was powered by The Fandangoe Kid, CAUKIN studio, the Skip Gallery and The Loss Project. The new commission brings together the additional experience of architectural practice CAUKIN Studio and itinerant art space, Skip Gallery who previously worked together to create The Feelings Library in central London. The London project happened from July - August 2022 in Peninsula Square, Greenwich and as part of Canary Wharf’s Festival14. We've reached thousands of people across the installations, alongside therapuetic programmes curated by The Loss Project, the SKIP offered participants free ice cream (made by A Portuguese Love Affair, Hackney) + chats, hand massage, movement and dance, creativity, tarot and opportunities to talk. You can find out more about the London facilitator team by clicking on their links below:
The Loss Project
FANDANGOE SKIP NYC
Following the success of the Fandangoe SKIP in London, the project was commissioned by Arts Brookfield, NYC and was installed at World Trade Center in October 2022. Here, we ran a full programme of events with NYC based practitioners, programmed by us the Loss Project.
We've had some great coverage throughout the project, including from BBC, Arch Daily and Architello which you can view below:
Follow us on Instagram to keep up to date with all things skip and for more fandangoe-ing in the future!
We want to make sure that you all have access to our follow up resources. Click on the button below to download the document including blogs, podcasts, free online workshops/downloads, and other organisations who can help.
If you’re needing a bit of extra help, there’s lots of places you can look at:
General mental health support:
Samaritans - call for free 116 123 or https://www.samaritans.org/
The Blurt Foundation - https://www.blurtitout.org/
Online therapy app - https://www.betterhelp.com/get-started
Grief and Loss support:
Untangle, online grief support - https://untanglegrief.com/
Grief Case, sharing stories of grief - https://www.instagram.com/thegriefcase
The Good Grief Trust - https://www.thegoodgrieftrust.org/
Supporting young people with grief - https://letstalkaboutloss.org/
National Bereavement Charity - https://www.cruse.org.uk/
Muslim Youth Helpline - https://www.myh.org.uk/
Jewish Bereavement Counselling service - https://jbcs.org.uk/
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide - https://uksobs.org/
Supporting children with grief - http://www.childhoodbereavementnetwork.org.uk/
Grief support - https://whatsyourgrief.com/
Black & minoritised communities support - https://www.ubele.org/our-work/bamestream