Posts Tagged ‘Hunt and Darton’

Putting Names To Faces.

I went into the library last week and decided to experiment further with Andy Wahols concept of taking a photo to try and develop and understand the person. This was undoubtably one of the hardest things I have had to do since working in the library.
Approaching people in the library and taking a moment in time to get to know the person on an intimate level in a short amount of time becuase they were working hard or doing dissertation proposals, capturing a moment in time when people are in the library for a specific reason and trying to convey themselves in a single snap shot.

Mark R Scovell (11210091)

Mark on the 8th of April wanted to put across that he loves chatting and procrastinating whilst in the library

‘I think I’m fun to be around but most people don’t like to come to the library with me because I will distract everyone from everything until someone forces me to do work, I am a distraction to others and myself .I go to the library because of the resources , sometimes I bump into a friend to have a chat . The library is quite big so I can find somewhere to motivate myself”. In a single snap shot there is a true sense with his wave and cheeky smile that he really likes to have fun, but the library creates an enviroment for him to work within. Mark said he’d love it if there was ‘a place for having a break’ a place to get away to clear your head and get back into the working enviroment and with this ‘place to break’ escape the factory enviroment for ten minutes.

Favourite cake – victoria sponge

Lucinda Brown (11239270)


The Library is supposed to be quiet but my friends always distract me, if do work at home my flat mates distract me , the library has all the books I need. I’m able to get out of the house, and find a place to be quiet and to work hard , which means its good for motivation. In this picture i was hard at work and being easily distracted from everything so was telling you to stop distracting me and trying to give the impretion that i work hard but I’m unorganised because this essay was extremely last minute’

Favourite Cake- Lemon Cake.



The reason I asked what their favourite cake was because like any conversation wth strangers its easiest to have a starter question and with the influence of ‘Hunt and Darton’

Jenny Hunt and Holly Darton, create enviroments where they can ask provoking questions about the society in which we live. ‘Their work ‘combines elements of spoken word, movement, improvisation, and installation in their experiment and play with the aesthetics of entertainment and performance’. Their work comes out of a shared interest in what it means to be human, making work about common problems, embarrassment, human behaviour, love, life and art. They tend towards the deadpan and the absurd.’

We decided to have our own piece of absurd in our piece so did large head pieces to draw attention to the cafe, we used maps on the majority of the head pieces and circled the library to focus on our site, in the centre of the photo is steph who is wearing a tea cup to advertise our pop up cafe.


Taken on the 3rd of may on the day of our perfomance

After talking in depth with people in the library Thomas Cuff gave our group an insight and said ‘ there isn’t a sense of community in the library’. This is something that Hunt and Darton acheive by asking big questions to people for example ‘What is it to be human ?’. Our group wanted to make a statment on the history of the buliding and the way people were treated in the factory, similiar work has been done by Maureen Hawkins who did a piece drawing attention to the segregation of North and Southern Ireland and we want to make a statment on the class system in British society.This idea runs parellel to our idea of making buliding a community and making people feel welcome and not just a number, in a buliding that has evolved from a place of work to a library that has the same ethics with the library users clocking in and clocking out and working towards a pay check or a deadline .These ideas and the inspiration from Hunt and Darton to take a space and mix the history and create our own pop up cafe in the library and create an escape from the history .. The Grain Escape idea has been formed !

Comments welcome :)

Works cited

Boon, R. and Plastow, J. (2004) Theatre and empowerment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Posted: March 29th, 2013
Categories: The Grain Escape
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On the Hunt for Hunt and Darton


After looking at the history of the building then looked at the empty space with fresh eyes; the possibilities to what we could do within the space were endless however we wanted to make it relevant to number identity which is symbolic to the warehouse it used to be and the library it stands at today. When looking at site a site we ‘Specifically, look at the particularities of place and its capacity to re-contextualise performance, just as performance can reformulate how we perceive and experience space’1 . Therefore by taking this idea, we wanted to renovate the space, giving it and its people identity. We therefore looked at the site specific performers Hunt and Darton.

                                                                                                  christa-holka-huntdarton-cafe-4nov11-0074   2

Hunt & Darton is Live Art collaboration between Jenny Hunt and Holly Darton. If you wonder far enough through the streets of Hackney you will find this popular café. Hun & Darton have created a fun, homely café with a twist. If you are a lover of coffee or merely a fan of the art this café will appeal to you and make you feel right at home. Hunt & Darton Cafe, is a pop up café and interactive art installation; a social and artistic hub where engagement, spontaneity and performance meet great food and drink. The cafe offers an exciting, artistic aesthetic with live performances popping up throughout each month. Their work comes out of a shared interest in what it means to be human. They make work about common problems, embarrassment and human behavior. However beyond the quirky decor, you might find alternative service from Hunt & Darton themselves (in iconic pineapple outfits, if you’re lucky). It is a cosy place animating the life of customer service by pushing it through a performance art funnel

By taking this idea we decided to recreate our own pop up café and generate our own twist. We will create a café, in the unused space where people can congregate and come together. A place is created that demonstrates communal aspects where there is a sense of unity or identity. We will furnish our café to give it a similar homely feel so we can give our participants the perfect café experience. It is not just the visual aspects of the café that contribute to its success, but the conversational aspect that is present. They ask predetermined questions simply asking them how they are. By personally interacting with them and taking an interest in the customer, we want to form a friendship with them, therefore creating a homely atmosphere.

In the library you could determine that we are all a community of strangers. We are all associated with the university and have this connection however we don’t actually know anything about each other. Hunt and Darton demonstrate this notion in their café and simply ask their customers ‘Have you chalked into today’, we have taken this similar idea by taking photos of our customers and creating a catalogue, putting their name and creating them an identity within the community of the library. Therefore ‘the formation of a communicative cross-stratum based on shared multiplicity of identities in an unstable process of becoming a community or, better still, a community of becoming3 . This suggests that by getting multiple to communicate with each other personally we can create a community and essential not be strangers and for the first in the history of the building, the people within it aren’t demonstrated as numbers but as people.

The Lone Twins are site specific performers that have a deep sense of community embedded in them. Lone Twin produces theatrical and arts-based events for a variety of locations and contexts. Committed to creating entertaining and hopeful works, projects range from durational performances and community events to stage and studio presentations. Fiona Wilkie suggests ‘The Lone Twin’s reasoning as being to engender ideas of place and community, which is particularly relevant to this company as they work closely with community when performing their projects.’4 . Therefore with their performance they create a sense of community, which is something we are interested in creating with our pop up café.


  1. Emma Govan, 2007. P1 []
  2. []
  3. Gleave, J. 2011. P6 []
  4. Wilken, R. 2010. P449-468, P8 []
Posted: February 26th, 2013
Categories: Early Research, The Grain Escape
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