I N T E R N S T O R I E S, S U M M E R 2 0 1 9

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Daisy Williamson

My name is Daisy Williamson and I have just graduated from Lancaster University with a degree in Fine Art. I’ve done over half of my internship with Deco Publique now and am absolutely loving it! Having the opportunity to do something related to my degree subject which can give me the experience to work in the industry is invaluable. I can already tell I’m not going to what it to end!

It has been really lovely to take a step back from intensely making art as I have done for the last three years, but still being constantly inspired by the artists commissioned by Deco and the scale of the projects they put on. I applied for the job because I wanted to learn what goes on behind the scenes in the cultural industry, and the ethos of DP- producing cultural events for everyone, really resonated with me. I had little idea about festival production, commissioning and funding for art projects and installations, and I can tell you it’s very varied and a lot of work goes into it! The Vintage by the Sea Festival was a weekend of very intense work with a lot of manual labour (not helped by the wind!), but the satisfaction of seeing an event come together that you’ve been working on is immense. It was really interesting to work with like-minded people and get some insight into other roles within the industry. I was stationed at the workshops tent which I loved. Being an artist myself, I couldn’t help getting involved and even ended up managing the badge making stall at one point! 

I am also helping to coordinate a follow-up event as part of Vintage by the Sea, which brings some of the festival to care home residents – those who lived through the decades of Morecambe we are celebrating! The inclusive nature of the project really excites me, and getting to liaise between the events coordinator at the care home and an artist from dance company Le Petite Mort to work out details has been a great experience. So far, the plan is to have a meet and greet with the residents to hear about their stories of growing up in Morecambe. Le Petite Mort are then going to go away and devise a performance based around these experiences, which they will then perform the following week, ensuring it is interactive to involve the residents as participants. 

No two days at Deco Publique are the same- one moment I might be proofreading a festival programme or researching potential event locations, and the next minute I’m erecting giant flagpoles and experiencing a sheep auction. It’s made me realise that I want to work in an environment with a varied job specification because it means you are never bored! There is no set layout for the day though, so it definitely would suit someone who is laid back and can work independently. 

An ongoing project I have been working on is part of the Great Place Lakes and Dales project for which Deco Publique have been commissioned to create a series of events in specific locations across the Lakes and Dales. Since day one I have been researching the three chosen locations - Settle, Bentham and Kendal - to provide a detailed profile on the activities that are on offer for young people in the area. This has been an especially interesting project to me because these areas are similar to where I grew up – rural locations where there is little to do to persuade young people to stay. Helping to create a project name and researching potential artists and speakers that would appeal to people like me, who are looking for exciting opportunities in beautiful, rural locations, has made me really connect with the project. The great thing about it is that young people in each of the locations will get to adapt and tailor the programme of events to suit and meet the needs of that specific location. I am really excited to work more on the project and to meet some of the people who will directly benefit!