Dangerous or Otherwise, a sensory and thought-provoking experience at The Workhouse

Visitors with headphones walking up the path to The Workhouse building

The immersive installation Dangerous or Otherwise was the culmination of the collaborative work with Bare Project, The Workhouse's creative fellows for 2017.

The Workhouse succesfully received funding from the Arts Council for our Creative fellows programme. Over the course of three years, we have been using this funding to investigate themes within The Workhouse and commissioning artists to interpret the building’s history and stories. 

The Workhouse partnered with Bare Project (a Sheffield based theatre and interactive arts company), Newark Emmaus Trust (NET, homeless project for young people in Newark) and The Workhouse volunteers to produce a series of performances, held over three evenings.

Part of the performative experience by Bare Project
A door within Firbeck Infirmary. A label on the door knob reads
Part of the performative experience by Bare Project

Dangerous or Otherwise was sensory and thought-provoking, where historical and contemporary accounts of poverty, health and homelessness spoke together encouraging reflection and debate. Bare Project created an inspirational immersive digital media and interactive experience, drawing from collaborative workshops with all participants.

" Bare encouraged us to draw on archive research to distill the essence of a pauper character in a few words, helping us to bring inmates' stories to life."
- Jane Bench, Workhouse volunteer

Audience members were guided around the historic site via individual headsets, featuring a sound collage of voices derived from The Workhouse inmate research and contemporary experiences of being homeless or institutionalised in 2017, along with visual interactive installations. After the performance formal conversations with the NET participants, Bare Project and the audience highlighted the contemporary relevance of the work and prompted debate and reflection.  


Bare project performance

Watch the video to see a snap shot of the Dangerous or Otherwise performance.