Whether your thing is anything, from using sticky back plastic to making snow angels, The Society wants YOU!!!
Cathy Dunbar and Helen Judge initiated The Society of Xtras in 2007. Our first event involved making a life size set of a front living room where people were invited to do in impromptu public performances. Since then, events have included, making films on a man-made beach and knitting furniture.
We are intensely interested in the context in which art is produced and have set about making things with people in various settings. Over the past ten years the Society of Xtras has made work with people at festivals, art centres, community arts event, new build artists interventions, public spaces and commercial premises. Below you can find out about our projects and selected events
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‘The Hedge’ is made on the spot from rubbish at public events. We start it
with discarded objects found in hedgerows and at demolition sites. From the rubbish we
create a frame as a starting point for people to add their own rubbish. It also
incorporates a soundscape powered by renewable energy and text describing
the provenance and future of particular items. The Hedge first grew at Strawberry Fair 2013 in Cambridge. People attending the event were invited to add things they found at the Fair to our initial structure. We have had many people join us making the hedge, getting into creative activity and talking about renewables.
This short one minute animation is made from photos of the installation, "Not a Cardy" by Cathy Dunbar and Helen Judge. The looped video of the knitting hands are the Cambridge Six Bells Knitting group."Not a Cardy" began in 2013 and is an ongoing project that currently comprises; media players, pc monitors and inflatables. These are knitted into an assortment of; woolly jumpers, scarfs, cardigans, baby booties and pom poms. It also includes a sofa, lampshade and lighting. Not a Cardy has been exhibited at festivals and in gallery spaces in Cambridge.
The Society of Xtras took over an empty shop in Cambridge during the Cambridge Council lead initiative "Changing Spaces". We used our two-week residency to create an installation from our Interknit events
Burliegh St, Cambridge
The Xtras were at the fabulous and diverse Pink Festval All were welcome to our parlour to dress up and perform. Many wonderful Xtras joined us on the day.Later in the year we took part at the Pussy Galore Party A Pink Festival fund raiser by Sister Act
Saturday 6th June
This year at Strawberry Fair the Society of Xtras invited you to INTERKNIT, hosted by Cathy Dunbar and Helen Judge.
Thanks to all who joined us and added a bit to our ever-growing,
Launch Thursday 18th September 6pm and on
Saturday and Sunday 20th-21st and 27th-28th September 12- 4pm
Come and take part in Interknit and pay homage to the craft's passed warmth, cosy domesticity, and in particular its social aspects. Cathy Dunbar and Helen Judge will be outside knitting on some comfy living room furniture. 'We plan to make a large interwoven work. With your help we will: relax, knit, weave, and most importantly, chat.'
Please join us on the Sofa Knitting
Wysing Arts Centre,
Fox Rd, (near Bourn)
Needles and wool supplied but do bring your own.
On Sunday 27th July we joined Artist Kirsten Lavers at the Banana Beach.
It was a perfect day for the beach and we were posing from 12 noon, check out the Xtras on the beach
After posing on the beach some of the xtras were filmed for "Today I am".
We got some great footage for our short film. The plot is based on the game "I went to market and bought ..." but our lines went some thing like: "Today I am ... wearing a hula outfit, a gorilla mask, a spotty hanky etc"
Thanks to all who joined us on set at the Cambridge Strawberry Fair over the years
Shot in one take, in super8 in the middle of a misty English common the living
room with an upside down duck, a maid, a mad hatter butler and one crazy musical
Cathy Dunbar and Kay Goodridge filmed "Not in my back yard" on Cambridge's Midsummer Common,a place famous for people getting together for fun and entertainment.
Recently near by residents have had concerns about public merry making.Inspired by the controversy Cathy and Kay take the opportunity to play with notions' of quirky British eccentricity, sensibility and theatricality.
The Society made its first public appearance at The Cambridge Strawberry Fair Arts Area, June 2007. Thanks to all who joined us