The film-maker Bircan Birol worked alongside the five artists in the Govanhill Baths Culture Collective project. This is one of the video portraits she made.
The visual and dance artist Mark Bleakley was employed by Govanhill Baths for its Culture Collective work from Sept 2021 to August 2022.
Mark spent a good deal of time at The Dixon Community in Govanhill, Glasgow, that provides support to older people and carers living in the Southside of Glasgow.
The Culture Collective support allowed him to get to get to know, and become known to, this community. The project culminating in a number of works, including the participatory dance piece ‘Dance Makes The Floor’, on Victoria Road during the Govanhill International Festival 2022.
Formally trained in visual arts Mark graduated from Newcastle University in 2013 with a Ba Fine Art. His practice is rooted in social dance through Bboying (Breakdancing) and more recently House dance. He is interested in creating spaces or situations for artists and audiences to come together to share space and explore ideas mutually.
“Ya Dancer” is a creative short documentary that delves into the world of social dance, movement, and participatory art through the eyes of Culture Collective artist Mark Bleakley and a group of women from Dixon Halls, a community centre for carers of all ages that supports daily opportunities for the elderly. The film follows the unlikely friendship that develops between Mark and the group over the course of several months as they discover the transformative power of dance and art.
Govanhill Baths is one of the 26 hubs of Scotland’s Culture Collective network. It was established after the COVID-19 pandemic in order to maintain art and creativity around the country, and explore new ways of co-creation between professional artists and the community.