Mayflower 400 Southampton

Giving Thanks concludes with newly commissioned digital artwork

4 Mar 2021

The Mayflower 400’s Giving Thanks campaign ran between Thanksgiving, November 2020 and Valentine’s, February 2021. It was designed to create digital memories that bring the people of Southampton together in a shared celebration of our city and communities, over 300 people of all ages joined in through social media channels and online interviews. This month, thanks to funding from Arts Council England and the Barker-Mill Foundation, artists Shared Space and Light will premiere a new digital artwork which pulls the community-generated content together. This online show will tell the story of our city and its people at this unique moment in time using motion graphics and 3D animation.

Shared Space and Light are artists who strongly believe in the power of video projection to bring people together. Collaboration is central to what they do, they have worked alongside a diverse range of communities as well as musicians, set designers and theatre companies. They said: “This project has been an exciting challenge, working together in difficult times and we hope to create a memorable celebration for Southampton. Thank you so much for all your contributions online and over Zoom!”

Giving Thanks is delivered as part of the on-going city-wide Mayflower 400 programme which aims to not just mark the anniversary, but to bring people together, especially in these days of social isolation, through generating an understanding of difference and helping to develop empathy. Southampton residents were asked to share photos, images, videos, stories, poems of the things for which they are grateful. Schools and colleges took part in the programme, as did a range of community organisations such as Theatre for Life CIC, Skate Southampton, SO Linked, the Romanian Advisory Centre, TUVAA. Throughout the campaign, a selection of ‘thanks’ have been posted on the Mayflower 400 website, a huge selection can now be seen on: . These include this Giving Thanks from a member of the public: “I am grateful for the opportunities the last year has provided.  I am aware for so many it has been utterly challenging, at times, and I know beyond description in pain and suffering.  Those are not the aspects that I mean to highlight or make light of in any way.  Yet, I believe this period has strengthened our family ties and hopefully will help us look outward to those around us who we can support and show care to during this continued challenging time.”

Giving Thanks is supported by the Barker-Mill Foundation.The Barker-Mill Foundation is absolutely delighted to be supporting the campaign and the wider Mayflower 400 project which has bought and will continue to bring so much joy to the City.”. The programme was also supported by partners Northam Community Centre, GO! Southampton, Southampton Voluntary Services and by Southampton Paralympian Aaron Phipps, who acted as an advocate for the campaign. 

Councillor Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Homes, Communities and Culture says: “During this difficult time, it’s more important than ever to celebrate and share the important things that make a difference to our lives every day, however small. People from all ages and backgrounds have supported this campaign which shows both the positive can-do spirit and the camaraderie and kindness of our great city. We are grateful to them and to all the people of Southampton who have come together during these unprecedented times.” 

Join us live on Facebook at 7pm on Saturday 27th March for the premiere of the new artwork. 

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