The Coach Trip was a humorous and artistic take on the holiday bus tour in which participants are invited to join artist duo Hunt and Darton on an artistic adventure of Milton Keynes. It took the form of a bespoke 2-day journey of Milton Keynes’ heritage, landscape and architecture, visiting the city’s most iconic sites, as well as, its lesser known culturally and historically revered buildings.
The Coach Trip was an immersive playful roving performance, which simultaneously provided a communal mode of transport for festival guests. The trip was carefully crafted so that attendees could experience the other 10 commissioned artworks curated for the Groundwork Weekender, unifying these artworks as a touring cultural event.
Part journey, part artwork the trip was for those who wished to hop on board and take part in the wider festival activities but equally for those who wished to see Milton Keynes' heritage hotspots.
On The Coach Trip Hunt & Darton developed the tour’s content in-situ working with the audience to create games and sing-a-longs, conduct interviews with the Groundwork artists, local residents and businesses, developing impromptu interventions and provocations, all interjected with titbits of information, historical facts and local anecdotes.
Hunt & Darton is a Live Art Collaboration between Jenny Hunt and Holly Darton. We have both practiced Art since graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2003 and been working together for 8 years. Approaching Live Art from a Fine Art background we work across mediums with a sculptural approach to performance, choreographing words and movement in a sensory way and setting up alternative spaces – often creating installations to perform within. Our work derives from our shared celebrations and anxieties surrounding life choices particularly as women, in Britain, now. Our work has been described as deadpan and absurd, often collapsing into humour. We have a persistent fetish within our practice to consistently re-assess our relationship with our audience, embracing awkward moments, risk taking and constantly trying to close the gap between performer and viewer opting for a raw, underdone, conversational aesthetic.
Hunt & Darton are the creators of the award-winning Hunt & Darton Cafe a pop-up interactive performance/installation and fully-functioning café where food, service and business are the art with guest waiters, themed days and the sensational signature dish, the roast dinner sandwich. First commissioned by Live Art Collective East for the Cultural Olympiad the Cafe has popped up in Cambridge City Centre (May 2012) at the Edinburgh Fringe (2012 & 2013) Lower Clapton Road, Hackney (Jan-July 2013), Tate Britain and Latitude Festival. During 2014/15 the cafe was presented as part of a successful STF bid engaging 10000 new live audiences and touring to 14 locations in the UK and 3 major city’s in China supported by the British Council and Forest Fringe. In Feb 2016 we produced and hosted a Symposium attended by 100 people with speakers including Andy Field (Forest Fringe), Brian Lobel (Artist) and Anthony Roberts (Colchester Arts Centre) about the Cafe project.
In 2014 we received a Circulate commission for a new outdoor family friendly work to tour to 6 outer London regions. The initial work, titled Hunt & Darton Food Fight was scratched throughout Autumn 2014 and through further funding developed into a full length performance. ‘The Punch, The Sandwich, The Cake’ is for up to 30 participants and has been shown at Artsdepot, The Albany, Eclat Festival in Caromb, France and The Barbican.
In 2014/15 we also toured a full length theatre show titled ‘Boredom’ (created in residence at Cambridge Junction in 2013, supported by ACE) to venues including Shorditch Town Hall London, Peninsula Arts Plymouth, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Buzzcut Festival Glasgow and The Basement Brighton.
In 2016 we received a GFTA for a much-needed R&D period. We developed Radio Local a live radio show that is made with the general public set to tour in 2017 to town squares, parks and more remote locations having set ourselves the challenge of ‘how many places can Radio Local be local in?’. It is our interest in the ideas of local, locale and locality that brings us to Milton Keynes to work as part of Groundwork.
The Coach Trip received funding from and forms part of Sharing Culture: MK, a collaborative events programme in celebration of our cultural heritage, new town stories and European connections. Hunt and Darton and Tracing the Pathway would like to thank Lallie Davis, Bill's Coach Hire and Dave the coach driver.