We’re an odd town, friendly to a point.

Public Opinion is about people shopping and sitting in the sun. Benches that aren’t full but still no more room. Waiting in the queue with nothing to say to hurry the bus – no raising eyebrows or sighs.

The parks, the people, the friends, the history; and the pubs.

We took a survey: tell us a good thing then tell us a bad thing, black and white. The show shouts the answers, most in silence, some in lights, anonymous.

‘Reticent’ describes us, it’s not an ignorance or superiority, it’s sometimes a reluctance to converse. Not ‘shy’ nor ‘introvert’ they would be too harsh, reticent seems softer somehow…

“The river loops the town like it’s giving it a big hug”

Anon.

Is it a good thing?

Public Opinion is to love the buildings, the people, the friends. To love the flowers and the park, the old and the new.

Is it a bad thing?

Public Opinion is to complain about the parking, the buses, the roadworks, the homeless. The money wasted on refits: “they could have done better with that…”, the traffic, the teenagers, the cold.

We set up an online survey, conducted face-to-face interviews and touted ourselves on social media to gather in public opinions about the town. We made labels from quotes and put them around. We took the responses and using a projector we showed them on the walls of buildings from the studio window.

The audios have been animated, keeping the inflections and personalities of the speakers.

The booklet shows a message on the facing pages, whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing depends on which cover the reader sees as the front.

“Walking through time”

Anon.

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