Street Hunt for Colchester

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© Seana Hughes
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Internationally renowned artist creates Street Hunt for Colchester, by Joshua Sofaer, to create street name based treasure hunt with the opportunity to win up to £10,000. 

Street Hunt is an artist led treasure hunt around Colchester, with the chance to win up to £10,000, that is open to everyone to enter. Artist Joshua Sofaer has written a poem using street names from the oldest town in Britain and will publish a book of photographs with a different street sign and its surroundings on each page – but with the names removed. Participants need to work out what the missing names are and complete the poem in the book. The first person to submit a correctly completed book wins the cash prize. The prize will be the amount of total book sales with a guaranteed minimum of £1,000 and could be as much as £10,000 if all 1,000 books are sold for the full price of £10.

Street Hunt creator Joshua Sofaer explained: ‘It seems especially appropriate to hold Street Hunt in Colchester, Britain’s oldest town. The challenge is a kind of visual crossword puzzle, a treasure hunt where the riches are road names and a story emerges from the page. I hope it will encourage people to explore the town in a new way and, by really paying attention, spot the previously unnoticed. Each street name has a background and a story behind it, especially in a town as rich in history as Colchester.’

Street Hunt is presented by Colchester Arts Centre as part of the town’s Roman River Festival.

Anthony Roberts, Director of Colchester Arts Centre added: ‘This is a brilliantly fun way to explore our town. We’re encouraging people to compete as teams or as individuals. Families, companies, clubs, charities, or simply a ruthless gang of intrepid explorers hell bent on getting their hands on the readies, all are welcome and encouraged. And if you’re on a low income and don’t have a tenner then pay what you can afford.’

Street Hunt will also help highlight the plight of homeless people in the town through a linked programme of events in collaboration with Beacon House, the local charity that helps homeless people. These include Street Tours led by local residents and artists bringing the stories of Colchester’s streets to life, a specially commissioned large-scale Street Photography exhibition showing images taken by people affected by homelessness and Street Cinema film screenings.

Joshua will make a selection of images created for the Street Photography project for an artist curated 2018 calendar which will be sold to raise money for Beacon House.

The Street Hunt book will be available to buy in person from 12 noon on Saturday 16 September at Red Lion Books, High St Colchester, but can be pre-ordered now via www.streethunt.co.uk or at the bookshop for collection on the day – and the first person to return a correctly fully completed book is the winner!

The funding for Street Hunt came via a £50,000 grant from Colchester Borough Council after it was selected in The Big Choice, a public vote in which residents chose their favourite project from a selection of 12.