Time for an update…
Just before Christmas I worked with Cinzia Cremona on a market stall swapping memories and stories with passersby during the Colchester Christmas Market. Our intention was to invite everyone who came to the stall to come to firstsite and spend an evening embroidering the tablecloth, which we did on Saturday March 12th. Cinzia contacted everyone who had come to the market and we had a sign outside firstsite on the day inviting people to join us. The project now has a title “Memories and Marking”. The purpose was never to produce a perfect piece of embroidery, thankfully as both Cinzia and I are complete novices at it!! Luckily for us though fellow firstsite artist Jenny Swindells is an embroidery queen. The purpose of the session was simply to bring people together, drink tea and use the tablecloth and the embroidering as a means of opening dialogue. Cinzia still has a collection of tagged objects from the market stall so we laid them out in the space. There is a bright orange couch in the project space at firstsite so we thought that it would create a more relaxed informal atmosphere if we used this and beanbags around a low table. Relaxed and informal it was, comfortable it wasn’t! We started at 2pm and soon other people arrived. I expected people to come, stay for a short while and leave but the people who came all stayed for the duration of the session, which was fantastic. It ended at 5pm. We were so absorbed in what we were doing (embracing the large uncontrollable knots of thread!) that we did not notice the time. The people who came said that they really enjoyed it and would be interested in coming on a more regular basis, so firstsite have agreed to hold another session on March 26th. This time we will sit on real chairs and a higher table! Ideally we would love to create a whole series of tablecloths with a various groups and then hold a dinner. In the mean time I need to practice my stitching!
I am working on a mural project for Morden Mount Primary School in Lewisham. The mural is to cover three walls of the assembly/dining hall. Having decided on specific themes for each wall, I sent preliminary sketches to the school for their approval. I had a meeting last week with the headteacher Mrs Jackson and the school council who gave me their feedback on the designs. I will run a series of workshops with the children next week. At the end of the week a group of children will edit all the work and decide on the final design. The design will then be painted onto the walls in May.
Another workshop I did recently was part of “Making Colliers Wood Happy”, which is being run by Keith Spears who is doing marvelous work bring the different communities in Colliers Wood together. One event he runs is a monthly international festival which is a day of events and activities in Colliers Wood Community Centre. The theme changes each month. I was asked by ACAVA to run a workshop for all age groups during the music event. I did a polyblock printing session and asked all the participants to print at least once onto a roll of wallpaper lining. They also printed onto paper which they could take away with them after the session. The intention was to create a banner out of the wallpaper and print the words “Making Colliers Wood Happy”. This can then be hung in the centre. So many people came on the day that we didn’t get to finish the wallpaper but I am planning to get this finished asap.
I have started volunteering with a group called Action Space on their Tuesday sessions in Studio Voltaire, Clapham. There are seven adults in the group who have various learning difficulties. It is certainly challenging but rewarding when you see some of the work they produce.
With all the various projects and baking it is leaving me with little time to actually make work, but all in good time!