Showing posts with label art and libraries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art and libraries. Show all posts

Thursday, 28 January 2016

2015 - 2016 Catch Up (Part 2)

Now we need to introduce the lovely ladies from Wandsworth Asian Women's Association and the South London Tamil Welfare Group.  Both groups involved in the heART of libraries pilot project in 2014.  Very keen to learn about the world of iPads, if a little apprehensive at first ...

Workshops were led by community artist Jeni Walker and David Owens from Wandsworth City Learning Centre, supported by lovely librarian Therese Rajadurai from Tooting Library.  

These photos from the workshops made a great temporary installation in the computer room in Tooting library and were recently featured in the Spanish edition of Homify.

Darryl Bedford from Oak Lodge School converted me to the kaleidoscope effect app, having been a little reticent at first.  The women's groups photographed some of their jewellery, fabrics and a variety of other items to create some wonderful effects that were printed onto banner material and used as tablecloths for the Asian feast event in Tooting library. 

Due to the apparent lack of seating in the library, I had always been keen to use some furniture with printed upholstery as part of the public art exhibition from May - June 2015.  I ended up buying six second hand Dwell chairs and adding a vinyl graphic to the surface instead.  A very popular part of the exhibition, both using the wonderful photos by Sasha Mihalova from the feast event and some of the kaleidoscope images from the workshop.  The library liked them so much that they kept three of the chairs, with two of the others being exhibited throughout February at Orleans House Gallery in Richmond.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

2015 - 2016 Catch Up (Part 1)

Sadly ignored for too many months, I am now returning to mull over and savour the many  wonderful outcomes of 2015 with a view to building something equally satisfying and surprising on their foundations ...

It is now obvious that when life gets busy blogging hasn't been my greatest strength.  FB and Flickr no problem. I think that possibly my feeling that a degree of analysis and more detailed explanation is needed has led to a snowballing effect, which has left me with a  mountain of things to show and say, creating a blockage that obviously needs to be flushed away with the beginning of a new year.

I will therefore purge myself with a cross section of the tastiest delights from a memorable year that involved working with many wonderful people.  Thought I might group things together unexpectedly to bring some new order of enlightenment but seem to be trying to make things more difficult before I even start!  It might be best to just begin wherever the feeling takes me and end when I have nothing more to show or say. Could take all year or just a few posts with a sprinkling of detail where absolutely necessary ....

Lets start with a joyous video of the Garratt Park School students enjoying the music section of Balham Library, preparing for our first 'Out of Place' iPad session early last year ...

.. and then maybe Pocklington Arts Group having a round of applause for libraries directed by film maker Stephanie Webber.  Can't help but love them!

Some wonderful iPad drawings by Sally Booth ...


Bill from Pocklington pacing words to stairs and the beautiful voice of his wife.

Handprint Theatre working with children from Oak Lodge School at Balham library.

And maybe finally from Balham a video by Tahmina, a year 11 student from Oak Lodge School capturing the sound and movement of our first visit to the library (when it was closed to the public), working with musician Antonio Testa exploring the space through rhythm.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

'OUT OF PLACE' Library Project 2015

After six months of fairly excruciating fundraising (hence the long silence on my blog!), the 'Out of Place' Libraries project is now in full swing,  with a series of 24 workshops leading up to an 'out of hours' showcase event in Tooting and Balham Libraries at the end of March.  Five groups are participating including the Wandsworth Asian Women's Association, the South London Tamil Welfare Group, Pocklington Arts Group and Oak Lodge and Garratt Park Schools.  

The workshops have introduced each of the groups to a range of iPad apps that they have been using to document their library visits and develop artwork for both of the installation events.  This project aims to encourage the groups to experience the library spaces in a new way, working towards a series of site specific public art installations, launched within the Wandsworth Festival and Fringe in May.

The project will also be using the amazing 'augmented reality' Aurasma app, using images to trigger audiovisual files created during the workshop program and 'out of hours' events.  There will be iPads available from the front desk at each library, with additional information about how to download the app onto your own device to follow the trail.

So far there have been some really wonderful workshops, including a session with Oak Lodge School for deaf children at Balham library, working alongside Apple educator and art teacher, Darryl Bedford, musician Antonio Testa and Handprint Theatre Company. 

Workshops are also supported by artist Jeni Walker, and iPad trainers Dave Owen  and Alex Webster from Wandsworth City Learning Centre.  

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

the heART of libraries pilot project

Following on from the success of ‘the heART of libraries’ pilot project, I am working with Wandsworth Library Services and GLL to develop proposals for the next stage of the project which is seeking support from the Arts Council's 'Libraries Fund'. This would include a programme of community art and new technology workshops based in Tooting and Balham  libraries, working towards a series of multi-media exhibitions and events,  scheduled for  Wandsworth Arts Festival and Fringe 2015. 

The heART of libraries aims to build collaborative partnerships and cross community links, exploring and developing our relationship to the library environment.  It's innovative approach to creative engagement aims to celebrate libraries today, giving vision to the libraries of tomorrow. 

Here are some comments from staff and participants who took part in the pilot project:

‘I enjoyed going to the library to see various books, especially doing the embroidery afterwards, copying the fish. If my health allows me to I would like to do more work of this kind in the future.’
Zubaidah Shah, Mantle Court Asian Women’s Group

‘When an artwork goes up on a wall anywhere there is always more to it than simply what you can see.  The shared time, ideas, skills and even food with the ladies of Mantle Court Asian Women’s Group will be enriching my life and work as a community artist for years to come.  The fusion of technology and crafts has proven itself ideal for facilitating connections between people, places and hearts. I look forward to developing this concept and reaching out more to the community members and collaborative working partners.’ 

Jeni Walker, Artist, Transition Town Tooting

‘This was a fantastic project which was brilliantly orchestrated by Sam Haynes, the students felt proud of their work and their teacher has expressed an interest to work with Sam again.  I really enjoyed being involved in the project and it's great for the library to showcase such an exciting display!’  

Sophie Brownell, Children's Librarian, Earlsfield Library

Hi Sam,
Just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for today.  I was really impressed by the work you put in to this project and the lovely way you rounded it all off for the students.  You are a STAR!!  I look forward to future collaborations with you.

Kind regards, Antony Lipski, Manager, Autistic Resource Base, Garratt Park School

'This innovative arts project was a great success and all the ladies involved said how much they had enjoyed participating in the project.  The finished product revealed many of their hidden skills like sewing, painting and applique work.  When they saw their products displayed at the library they were delighted with the end result. Sam, Chris and Jenny were great to work with.  They were very adept at working with people who have limited English.  As project lead Sam Haynes was excellent and I hope we can work with her in the future.'  

Therese Rajes Rajadurai, Librarian, 
Tooting Library

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

heART of libraries - Garratt Park School Taster Workshops

Download microsoft tag app to read Khang's sample barcode!
The heART of libraries project was launched in November with the first of a series of taster  workshops using art and new technology to focus on books, choosing a selection both from familiar and less known sections of the local library.  The project aimed to encourage participants to explore the library space in new ways, using ipads to document their choice of books, creating artworks inspired by images within the books.  The workshops will lead onto a temporary trail around the library in Feb 2014 using personalised microsoft tag codes to reveal a 'hidden' display of work by each of the participants.

The first two workshops were based at Earlsfield Library working with the Transitions class of the Autistic Resource Base at Garratt Park School.  As a local special school school that uses the library on a regular basis, it was felt that this would be an ideal group of seven 15 - 16 year olds to work with, already familiar with the library surroundings while limited in their use of the libraries resources.  The young people make weekly visits, mainly staying within the children's library, selecting picture books to read from.  It was felt that there was a potential to look more closely at the resources available within the adult library, while also documenting their use of the children's library.

The first workshop introduced the ipads,  using the photography, video and drawing applications to document and respond to a selected picture book.  The group were then taken on a (fairly random!) spotty trail around the adult library to discover subject areas that related to their interests.  Spots spread everywhere as the young people (and staff) enjoyed the slightly anarchic freedom of this activity.  It was about having fun, making the process of venturing into slightly unknown territory more welcoming.  While the connection to the spotty barcodes had not been emphasised much at this stage to provide an obvious link between the ipads and spotty trail, leaving one participant wondering why we were doing this, it was successful in adding an element of freedom, empowering the young people while introducing some of them to a new selection of books.  The group were taken back into the adult library on their next visit to look at and choose more items (videos, magazines, books) to use in the second workshop.

The random spotty trail was left in the library for library users and staff to experience, raising questions and the occasional concern, in terms of it's slightly subversive nature.  I believe that it was a great way to gage the impact of possible future temporary installations within this environment, highlighting the different perceptions/expectations of staff in the children's and adult libraries, as well as library users.  It certainly caught people's attention and got them talking, which will hopefully be a lovely link leading onto the temporary spotty barcode trail in February 2014.

The second workshop really became another two workshops, one in the school developing artworks working from books and photocopies that the group did in the library, and the last finishing back in the library, digitally adding to these artworks and selecting music from itunes.  The young people were also able to see a slide show of their own work by scanning individual spotty tag barcodes.  This visual experience was the only effective way of conveying the bar code process and was really enjoyed by the young people, who scanned their own barcodes repeatedly to view their slide show.  

Probably the most successful aspect of the workshops was the drawing element, which engaged all members of the group very effectively, giving them a good scope of choice both in terms of subject selection as well as materials and processes.  The layering of the artworks with spots, photocopies and then lastly with digital drawing over the top of photographs of the artworks, was an exciting process, producing really interesting results. The young people seemed to be very proud of their achievements at the end of the session and were keen to do more work with the ipads.

A big thankyou to new technologies consultant, Chris Nash and children's librarian, Sophie Brownell for all their support in delivering these workshops.  Initial feedback from the school support staff has been very positive,  keen to use the ipads again within the library context saying that they thought the 'ipads are motivating for children with special needs'.  One staff member felt that 'they also enjoyed looking at books and choosing images for their work.'

Comments received also show the importance of working closely with staff, building a greater understanding of creative methods of approach so that benefits can be better gauged - 'the children did not benefit a lot from the sessions due to their autism although they seemed to have lots of fun.' 

Thanush 'enjoyed dots', 'playing the ipad' and 'drawing and sticking'.

Khang said that 'youtube film is so fun' and that he 'enjoyed drawing Japanese words'.

Joseph said, 'Dingle Dangle Scarecrow made me happy.' 
(when searching youtube for music for slide show)

Yahye said that he 'liked taking weird photos of everyone'.

The remaining four taster workshops next January will be based at Tooting and WandsworthTown Libraries working with South London Tamil Welfare Group and Mantle Court Asian Women's group, led by new technologies consultant Chris Nash (with ipads from the City Learning Centre) and Transition Town Tooting artists Charles Whitehead and Jeni Walker (and of course me ...)   The temporary barcode trails will be installed in each of the three libraries in February.


Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The heART of Libraries

‘The heART of Libraries’ is a Wandsworth based project using art, craft and new technology to explore our relationship to the library environment, bringing a new perspective to familiar surroundings. Taster workshops in 2013 will lead onto a program of community art workshops next year, working towards a series of temporary installations and events, bringing local people together to celebrate libraries today, giving vision to the libraries of tomorrow.

'Cover to Cover' will launch the project with a series of taster workshops engaging three local community groups, working in collaboration with local artists Charles Whitehead and Jeni Walker (Transition Town Tooting) and new technologies consultant Chris Nash.

smartphone tag trail revealing the hidden stories of library life

The barcode is a very traditional way for libraries to access information about books.  These workshops will teach participants how to use the latest barcode technology (Microsoft Tag), using ipads to make sound recordings and slide shows inspired by their individual choice of books.  A trail of customised barcodes will be developed by each group, using photography and fabrics to create multi-layered artworks, inspired by the recorded information behind each code.  Library users will be invited to discover this unique interactive trail, searching for hidden codes that will unlock the true character of our local libraries.

To download the free smartphone app search for ‘Microsoft tag’
Funded by a Wandsworth ARTS GRANT