Showing posts with label public art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label public art. 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, 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.  

Thursday, 20 March 2014

heART of libraries - Video Clips

Here are three short videos, one from each of the interactive barcode exhibitions at Wandsworth Town, Earlsfield and Tooting libraries as part of the heART of libraries pilot project.  Library users need a smartphone (old ones may not work!) to read the microsoft tag barcodes which are either overlaid or placed next to a series of artworks developed by three local groups.  The aim of the project was to provide 'taster' workshops, focusing on a selection of books, using ipads and art to create an interactive trail, allowing library users to experience the space in a new way.

This pilot project aims to lead onto a series of public art installations and events across Wandsworth, bringing local people together to celebrate libraries today, giving vision to the libraries of tomorrow.


download free app
to read the barcodes above

Wandsworth Asian Women's Association
Wandsworth Town Library, March - April 2014 


Autistic Resource Base, Garratt Park School
Earlsfield Library, March - April 2014

South London Tamil Welfare Group and Tooting Tamil Reading Group
Tooting Library, March - April 2014

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, 22 May 2013

STEP BEYOND Word Art Trail, Wandsworth Festival and Fringe, 3rd - 19th May 2013


An event based in Earlsfield, South London, beyond my hopes and expectations!  Proud to be creating art in the environment working with local communities, considering our dreams for the future.  

A joy to work with writer Sarah Butler, showing the true value of collaborative multi-disciplinary partnerships.   

Loving 'soft signage', temporary installations and local, reliable contractor 'Time Signs'.  

Well done to all the Year 4 children at Beatrix Potter ad Earlsfield Primary Schools for their imaginative aspirational art!

Thanking all the businesses and local people that supported this project, as well as Wandsworth Arts Team and sponsors Barnard Marcus for helping to make it happen.  Not forgetting to thank Kevin Ricks for some great photos of the trail!

Flower stall, 
Magdalen Road

Garratt Lane Phone Box, SW18

Simon Warwick of Time Signs installing mirror stickers at MDM Hair, Garratt Lane

  Peri Peri chicken boxes used to create 'be fearless', 'get dreamy' collages

St Andrew's Church Garden, Garratt Lane

Thanks to Earlsfield Station and South West Trains 
for letting us install our uplifting message! 


We love Fara Children's Charity Shop! 
Thanks to Commuknitting for 
their upcycled house!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

STEP BEYOND School Workshops

In the last few weeks I have been working with Year 4 children from Earlsfield and Beatrix Potter Primary Schools, creating word artworks on the theme of 'aspirational journeys'.  As mentioned previously, this project is leading up to the STEP BEYOND temporary public art trail in Earlsfield which will be part of the Wandsworth Arts Festival and Fringe in May.  

Collaborating with the very talented writer Sarah Butler (who recently published her first novel 'Ten Things I've Learnt About Love'), this project has brought together creative writing and mixed media art, taking a fresh perspective on words, while considering their relationship to space.   

Following an introductory workshop looking at word artworks in public spaces by a range of artists, experimenting with font design and stenciling, the children were encouraged to think about aspirations, for themselves, for the world and for others.  

They developed their ideas into a series of poems that included 'My Aspiration to be a Paleontologist', 'The Ice Cream Adventure' and 'If Everyone was Happy'.

Using a range of different materials suitable for outside including letter based toys from Fara charity shop and Sugar Bay Blue gift shop in Earlsfield, they then went on to construct their own word artworks for each school playground.  

Activities have also included chalking selected phrases and creating short films documenting their work.  In the last series of workshops they created temporary food artworks and collages using fast food packaging for two of the trail venues.

This has been a great experience for me, both in terms of working in my local area on a project that I have devised myself, and as an exciting opportunity to work alongside a writer.  While I believe art should be all about breaking down perceived barriers, interdisciplinary projects such as this provide a unique opportunity to make learning a truly exciting experience.  The real world is not divided into subjects with a sliding scale of accomplishment.  As one boy said, it has taught him:

' You don't have to be good at art to be good at art'.  

While I don't want to do myself out of a job - how right he is!