Today I went to Armly Mills to join the Community Arts/Museum project which started on March the 8th. Working with 2 artists, Kevin a painter and 'maker' and also Shari Baker who works in photography and as a film artist. The work shops take place at Armly Mills Museum, It's an intergenerational project and so the people Im working alongside are older, to then produce something to go into the city museum.
Thought it would be a good step in getting involved with a live community brief, which should then prepare me even more for my client brief with The Big Issue In The North, which I in-fact have a meeting about with the people at the office on friday.
Both Kevin and Shari are such lovely people, and so turning up didn't feel too daunting at all, in fact quite nice, as they both seemed very enthusiastic and happy to see someone coming along. On first arrival I really did have no idea what this project was for and just understood that it was a community brief, and would be people of all ages. Turns out, that at the moment it's me, Chris and some very lovely much older people, who have lots of interesting and endearing stories to tell.
When I first got there Shari sat me down and explained her ideas and aspirations for the project at hand. I also spoke to her about what I do in college and who I am as a creative I guess, she is very interested in film and so I mentioned that I was doing a video elective and planning to do surrealist dream sequences using black and white and old filming techniques. She was great to talk to and said she'd be interested in seeing the film when it's finished.
She then told me that Kevin had managed to get hold of this very old projector, so we then discussed the quality of stop-motion and old film techniques, which was nice.
The project is based on part of a larger government funded scheme, which is about promoting recycling and this eco-friendly lifestyle. The project is called Artivism, and guided by Kevin and Shari, they want everyone who comes to approach the brief through using memories.
Hopes for this project are to, through the sessions I will now be attending each week (minus two weeks in easter), make these paper mache heads/structures, from these we will tell a story, and then from this to all come together as a group and putting together one big piece to me exhibited in the museum. Although Shari wants this to be projected, or the video she captures and photos she gets from each session combined to make a film then projected onto the 3D work.
She also mentioned that if I had any ideas, or contributions I wanted to add, to speak up and they'd be more than welcome.
So today I spent the two hours (which went ever so quickly), putting together a paper mache head, I think the idea was that the character that we form, is some sort of representative of someone or something/maybe a feeling you've had throughout your life. I didn't really think about this much as there wasn't much that came to mind, maybe except toys when I was younger. As I worked and gave it ears, it became 'Hey Arthur' from a television program I watched when I was younger!
It was the most fun I've had in ages, really calming, relaxed and felt good to be doing something messy that didn't have pressure behind it and a need to please someone and be really impressive, the character was for ourselves really. It was also really nice to be amongst people I'm not normally amongst, although I know that I've become 100% more confident in working and entering unknown areas, from working with people in my Send And Receive project.
I think that Chris has realised from what she produced today, that her vocation in life is to work with the Muppets!
So I've got homework already, which is pretty exciting! For next monday I need to email Shari a photo of a memory or time in my life when I was really young. Also apply a meaning and story to my paper mache piece, give the 'thing' some sort of life story or position in society, so as to, over the coming weeks, with kevin make some sort of box, or structure for the head to have a place. I also need to email Shari a fact about myself that no one really knows.