We’ve recently been working with Southwark Pensioner’s Centre on their wonderful new Roots Project. Last year we had some older artists from the Roots in the studio painting some pictures inspired by herbs and natural remedies.
See some more lovely works of art and find out more about The Roots at www.therootsstory.co.uk.
On January 31st our Art in the Park artists and some lovely volunteers from BSkyB crafted some willow animals for a local primary school. We had a gorgeous day weaving willow into fabulous beasts – now on display around the school and playground! Take a look below at some of our work….
And thank you again to all the volunteers from BSkyB for their hard work!
A few weeks ago Art in the Park was involved in The Localise Project, a study trip with Staffordshire University, The University of Warsaw and Vytautas Magnus University. The project involves small groups from each country coming together in Poland, the UK and Lithuania to explore and discuss practices associated with community arts and community development. Art in the Park was one of the venues hosting the study trip in London, with 15 people from the various countries attending. We had a great time and are very happy to have been a part of this wonderful project!
In 2011, Kitty Schuhard and I designed and delivered some very experimental workshops to an after-school club for teenagers with complex special needs.
We had 6 sessions, each one exploring one of the 5 senses: Touch, Taste, Smell, Sound and Sight- and the 6th session would be suggested by the group of young people themselves.
We focused on the experiential: An exploration of what can be felt and learned through the process of the activities, rather than working towards making competed, tangible pieces of art. In this way, we allowed each individual group member to connect in their own way and time.
A lot of the activities were about Trust: giving and receiving, gauging responses of self and others, and learning the art of relaxation. They so enjoyed the relaxation and meditation techniques shared at the close of each session that they voted for “a chill-out party” to be the 6th and final workshop.
Each workshop was a vibrant, playful collision of art, science, therapy and play and an exploration and celebration of ourselves. We wanted the group to be stimulated, to interact, engage, relax and have fun.
We made Barefoot walks, sound mobiles and sound recordings, an improvised shadow-puppet show, clay sculptures, wore blind-folds, mixed herbs for our baths, made (non-alchoholic) healthy cocktails , U.V and aromatherapy paintings – and lots of other things.
We received a glowing testimonial from one of the groups’ regular staff:
“We would like to congratulate Jill and Kitty for their inspiring and rewarding workshops……..they have provided an excellent approach of how to address the particular necessities of each member…enabling them to interact and to communicate with us….., revealing changes in behavior and helping to be calm….. a fantastic opportunity to see the success of such workshops”
I recently gave a talk At the Art in the Park studio about the project to students from Birkbeck College and I have been encouraged to write a Research Paper which I am currently doing. I would love to be able to further develop this kind of work with Kitty. We both feel that we can progress far with our ideas. Everybody got so much from this project.
What a lovely start to the morning at Art in the Park today! Some beautiful handmade postcards sent from all over the world arrived on our doorstep this morning.
You may remember that Art in the Park was participating in The Big Draw from our previous blog post – well, today we received our first flock of postcards! The Flock Project is a part of the The Big Draw 2011, a national campaign to encourage people to draw. People from all over the world were invited to draw a bird and write their thoughts about travel, migration or distance on a postcard. These postcards are then posted off on a journey visiting different destinations around the world until they finally land on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Art in the Park is acting as the Camberwell stop-over, where the postcards will be displayed for a short time before they continue their migration northwards.
Some of these postcards have come all the way from Bhutan and Spain! And a couple were even made here in Camberwell, at the Art in the Park word carving workshop. I can’t wait to see what else lands on our doormat!
And don’t forget, this Sunday October 9th Art in the Park will be holding an Art Extravaganza as a part of The Big Draw and Flock Project. Do come along to have a go on our fantastic paint machines and take part in our pottery workshops. More details here.
Check out some more of the postcards we have received on Art in the Park’s flickr account.
UPDATE! – As I was writing this up, even more postcards arrived, this time from Morocco!
I am currently working in Acton Park creating a Story telling seating area.
In celebration of the “Roots to the fruit project” as part of Black history month 2011.
I’ve been working with community elders and local children to create carved imagery for the Seating area.
The London Plane timber was donated by Ealing Council from a previously felled specimen.
The wood carves very well and has a distinctive grain pattern somtimes called lacewood due to its likeness to the patterns of lacework.
The project has been supported by Acton Arts Forum and The Apple Art block.
The work is to be unveiled on Nov 5th 2011, 2-5pm.
More on my work at www.timnorris.co.uk
You might have heard about the Big Draw, a national campaign with the sole aim of getting people to draw. This year a new project has emerged under this campaign called ‘Flock’ which seeks to connect people across thousands of miles using, you guessed it, drawing!
Using birds, stamps and people’s own messages and pictures, each person will draw a bird on a card and write a message with their thoughts about migration, travel or distance which will then be sent around. It will begin at the Equator in Uganda, flying north via Camberwell (London), Ullapool (Scottish highlands) and eventually arriving en masse in Stornoway (Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides).
Art in the Park is just one of the organisations involved with this. Acting as the London (Camberwell) stop-over, we will be running an open workshop on Sunday 9th October themed around ‘BIRDS OF 4 Corners and Heart Garden project will also be contributing to the ‘flock’ of postcards..’ Participants from our
Open to all ages, the open workshop will allow participants to contribute to this unique Big Draw project by creating stencilled postcards using paint machines which were designed and crafted by Art in the Park’s artist Bill Hudson. In addition to this, there will be pottery, still themed around birds for those wanting a piece of craft of their own.
Camberwell Flock Workshop
We will provide reference material on the birds seen around the park and the lake (Art in the Park have previously worked with Cobourg school to produce a stunning, circular bronze of birds on the lake).
- Create stencil of a bird using paper
- Place on top of the postcard
- Put it on the painting machine and paint it thus creating a printed bird
They can make 1-2 to keep and 1 to post onwards through the project.
Bird themed Pottery
- Make a pot using the potter’s wheel
- Decorate it with a string stamp that they have created, still continuing with the bird motif
You can follow progress of the Big Draw’s Flock project on their blog.
We recently ran two ‘Fire-Etching’ workshops as part of our Service Level Agreement (S.L.A) with Southwark Council. Southwark needed us to brand some signposts for Southwark Park but with the collaborative efforts of the local community.
Initially marketed as ‘Branding‘ workshops, we found despite a healthy turnout on our first session that many people were confused with the word ‘Branding’, associating it with the kind of branding you refer to in the marketing world. Our workshop was definitely much more exciting and hands on than this!
So, the workshop was rebirthed (over soup, bread and other grown tidbits from our garden) into ‘Fire-etching.’ I don’t like to brag (maybe just a little) but I came up with it thinking along the lines of scorching wood with fire.
The first session was held on Thursday 24th February and we were blessed with a rare day of sunshine (some warmth) and a bucket-loads of children to the playground. Easing participants to our outdoor fire-etching setup was then a question of safety as we could only have a maximum number of people etching at a time.
Our second session on the Saturday 5th March (you can’t have the same luck twice) was a gloomy and chilly day with not as much people turning up as the previous session but still a pretty healthy turnout. However, a more manageable number meant you could spend more time on one signpost, giving way to much progress that day. All in all, the two sessions bore very healthy results and participants found themselves intrigued and hooked onto ‘fire-etching.’
“What the heck is fire-etching?”
Here is a brief lowdown on ‘fire-etching’:
- Trace your design onto the wood using carbon paper,
- The carbon paper should be put under your design while you trace on it. Once done, it should leave a clear impression,
- Many iron rods with different types of heads are then left in the path of a live blow torch,
- Once heated enough and wearing very heavy-duty gloves, carefully and with a firm grip hold onto one end of the rod,
- One glove should be more heavily padded than the other, this hand should be the one holding the middle part of the rod (never hold the end which is heated up, it will be extremely hot and even with padded gloves, you will end up getting burnt!),
- Angling the heated end of the rod into a comfortable position, you can then ‘etch’ the design by carefully placing it onto the wood, essentially scorching the wood.