Monday, 8 March 2010

Artivism Community Project

Today was the first session of the community art project at Armley Mills. I had honestly no idea what to expect from the whole thing, all I had to go on was 'it's an intergenerational art project', which - if anything - is exceptionally vague.

I was one of the first to arrive, I met Jane who had organised the project and Shari and Kevin the two artists involved - seriously the loveliest group of people you'll ever meet. When everyone had arrived it became apparent that the 'intergenerational' aspect was a tad one sided - I was the only student that had showed compared to the 8 or so older people. I thought this would be much more of an issue than it actually was - turns out my fear of communicating with the elderly were completely irrational, as it turns out they are people too. Quite funny people as well. One woman was wearing skinny jeans and a beautiful vintage jumper, is it wrong that we were dressed the same and I liked it?

The project itself is pretty random. It's part a larger government funded scheme about promoting recycling and going green. This particular project is called 'Artivism' and Kevin and Shari decided to approach it in terms of revisiting memories, and how we can use things from our past to inform creative decisions and as a product of this we'll be working towards creating a series of pieces to be displayed as part of a final exhibition.

Today we made paper mache heads. And yes, it really was as random as it sounds. The idea was that our characters were based on people from our past, someone that triggers a particular memory or feeling - but not an awful lot of memorable things have happened to me in my humble 20 years and so mine gradually turned into a character from The Muppets.

It sounds like a really stupid concept, and if someone had said to me before hand 'yeah you're just gunna be sat there making a paper mache puppet head with a select group of elderly people' I would have been SO apprehensive but truth be told it was incredibly worthwhile and I'm really looking forward to next week.

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