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.









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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 ...


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.. 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!

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Some wonderful iPad drawings by Sally Booth ...


    













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


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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.

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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.  

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Transitions Art Group - Light and Sound

 In October and November of last year I had the pleasure of working again with the Transitions Art Group based at Orleans House Gallery in Richmond who meet every Monday afternoon.  The group had welcomed a number of new members since the previous year, now totalling ten participants, all with learning disabilities and some with additional needs.  

The theme for the workshops was light and sound and I was keen to make use of the iPads, exploring some new apps such as the sound activated Waves and animation app iMotion.


We started by making some light sculptures with a variety of materials, and continued on to develop the work, introducing sound and performance.  At the end of the four workshops we presented our work in the form of a large installation, with pop up performances as the audience were guided around the space.

Took me back to some of my early interdisciplinary work with learning disabled groups, with many special moments, some of which we captured within the project video.



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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






Thursday, 8 May 2014

Finding an Equal Footing


Last year I was awarded a 'New Collaborations' bursary by a-n, the Artist's Information Company, to research the process of establishing a truly equal partnership between a non disabled and learning disabled artist.  I worked alongside Arts Manager Sheryll Catto, also co-director of the learning disability arts organisation Action Space, visiting five of their London studio projects to find an artist who might be willing to work in partnership with me.  I have now posted this article (across 6 posts) on a-n's 'Artist Talking' blogsite, documenting this process, including a day in ACAVA's Blenchynden Street studio working alongside artist Linda Bell.  This research project hopes to lead onto a collaborative project late 2014, early 2015.


'There are many issues that need to be considered when attempting to build a truly equal collaborative partnership, from taking the first steps in initiating the collaboration through to formulating it’s aims and outcomes.'


'Linda Bell is an artist who I had worked with briefly a number of years ago, standing in temporarily as an artist tutor for the South London Studio Project.   Her artwork uses repeated forms, often set within a grid like structure.  She enjoys interacting with her work, especially if it has an element of movement, very much relating to my own work.' 


  

 'While I in no way wanted to plan the collaborative day, it was important that the space was visually exciting, with materials laid out or assembled in a way that reflected their potential, encouraging interaction.' 



 'I wanted to avoid feeling as though we needed to create a finished, quality artwork that in some way validated the process.  This was an opportunity to focus primarily on the way in which we could interact, each of our choices and actions ‘leading’ the other.'


 'There was a good sense of energy in the studio as the sculptures were taking form, with Linda and I working alongside each other, at times standing back to admire our collaborative efforts.'
 

'Each collaboration is of course unique in it’s own right. The experience and skills of the individuals involved, and the environment they inhabit, both socially and creatively will influence the process of initiating a working partnership.'
 

 'After a little encouragement, Linda obviously enjoyed throwing the wool into the frame, finishing the day off weaving materials in and around the large square structure.  It had felt like a lovely way to round off the day, with smiles all round, having both enjoyed the freedom and spontaneity of our collaborative journey together.'


'Collaboration opens up a new and exciting potential, introducing an element of risk.  It creates an unknown chemistry that can breath life into the creative process.  I felt that my experience of working with Linda touched upon the very essence of this dynamic process.'

 www.a-n.co.uk/link/samandlinda
www.flickr.com/photos/121986263@N05/sets/72157643251975133/

Supported by a bursary from a-n 
The Artist Information Company