Here’s a little bit about what I’ve been up to this last year…
A friend of mine, Sass (Sass Harding Photography) and I had spoken about working together a couple of years ago. Combining her photography and my paper art in some way seemed a pleasing idea. So when the opportunity for a project celebrating our village came about we decided that was the project for us. The village was to turn 50 in 2017 and being a uniquely designed place, architecturally and socially, it was perfect for our collaboration. Architect Eric Lyons and housing developers SPAN had realised their idea of a modern village (more info about that here) and we wanted to celebrate that.
We started thinking about locations and collections back in 2016 and Sass began taking pictures. We ummed and ahhed about what to include – and Sass retook shots and took new ones. I started creating images as soon as we started choosing and we went back and forth for a while adding more ideas and photos. We eventually had our collections – including the village centre and hall, houses from the first neighbourhoods to be built, stunning trees, and the beautiful local church.
We received some money for our event (the Village Association had negotiated funding from the National Lottery) – for the venue and to buy bubbly and nibbles to really make it a celebration!
We chose one of the photos and papercut combos which the lovely Toby and Eleanor Hawkins (Genobi) designed our poster with.
It was a challenge to curate the whole thing too. Turns out there’s an awful lot to organise. I enlisted many super friends and family to help before, during and after (they have been thanked). We’d also decided, in our endeavours to make it a true community event (as well as doing it to get ourselves 'out there' of course), that we’d rope the local school (NAG Primary School) into making art
too. And they really, really did. Each class produced a photograph/paperart inspired collage and an apple (school logo) sculpture. The pieces were inventive, colourful, beautiful, fun, and inspiring.
Alongside the collaborative pieces, I created two others. One of which was raffled for the local primary school. The design is based on the village map and shows all the neighbourhoods in New Ash Green (prints are available)....
...and the other which was inspired by a song called Village on a Hill (our village can be quite the inspiring place). Check it out here.
And so, having photographed, designed, cut and framed our way to an exhibition (not to mention having a stall at Village Day, getting into the local papers and on t’internet too), our hard work culminated in 'The Shape of New Ash Green' at New Ash Green Youth and Community Centre on the 29th and 30th July 2017.
This is what it looked like…
We had a marvellous time. The run up and been both exciting and terrifying but we got there and it was very well received. We sold stuff, we chatted to lots people (which is not particularly within my comfort zone!), gave tours, we made children sell raffle tickets, we drank the bubbly, and listened with amazed ears at the wonderful comments.
I wish I could say I carried on with the momentum from the exhibition but the summer holidays had arrived and I was shattered. Sales of my NAG commemorative print continued (thank you to everyone for the love for that) but fun times (and stressful times!) with the kids was calling.
I still have some pieces from the exhibition for sale but my head is already buzzing with a million more ideas.
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