Victoria Park Community Art Project

Bridgwater, Somerset

Monday, 13 September 2010

Exhibition for Somerset Art Weeks

Today I installed some of the pieces that the participants did in preparation for the art work in the cafe, in time for the start of Somerset Art Weeks. This is all on show in the foyer area of Victoria Park Community Centre, Bridgwater, come along and have a look.

If you took part in the project, the work that is not on show is available for collection, please ask at reception.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Celebrating the project

What a good turn out for the event yesterday, it was so nice to see so many people come back and celebrate the work of the community. We had a few others as well and lots of people connected to the project in other ways... a very full cafe!
After a few short presentations and a couple of well deserved thank yous (Lucy, Keith, Sally G amongst others) we spoke to some of the volunteers and found out about their experiences of the project.

It was really sad saying bye to everyone at the end, it has been a lovely project to be involved in and I will miss working with this group. I'm looking forward to coming back to put up some of the participants work for Somerset Art Weeks in September. Check back and I'll post more information closer to then.
Thanks again to everyone who was involved in this project in whatever capacity that may have been.
Here is the final art work, so you get a sneak peak...

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Installing the art work

Spent the afternoon on Friday installing the art work. Nice to finally get it up on the walls and see what it looks like in the space.

After a change in tactics in installation, Keith and I had to come up with elaborate ways to keep the work up while it dried to the walls. Trays, wood offcuts, trolleys and weights seem to hold the key.

Keith was going back the next day to remove all the supports... so fingers crossed it has all stayed in place... I haven't heard other wise.
Celebration event on Wednesday, do come along and see the finished art work.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Finishing off the painting

Lucy and I spent the day finishing off the painting today. We started by finishing the leaves / grass... doing the bits we had missed and going over the bits that didn't work. That took much longer than we had expected. We had a good day though accompanied by some good music, plenty of tea, sunshine and surprise cakes.

Then it was time for a bit of planning, seen as the rest of the work is quite graphic with clean lines we had to continue in this fashion. We were planning to add flowers as we had discussed with the groups, some people even began to sketch ideas in the previous sessions. We used these and spent quite a bit of time getting the design right... Not as easy as it sounds, we must have drawn 30 attempts and eventually settled on one idea but to use it at different sizes over the pieces. We mixed 3 simple bright colours to lift the work and add colour.
Next was making stencils, it was a bit scary to start with, but so we got it right we worked onto paper first and cut these out laying them onto the large panels to get the sizes, colours and positions right. This worked really well and meant we didn't make any mistakes and got it right first time!

The almost finished panels...

After stepping back and evaluating we were pleased with the work, we felt it encompassed many of the groups ideas and will work in the space. We still had to add some creatures as requested by the group and Lucy worked hard to create a very simple stencil that would work on some of the panels...I like the ladybird and think younger visitors to the cafe will enjoy spotting them (4 to find)

Sunday, 30 May 2010

The Big Paint - Part two 27/5/10

Julie spent the first part of the session with the new group explaining what had been done so far and what had to be done next on the panels. The first bit was to re-mask the panels and paint under the bits we had missed earlier (where the leaves cross over) and then working on the last panels.

When the first ones were dry we started to apply textures to some of the blades /leaves ready to finish this stage.

In between this the group worked on their individual canvases.

It's great to see the work beginning to come together. I particularly like the 3 panels that work together that will sit along the back wall of the cafe with the lights in between.

To finish off now, Julie and Lucy will do the last few bits of texture and work out the next stage, as a group we talked about a stencil design over the top of the grass/ leaves, which we need to think about some more, I think being away from the work for a little while will help us decide what is next... We are meeting next week, so I'll keep this updated with the progress! Do check back and have a look.

The Big Paint - Part one 27/5/10

The reinforcements arrive! Speed painting... we spent so long preparing and everyone got through the first stage so quickly!

We did have time to celebrate Sean's Birthday as well, including a bit of a sing song. Sally made this wonderful cake which everyone enjoyed... mmm. I am going to miss all the cake involved in this project!
When finished working on their bit of the panels the group had their individual canvases to work on. This meant we could work with smaller groups directly onto the wall pieces.

When the background layer had dried we got on with drawing the designs onto the rest of the panels

...and then in smaller groups painted them!

We also had Steve in filming the project to document what we were doing, a bit scary having to talk to the camera... I managed a few minutes but have no idea what I said! Many people contributed and hopefully we will get to see the results when its all been put together at the end of the year along with the other projects.

Preparation for the big paint 27/5/10

Julie and Lucy got in early this morning to begin preparing all the panels before the groups turned up. We had 3 hours to do as much as possible and sort out the logistics of the day... It was going to be a long one. We knew we had to do most of the panels today and had not even started painting them as yet! We had decided all of the first steps with the groups on Tuesday so it was just a case of executing them. We began by mixing up a pale blue for the background, along with a selection of 5 greens. These were to be our main colour palette both for the day and then the rest of the project.
We the started to paint some of the panels the background colour so we could leave them to dry ready for the designs to be drawn on.
We used the designs we made on Tuesday and cut them up to make templates to transfer to the panels, essentially these were stencils so we didn't have to start at the beginning again with the proportions, this saved a lot of time!

We then trasfered the designs onto some of the panels we had prepared earlier and masking taped the shapes on so we could sponge on the designs. Next we had a quick go at painting... we were keen to see how it all looked!

We managed to prepare two sets of panels and had the rest ready to do the backgrounds on in time for the first group, and not even midday yet!

Painting to Scale - developing ideas 25/5/10

The second group of the day, with a few keen volunteers who stayed for both groups!
We began this session by updating the group on what we had developed in the previous session and set to work on painting the 'to scale' design drawings. We mainly explored texture with this group and how we would use it in the pieces. From this and previous sessions we decided the background needed to be fairly simple with the design in the foreground. We opted for a light blue and on all the pieces, exploring either a matt consistent colour or a faded background. We also played with different textures on the grass/ leaves and the man made elements (brick etc).

At the end of session we evaluated the sessions work and made some decisions on what needed to happen next and what we needed to change on the final pieces. The solid light blue background worked best and needed to be much paler, almost off white. The grass and leaves need to be painted a solid colour with a sponge first and then texture added to some of the pieces, a little more selectively than we had done so far. We also came to the conclusion that this needed to happen first before we could make any decisions on manmade elements to the art work as well as creatures in the pieces.