We started out by exploring the theme of open spaces. We asked ourselves questions about our relationship to space - Why is space important to you? What is it like living in a city?
We used a special hi tech spinning paint machine to experiment with paint and our written responses to the questions!
|We each took one of these questions and responded to them creatively.|
The week after we went outside into Coram’s Fields itself and explored the park. We created a sculptural shack and discussed the kind of work we’d like to make for the project. It was a good opportunity for the group to get to know each other and work together as a team! We talked about using flags to mark territory and how different flags use symbols to create different meanings.
After this we started some initial flag designs – looking at different shapes and colour combinations. We loked at the artist William Morris and at protest banners made by unions for inspiration. We wrote down lots of ideas about words to put on our banners. The group explored the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to think about how important it is to have a space to play and relax.
We took a trip to Mr Brainwash street art exhibition on New Oxford Street to explore contemporary approaches to public and private space and visited the British Museum particularly the Africa section where we drew inspiration from textiles from West Africa. We walked around all the local parks and open spaces – learning about Octavia Hill and her campaign to secure open spaces for the poor people of London. St George’s Gardens – one of the first spaces she saved from being sold, is right behind Coram’s Fields! We took lots of photographs as source material for our final designs.
We visited the Foundling Museum to uncover the history of Coram’s Fields. It was really interesting to learn about the way children were treated in the local area and how Thomas Coram provided space for them to play. We visit Coram’s Fields all the time but it’s important to remember its history and the way it began. We felt like we should hold on to our public spaces and spaces to play, relax and gather in – they are so important to life as a young person in London.
After this, we made our final designs of our banners! We decided that they should be huge banners to have the most impact. We projected a trace of our designs using acetate and a projector onto cloth on the wall to create the outlines for our huge final pieces. We had to make lots of different and difficult decisions about the way we were going to print and decorate the banners – lino, screen printing, patchwork, drawing, painting, dip dying or cut work?
When the background cloths were ready we prepared the patchwork pieces and began to glue and sew them down. Ben designed the lettering for his banner using stencil card and sprayed graffiti paint on to create a layered and intricate design. Ben also had to hand paint and draw his design – it took a long time but the detailed results were worth it! Mathew and Clara worked on the ‘coat of arms’ style design together – working out where different colours were going to be so that Clara could use a cut-work technique to create the final banner. We painted the lettering on by hand using stencils so that the messages came across loud and clear!
After we had finished our flags we made a sound recording about the work we had made and discussed our relationship to space. We also read out extracts from Octavia Hill’s essay about public space – it’s surprising how much of it is still relevant to life in the city now!
We were very excited when the work was exhibited during Bloomsbury Festival. There were lots of visitors and we had some great feedback!
Each flag was presented at the final event looked awesome!
'No ball games'
'By selling our land you are selling our freedom.'
Did you come to the event? If so, did you take any photos? Send thoughts, feedback, photos in - we would love to hear from you!