Community Arts Group

Project: Life Maps – Map of My Life in Words, Colours and Pictures

After last year’s challenge of creating personal journal pages, this group decided to build on their collage skills to make a map of their life.  Initially, this is to be an individual linear piece of artwork resembling a timeline, but will eventually become a collective piece where all life maps are put together in one display.

The starting point for all maps is a timeline marked at intervals with significant life events.  Each timeline is then re-worked using collage, drawings, photographs etc. to create a colourful personal map of each individual’s life.  Each section will be broken down into blocks and illustrated using words, colours and pictures.

‘It has been interesting and cathartic’

‘I tried to use colours to represent different times of my life e.g. I used grey to denote unhappy times and bright colours for harmonious times.’

‘It has been very thought provoking!’

‘I have learned many new techniques in arrangement and presentation of images.’

‘I chose different materials for colourful effect.’

‘It has been challenging and interesting.’

‘The project has been very challenging – a whole range of emotions surfaced and I have been amazed at the imaginative way others have approached the project. I tried to add colour to convey mood but I used clippings; images to hide behind!’

‘It has been interesting. I loved looking over past events.’

‘Very interesting and enjoyable going back over your life so far! It has made a good representation of my life.’

‘Not very keen on the idea at first, but I enjoyed it and found it interesting. It was also interesting to see the different approaches other people had to the project. I found the availability of materials limited colour choice e.g. pictures used might not fit the colour plan so adjustments had to be made.’

Project: A Map of Our Building in Black and White

As the front of the school is set to alter in the next few months, the group decided to map an area of the building in which they regularly meet, by taking a series of photographs to produce a ‘joiner’ image.  This is where a series of small individual images are joined together and overlapped to make one final, larger image.  Instead of just using the photos to produce the final piece, the idea was then to reproduce each photographic section accurately as a black and white pen drawing, so the drawn ‘joiner’ will form a visual map of the front of the school building.  Each drawn section will be placed together to make a final collective piece of work.

‘We thoroughly enjoyed producing something as a group.’

‘Considering the number of people involved and each one putting their own different style and interpretation on their individual piece, it has produced a great collective piece of work where every piece of work looks good alongside the others.’

‘It all gels together well!’

‘We even had contributions from past members of the group who now live in France, who came over and brought their friends! They also took work back to France to finish. It was an international effort!’

Project: ‘A Day in My Life’ – a photographic map of a single individual day

Community participants have been taking a series of digital images to record one day in their life. They were asked to choose one day, any day – ordinary or extraordinary – to capture using a digital camera.  They could decide at what intervals throughout the day they took their photos and whether or not they recorded (on the images themselves), the actual time/place they were taken or added any other captions or comments.

Each individual series of photos are being used to ‘map’ how their chosen day unfolds and the many small events that combine to make up one day in their lives.  These images will eventually be presented as a personal snapshot and will be displayed as one finished collective piece.  Each single image will be incorporated into a hanging set of personal filmstrips.

‘A good learning exercise! I look forward to seeing other people’s days. A nice idea!’

‘It was challenging to make the photographs interesting, but I like the variety of photos taken e.g. still life, action shots, portraits, panoramas.’

‘It was a new experience and I found it interesting but I found it difficult to find enough subjects to fill the day. If I did it again I would plan it better.’

‘I liked the idea of creating a social record but it was difficult to decide which shots to include in the final filmstrip. I wanted to photograph a lunch event as it was a more practical day to choose and therefore more interesting than a usual day.  If I did it again I think I would like to take more shots of local architecture.’

‘I enjoyed looking at ways of taking ordinary events and photographing them to look artistic and interesting.’

‘It made me pay attention to the events/activities during the day in a way that I don’t usually do. I got a sense of satisfaction at seeing my day recorded in images.’

‘It was an exciting project and makes you think about how much you pack into a day!’