Down to Earth was a 5 week a sensory oriented project funded by the St James Street Big Local. It was aimed at over 50’s residents of Walthamstow, London. Each week participants would be faced with trying a new creative challenge. We would explore a different senes in detail; Sound, Sight, Touch, Smell and Taste.
Week 1: listening better with Liz Griffiths
We all walked up Coppermill lane to the Wetlands. Along the way we thought about what we could hear and how that could be represented in a piece of are. People chose to use words, strokes, literal images, imaginary songs and random movments to show their findings. This activity took place outside in front of other public members. Most participants were nervous to start but thoroughly enjoyed themselves as they let go of their preconcieved thoughts and went with the flow.
Week 2: Shifting Landscapes with Vick Busfield
Vicki took us for a short stoll around the area to oberve the latest urban regeneration changes. The area of St James Street has undergone a huge physical change over the past few years. Local residents were suprised to realise that they had not seen all the changes that took place. Too often we walk by things in our lives and miss the changes that are happening round us and it can leave us to leave no longer connnected to area. By ‘looking twice’ as vicki called it – we tried to retain the details of what we had observed and put them in a performance. She showed us how we could use our body parts to replicate the shapes, patterns and images and have a performance all of our own.
Week 3: Feeling sculpture with Esther Neslen
Esther let everyone play with clay. Particpants were encouraged to explore the various types and states of clay there were. We disucssed how this made us feel and what each one might be uses best for. Using the sense of touch alone we created our very own pinched pots with our eyes closed. We also created some 2d artwork – all to be taken home.
Week 4: Neesha Badhan Capturing Memories
Using the sense of smell each participant brought in things they loved the smell of. Neesha enabled us to a tell the story about the origin of that smell and others. Giving each person a chance to tell their favorite smell oriented story nd capture them inside a jar – it allowed the participants to not only share their memories but to bring back to life the memories of moments passed.
Week 5: Neesha Badhan, A Self Portrait of Taste
Taste was the final sense that was exlpored with final pieces of art being created from food and things that participants enjoyed the taste of. All of these were then put on exhibition at The Mill for the public to see.
All of the art work created has been exhibited at The Mill between December 2018 and January 2019