Continuing the Even Better Together programme of workshops, artist Albert Potrony ran three days of family arts workshops in Kennington Park Estate. Families worked together making artwork in response to living on the estate and working from the exhibition Everything has a name, or the potential to be named, exploring the different ways of connecting, mapping and recording life on the estate. Families of all generations worked alongside volunteers and artists in an atmosphere of collaborative art making. ??
Tuesday 26 May 2009 ?
On the first day, families developed shadow puppet performances, creating stories which incorporated the other families and blurred fact with fiction. To start things off, each family posed for a traditional Polaroid family portrait. After this, a second photograph was taken which included additional 'family' members who were recruited from the other participants and the team of volunteers. The photos were then swapped and handed out for the families to work from. Each person picked someone in the photo to focus on and wrote fictional stories around this character. Puppets were then made using card, watercolours and wooden dowling and to create dramatic light and shadow effects patterns of holes were created in the card. The workshop concluded with performances of each narrative.
Thursday 28 May? 2009
In this second workshop, families devised ways to change the estates' seating areas, gardens and public spaces by adding their own fun and imaginative interventions. Each family used collage to design their adaptations, starting with photographs of the existing outdoor furniture and experimenting with coloured card, tapes and string. Working from these sketches, each family then ventured out into the estate and worked directly on the street furniture, building their designs in 3D. Ideas included making secret dens, ever lasting flowers, chocolate money trees, honey bee collectors and colourful shaded seats to sit back and relax in. The workshop finished with all the groups coming together and taking a tour to view the work.
Friday 29 May 2009
On the final day of workshop, families’ created architectural structures that could connect one part of the estate to another, crossing the roads that separate the two sites. By responding to Luis Camnitzer's Amanaplanacanalpanama (1995), an artwork inspired by the Panama Canal on display in Everything has a name, or the potential to be named, and looking at birds-eye view maps of the estate, participants considered the different ways the two parts of the estate could be joined. Looking at bridges, cable cars and aerial lifts, each family developed their own solutions by initially drawing their designs, then going out into the estate and making sculptural models. The final solutions ranged from giant bridges of exaggerated scales, roller-coaster transporters, a series of dream catcher tunnels and cable car pet transporters. After discussing each design as a group, photographs were taken for each family to take away as record of their workshop with Gasworks.