Phiona Richards and I have started our Open Book commission for Transported with our first session in Spalding Library. On the way from Northants to Lincolnshire words and stories, ideas and laughter cut through the gloomy weather, creating our own migrating flock of words.
We come well prepared with bird shapes cut from the book covers of unwanted, old or damaged books, plain book board and a vast quantity of delightful stamps, inks, glitters and paints for people to use. The library is quite quiet and Phiona and I are quite colourful, you can't really miss us. We love meeting new people, sharing skills and hearing histories. We take it in turns to scope both floors, engaging people in conversation, teasing out tales, generating interest.
This bird says
Discover my place in the world
Explore my Heaven
We meet people from all over the world
and as we sit together in this once quiet space
people talk of their travels, express themselves in different languages
write their words on my prints
add details and embellishments, the spaces I left on the page are filled as our combined histories weave in and out of each other. We are the one and the many, we are the artists and the community, like books we can be open or closed, shared, stamped, checked out or returned. And then there is tea, cake and conversation, china cups, pretty plates and a pause for lunch.
After lunch and a brief walk in town,
The Eloquent Fold -
Carole Miles and Phiona Richards
return to our table, erect invisible walls and windows, creating an imaginary studio space in the middle of the library. We begin working on our collaborative piece, we plan to make three, one for each of the libraries we are working in. There isn't enough time, there isn't enough space but for a few hours we are doing what we do and doing it together. People are intrigued, we are both absent and present in our imaginary studio, happy for people to watch and wonder, smile or scratch their heads.
We are repurposing an old battered GEEBEE dolls house, covering it with outdated maps and unwanted book papers. It will become our take on a bird table, part of our "Crumbs From the Word Table" piece. There will be things inside, there will be a stand, there will be other things. So if this has made you just a little curious don't forget to check back to find out just what we're making together!
Here is a link to a slideshow made by Phiona which captures the spirit of our first day in Spalding Library. If you have a group, a venue or a space you'd like us to fill will creativity we'd love to hear from you!
Please join us in Spalding Library on the 5th or 12th of June between 10.00am and 12.30. If you can't join us you can send us your words and we'll add them to a bird or a print for you.
You can also follow us as we tweet during our workshops
and I will be adding images to my Flickr page and to my Instagram feed if you'd like to see what we've been doing during our workshops.
For more information contact
Arts Engagement Worker,
Transported is a strategic, community-focused programme which aims to get more people in Boston Borough and South Holland enjoying and participating in arts activities, funded by Creative People and Places from Arts Council England. For more information visit www.transportedart.com.