Friday, 3 August 2012

Artwork as Long as a Bus

The charity Magic Me has worked for 20 years bringing together young people aged 8+ with adults aged 60+ to work on shared creative artistic projects.  Artist Janet Brooke has worked with them on and off over the last 10 years and felt she'd probably reached retirement when she moved to Brighton.  But with a phone call late last year they lured her back for one last time …..

The plan was to work with 3 primary schools and 3 groups of older people located on the route to the Olympic Site and eventually produce a piece of artwork to go on the ceiling of the buses on that route.

So for the first 5 months of this year Janet worked with her colleague, Surya Turner, a performer and poet, meeting with different groups of children …. some to work with older people on the history of  ‘High Street 2012’, some to visit and explore local businesses.

Then, with all the information collected they had the rather daunting task of producing a piece of finished artwork.  Janet worked with almost 100 children producing cardboard prints of the buildings past and present along the route while Surya produced a soundtrack based on the stories we’d heard and the poems the children had written.

When Janet handed over the prints to the designers, she knew what she wanted but wasn’t quite sure what to expect - but the finished result surpassed all my expectations …. A wonderful, vibrant piece of work to be proud of.   It has now been installed on all the buses on the 205 London bus route (Paddington to Bow) where it will stay until the end of the Paralympics.  If you can’t get to view it in reality you can get a taste here

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