A lovely day with brilliant, bright, sunny weather so a good context for the last workshop of the Papertrails project. There were twenty-one 7 to 12 year-olds and three helpers as well as me. One was the Countryside Liaison officer and the others were from Elmbridge's children's holiday activity team. During the day we made sculpture and explored the West End Common at Esher. Activities included making things that responded to the environment. We made windmills, moblies and sun prints as well as having a go at papermaking.
Coming up as part of the project are a workshop with children on the 19th February and a last showing of work (photographs this time) at the Civic Centre in Esher. Elmbridge Borough Council have been very supportive of the project despite having a small budget for art and so it is good to show some of the documentation of Papertrails in their home as it were. Several of the Councillors have been frequent visitors to the studio at St George's Church and have been enthusiastic supporters of the project over the year as has Maggs Latter, the Arts Development Officer for Elmbridge.
The other day I found out that instead of the 9 or ten children I expected to have signed up for the holiday workshop there were eleven on the waiting list beyond that, so there has been an element of restructuring going on to make things work with a full house.
Until the last events connected with Papertrails have passed and my evaluation of the project both for ACE and for myself have been carried out I am continuing with this blog, however I keep finding things that don't fit into the heading of 'Papertrails residency' and aren't yet another distinct project. Perhaps I need to start a second blog!
Today I have started the process of final evaluation for the project, totting up figures etc yet enduring results of the year for me will be difficult to put into statistical form. Being able to work on a project for such a concentrated period of time has had a huge impact on my work and the way I work. It has been fantastic to be able to work without the usual constraints of space and time and I have very much enjoyed communicating my interest and enthusiasm to other people.
Coming up this month are a couple of events which relate to the project. On the 19th is a children's workshop run with Elmbridge and later in the month at the Civic Centre in Esher there is an exhibition of photographs from the year.
In theory my project has come to an end but evaluations are still to be done and some of the related work has drifted beyond the end of the residency. During February I am running an art workshop for children as part of the project and also there is an exhibition of some of the photographs of local participation and of artworks, at the Civic Centre in Esher. I am really sad to leave my wonderful studio at St George's Church although it will be good to come to some kind of conclusion about the year. I met a fellow artist a couple of days ago who asked me if it had all gone as I had planned. That, I suppose is the big question. I think that the things that one hadn't planned or anticipated are probably the things that will ultimately seem most important. Looking back over the year it is meeting people that has made the most difference to me.