I & ME is a project that bridges the gap between arts education programmes and exhibition through collaboration, run by the artist, and curator Davina Drummond. The first I & ME event took place in London last August and involved eight artists working with a group of young people to create work that explored notions of self-identity. The work of the young people and the artists was subsequently exhibited together at Studio Voltaire.
I & ME TOO was the project's second event, and took as its starting point the idea that it would be the participants - one group of young people working with artists at Studio Voltaire, the other with artists at Cubitt gallery and studios - who would devise and then present and deliver, a series of participatory works at two seperate events, rather than mount an 'end of project exhibition'.
So, at Studio Voltaire, Yara El Sherbini worked with students from the Brit School in Croydon to devise a Pub Quiz, Neil Taylor explored which newspaper stories participants wanted to include in their own newspaper and Kerry Duggan & Oli Cloke explored the notions of giving and receiving.
I decided to pose the question Where Do Ideas Come From ? and in particular, to explore the notion, held to be true by certain philosphers, writers, poets and artists, that the act of walking is itself condusive to the creative process - it was Rauschenberg who said that if you have no ideas, then a walk around the block will provide you with some. So, armed with reams of Post-It Notes I asked the group to record ANY thought (whether it had anything to do with art, or not) that they had, as I led them on a guided walk around Clapham. At several points I halted the group and asked that they continue to write their thoughts whilst standing silent for one minute. Returning to Studio Voltaire all the Post-It Notes were displayed on a large wall.
The next step was for each participant to chose a Post-It Note (someone else's thought) that appealed most to them and to make a monoprint, an artwork, of it. This was to encourage the idea that 'an idea is an idea' it can come from anywhere, possibly from somebody else.
Here are some photographs of the workshop.
At the event on Saturday 16 June, a selection of the monoprints were tied to ballons, and released in the hope that if found, they might inspire further thoughts and ideas.
Participant writing a thought during walk.
Participants on Clapham Common
Some of the Post-It Notes on wall
Participant making monoprint
Ready to release the ballons - Image courtesy of Neil Taylor
A released ballon - Image coutesy of Neil Taylor.