Making Space:Sensing Place

In October 2009, along with artist Thurle Wright, I was awarded a Making Space:Sensing Place Fellowship; part of the HAT: Here and There International Exchange Programme, managed by A Fine Line:Cultural Practice. The Fellowship includes residencies with Britto Arts in Dhaka, Bangladesh, with Arts Reverie in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, with The V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green, London and with The Harley Gallery, Nottinghamshire. Working and collaborating with artists and craftspeople from the UK, Bangladesh and India, responding to the collections and spaces we encounter and sharing these experiences through a touring exhibition and educational workshops.

This blog, which is still developing and being added to, is a record of my experiences during the MS:SP Fellowship. Steven Follen.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

The Harley Gallery

The show 'Sensing Place' has moved from the V&A Museum of Childhood and has now opened at the Harley Gallery, on the Welbeck Estate, in Nottinghamshire. 
The show runs until 7th August 2011.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Glimpse of Asia

The 'Glimpse of Asia' event took place at the Museum of Childhood with lots of music, dancing, food and activities. 
The boat workshop went well with lots of people making the models. It was good fun and great that many wanted to take their boats home, although sad that we didn't manage to capture them all together as one giant fleet!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Building boats - making toys

The exhibition finishes at the V&A Museum of Childhood this weekend and moves on to the Harley Gallery in Nottinghamshire. To mark the end of the London show the MoC has organised an event celebrating Asian culture:  'A glimpse of Asia'.

I have been asked for ideas for a one day collaborative project / installation inspired by the exhibition and MSSP project and suitable for working with all ages of visitors to the museum.
Two thoughts a came to mind, both similar in process: -  participants could personalise a standard design on flat sheet of card using coloured pencils, cut it out,learn to fold and form it to make a 3D object, add their own creation as part of a larger shared collaborative piece. They can also make another to take home.

Looking back through the sketchbooks my first thought was to make a wall panel of folded flowers - paper versions of the metal ones in the show and inspired by the textiles, garlands and offering flowers I had seen in India and Bangladesh, the block printing, the wall paintings and the project with the children at the school. Individuals could colour in their own flowers or add messages to the petals, then pin them together with others to make a vivid panel of colour and texture.

The second; a flotilla of boats to grow and float its winding way across the museum floor. 
Inspired by the boats in Bangladesh, the visit to the Boat museum, the toy 'put-put' boats in the markets in Bangladesh and India, the boat yards at Mandvi and the tin toys in the Museum of Childhood.

The boat idea won the day, so I have been designing and making simple card models of boats from a single A4 sheet, forms that can be personalised, easily cut out, scored, folded and assembled with minimal equipment and resources (so far I have one like the putt putt boats, another based on a bangladesh boat).

The A4 template sheets can be copied onto card.

I hope it will be a fun day and we will be able to make lots of them, it will be great to see them cover part of the floor and weave its way across one of the museum spaces.