Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Our last (Re)presenting the Body lecture was the perfect example of a community being brought together. The whole module had progressively led to our class being completely comfortable with each other. The module created a bond between the class and there was a feeling of complete trust within the small community. It’s a complete shame the module is no longer running as I have experienced as a result of these lessons the unity a community can bring.
Last weekend was Ham House’s family fun day, which we participated in by doing face painting and games for the children. It was a satisfying day, as the children appeared to have extremely enjoyed themselves. The friendly and relaxed atmosphere also allowed the opportunity for the more timid children to get involved. It was rewarding to know how we had positively impacted on their day, to the extent that many of the children did not want to leave. This was one of the highlights of this module as we were directly working with the community and having an impact on their lives, if it be only for that day. I am particularly looking forward to interacting with the community on the day of the event after experiencing the fulfilment our work gave to the public last weekend.
We went to visit a karate club in Richmond who will be participating within the parade. The club was extremely small yet despite consisting of around only 12 members, they ranged in age from about 6 to about 45. Upon visiting this club, it made me realise what a difference this event can actually make to the community. The event will open the opportunity for small businesses to get more publicity and hopefully help to keep them up and running. I experienced a sense of nostalgia when visiting them, as much of my childhood had revolved around karate training. Despite being a very small community of people, I was able to relate to their passion of what they do which ultimately made the thought of helping the club continue to run an extremely rewarding notion.
We collected some materials from Twickenham so we could start creating the animals for the story. We are going to use laundry baskets to create their structure, as they can be reshaped and yet still work to create a strong frame. It has proven tricky to make the animals look individual and get the shape of each of them, however they are beginning to get finished and work extremely well as puppet like creations on bamboo sticks that will be held in the air for everyone to see. Although we are planning how the skins of the animals will be created we are going to leave this part of the characters to be finished by the community on the build day. We have begun to practice moving with the puppets so we get used to the way they work.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

scrap store

As ive already mentioned Ham are going for best eco friendly community and as a result we are going to try and create costumes and props out of recycled materials! As this will also help save money. I contacted merton scrap scheme where the university has a membership so we could get some materials. Our membership runs out in April so i need to talk to Trever about renewing the membership. As the project will involve so many materials it is not practical to get all the materials we need as we do not have anywhere big enough to store it all. Not being certain on costumes just yet there will also be materials that we will need that we are not aware of yet. Before now, storage was a concern for us, particulary to store things such as the structure for a huge catapiller/dragon type thing that we plan to create as part of the parade. We are not going to make it completely as we thought all participants of the event could each add a piece to it, so that eventually it is created by the community as a whole.
I contacted another scrap scheme in twickenham, which i went to visit with Laura and Kim although it turned out to be a shed full of rubbish as opposed to a scrap scheme!! we were let in told to take what we want, sign out and shut the door behind us after we left haha!! took us around 40 minutes to find it, which didn't help as i was throwing up every five minutes!!We managed to find sum scrap paper which we took and a tube full of plastic bags but that was all! despite it being dissapointing, we are now aware that the majority of our materials will have to come from the merton scrap scheme.
We have also finally found a place which we can store some of our stuff, it just needs to be emptied as it was used by last years drama in the community group! although we should proberly have a little look and see if there is anything we can salvage before throwing it all away! Any helpers volunteering?

mexican night....fundraising!!!

Wellll done fundraisers!! mexican night here we come! The first fundraising event has taken place and it was a success! was a shame the S.U wasn't full to the brim but we done extremely well and it was a wicked night! With us all dressed up ready for spring break and jenny dressed as a fajita....topped us all as usual!! only Jen could pull that off bravooooo! The S.U had been decorated during the day by most of us with the items created by the design team which included several palm trees, flags, pictures of mexican men and pinatas! Despite the pinatas not being completely dry and still being soft haha they were an extra to the evenings events!...they were at least stuffed with sweets of course! The night began quiet but as the night went on, more and more students began to fill the S.U! Taking it in turns to sit by the door and charge for entrance we made several hundred pounds after paying for security! Not a bad evenings work! Despite the nights purpose being to fundraise, I feel it brought the group together as we were in a relaxed enviroment were we could have a laugh without answering questions or joting down notes! I feel it gave the company a boost of positive energy which was perhaps needed after all the long meetings and hard work that can sometimes bog us down!! For me it felt like the project was really taking direction, it was like a realisation that it is actually going to take place. I think i sometimes forget that when im constantly planning and experimenting with design as opposed to socialising within the community, which after all is what the project is all about; bringing the community closer together.


The meetings with Tina are going well. We decided to start designing props and accesories as apposed to full costumes that the parade could wear. Some of the ideas we came up with were, masks, hats, banners, decorations for pushchairs, wheelchairs etc, flags, tiars/crowns, cloaks, puppets, ribbons fastened to the end of sticks to create cheerleading like props, and flowers. We decided this would be the best option for 'costume' as not only would it be impossible to design and make complete outfits for around 4.000 people but we also thought it to be important for the groups to show their identities through their own uniforms. We began playing around with flowers, in which we tried several ways including, using plastic bags which made colourful, big, full flowers, lillies made out of paper, (which despite being beautiful and delicate, would be runied in rain and ripped far too easily) and by using coloured card, which was cut into strips and folded over to make petals. The last design was the quickest and simplist and we found, accidently, that if they were made too big they could actually be worn as a headdress.
We then moved onto masks, which were created easily through using a mould and maskingtape. They were easy to cut into shape, and were again cheap and easy to make. They were also just thick enough to be able to hold extra features such as hair etc but were not too thick for these extras to be attached easily. Deciding this to be the easiest way we decided to create some extra moulds so there would be enough for around 15 people to make them at the same time. Despite all using the same method to create these, it was surprising how many different styles of masks we created; animals, people, full masks, half masks, and elaborate surreal masks.Through the flexability of this method of mask making, no two masks would be the same.
We then moved on to hats where we created several simple structures which could be used as a base for a variety of styles including elaborate hats, jacobean, bishop, crowns, tiaras, or could be used to fasten any extras we thought neccessary. After each of us created our own, we realised they were all rather feminine and so we brainstormed and experimented by creating some more masculine styles. Some of our ideas included fastening playing cards, creating a bat and ball to attach on top, darts, basketball etc. Through the simple base of the hat, creating these extras and adding them was simple.
Despite starting to create these props, the idea for the project has changed. The event will tell a story, with possibly fairytale characters, such as princesses, kings, queens, monsters, fairies etc. With this change we need to find out whether storytelling is the theme for the design or is a story taking place as part of the event? If a story is taking place what is the story and what characters will there be? and are we making props/ objects to create characters as oppsed to actual costumes? In order to create costume items that will cover the vast range of participants it is important to get a contact list of all the groups that are definately going to be involved, so we know the costumes that will need to be designed.
once we have the answers to these questions we will be able to crack on with designing.