Wow! We had such an incredible weekend presenting You Are Here at Doors Open Richmond with over 200 visitors to the house!
We displayed the beautiful collaborative art projects created by community members at the last four workshops, including Paper Neighbourhood, a collection of sculptural homes created using mixed media and collage. To create this piece community members delved into their imaginations to build fantastical dream homes, homes remembered from the past, and homes hoped for in the future. Combined, these homes make a delicate and surreal paper neighbourhood.
Archival Photo Shadowboxes: To create Archival Photo Shadowboxes, community members combined photos from the Richmond City Archives with text, ephemera, and found objects to create thought provoking assemblages, each containing it's own story and link to the past of this place.
Altered Map Garland: Altered Map Garland uses maps as a canvas to explore personal interpretations of the local landscape. Community members used printmaking, drawing, painting, and stamping to add symbols, text, and imagery to maps of Richmond, Vancouver, and other parts of the Lower Mainland. We also had an atlas on hand so people could select maps from elsewhere in the world: places we come from, have visited, of have significance to each of us.
And Artist Walking Map: a collaborative portrait of the neighbourhood's meaningful minutiae. Community members went for "artist walks" in the yard or surrounding area, slowing down to notice and sketch overlooked details of the landscape. A balloon caught in a tree, an initial written in the sidewalk, a hummingbird overhead: looking through the eyes of an artist the ordinary becomes captivating, worthy of documentation and celebration.
I also presented my project Walking Atlas. Walking Atlas is an interactive installation of handmade maps, each one representing a different perspective of the same local landscape.
These maps document the process of arrival in a new home and neighbourhood, using personal mapmaking to capture fleeting and often overlooked details of Steveston.
Redrawing the world through a lens of curiosity and wonder, maps include the locations of Steveston’s bird’s nests, where to find the neighbourhood’s most exceptional lawn ornaments, and a commemorative map of last winter's snowmen. Visitors to the installation were invited to take copies of the maps with them to use as navigational guides to re-imagine familiar places.
Walking Atlas documents and celebrates the inconspicuous minutia of Steveston and encourages participants to explore their neighbourhood through a fun, unique and thought-provoking lens.
I was thrilled by visitor's response to You Are Here. Community members who had participated in workshops were proud and excited to see their artwork publicly exhibited. Some people had never been to the house before and were interested to learn about upcoming workshops they could attend. Many folks took maps with them and were excited to check out their unconventional local landmarks.
Photos by Liam O'Brien.