Sunday, February 25, 2007

Library Project - 25 February

Sorry for the silence. I've been caught in a whirl of prep activity. I'm documenting it in a project journal, which has turned out to be a good thing, because there is currently so little to see that I've caught myself wondering whether I've really been working. The journal shows me that I have indeed been spending a lot of time of very necessary activities. In fact, I've been working very hard indeed.

The perception problem arises because most of my time has been frittered away on the many little tasks necessary to get a show like this on the road and rolling. For example, getting the flyers printed (photocopied) turned out to be a quick job. The printer ran them off for me while we drank herbal tea and had a fascinating conversation about the state of the German economy, real estate prices in Poland, and other interesting issues.

Distributing the flyers was the time-consuming part. I don't have a car, so I had to hoof it or cycle around, carting a basket of flyers and "show me" examples. As many of my European artist friends know, art is not necessarily the everyday and "everyone can do it" affair it is in the UK/USA, and AB are next to unknown in mainland Europe. That makes for a lot of explanation time. I had to spend time showing and telling in almost every location at which I left flyers. There was a great deal of interest (and surprised looks). Now all that remains is to hope that interest translates into participation. The library decided not to charge course fees, so money is no barrier to art in this case. The time spend talking was well-invested, of course, as I met interesting (and interested) people who have asked me to keep them informed about this and any other projects I might offer.

After setting up the library display and filling my "show me" basket to tote around while distributing info material, I realised that I'd need more examples for the classes themselves. As a result, I've spent quite a lot of time at my workbench creating samples and also refining some of the techniques and projects so they can be completed in a two-hour class. That as been a challenge in some respects, as we will not be working in an art room with sinks and work benches and so forth. Classes will take place in a general purpose room, so it won't be possible to do projects that require a lot of washing up of self and tools. (I'm hoping I'll get a dedicated group together, so we can meet elsewhere and do painty and gluey things...)

I've also sorted through my stash and put together a box of papers, images, and bits and pieces for participants to use as starter material. One of the things I'll be doing is showing how to use everyday objects or found objects to work in AB. There is little choice here in any case, as goodies and rubber stamps and the like are only available in Berlin or further south or by mail order. I'll then encourage participants to bring along materials to pool or swap.

Today I need to finish off several more detailed flyers for individual projects. Tomorrow I'll print them and the tip sheets and so forth and copy them, ready for distribution in the library and in classes. I also need to cart my tools and supplies to the library and hope they have a cupboard in which I can store them. Whew!

And I was worried someone might think I wasn't doing enough....?

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