#peacerocks come to London Mar 2016

Show solidarity with Syrian refugees by making a peace rock and displaying it on your doorstep. Or giving it to someone you wan tot make peace with so they can display it on theirs.

We made them at Common Growth, outside the Hill Station and outside New Cross Learning. It was a joy.

Peace Rocks! Oh Yes it does… from Artmongers on Vimeo.

Peace Rocks in SE London

workshop 2T
Photo by Artmongers

First Artmongers made them in the Syrian refugee camp and now we are making them here as part of the Bold Vision Refugee Twinning project. These are free events. 

Show your support for the refugees and make a little peace right here. Maybe you will give your Peace Rock to a friend you fell out with. Maybe a neighbour you haven’t said hello to yet. Or someone who is new to your street.

Artmongers are running workshops all over the place for the next week with the help of Bold Vision. Come along and share the joy. It only takes a few minutes. We want to see Peace Rocks strewn all over the Hill and New Cross.

Wear old clothes. Bring along a small rock from your garden or your bathroom shelf. Rocks also provided for the hard up.

Maybe you have a few old pots of half used paint (preferably gloss paint) that you know you will probably never use. Why not bring those along too and share your colours.

Workshops will take place at the following Bold Vision venues:

  • Common Growth Garden: Sun Feb 28, 1-3pm
  • Hill Station Cafe:  Tue Mar 1, 3-5pm
  • New Cross Learning: Thu Mar 3, 4-5pm
  • John Stainer School (tbc)

Let us know if you would like to run a workshop at your place of worship, club or neighbourhood.

Peace ROCKS 3
Photo by Artmongers

Refugee camp report back

As some of you already know, Bold Vision team member Catherine went back to the refugee camp in January to try to pilot some of our twinning projects. Here are some of the outcomes she could report on.

the road

IMPACT EVALUATION of first projects: This was the primary reason for the visit. If weAz eval can’t show what we did made any difference then it will be hard to raise funds for future projects. We were delighted to see the data confirmed our hypothesis based on all of the work Artmongers and Bold Vision have done – that empowering refugees to change their environment builds connections and increases well being. We looked at a village on the camp where Artmongers did not do any work (control group), and one where they did (affected group), and gathered wellbeing data both before and after the intervention.

impact

As you can see from the chart, the affected group showed a significantly better change in wellbeing over the last six months, especially the women. Staff on the camp confirmed there had been no other interventions that could account for this.

A couple more houses had been painted in the vicinity of Hope Square.Az paintedThey were keen to show me what they had done for themselves. And I saw Peace Rocks in the office. It is unfortunate that the increased security in place since activity increased in Syria greatly restricted the time I could spend in the camp, but I still had many heartening interactions with refugees, staff and volunteers.

Going back was an important step in developing our relationship with the camp. Some staff and some children were the same and remembered me from the July visit. They were surprised and reassured that we were back and much more confident when I said that we would be back again. They see a lot of visitors – there were 3 delegations while I was there this time – but they don’t often see people twice. They saw that we mean it. That we want to be with them.

SEWING CIRCLES: There are many traditions of women gathering to makeAz sequinsthings together. Creating bonds and community strength as they do. Quilting circles among American pioneers, arpillera groups in Peru – even our own knitting group in Telegraph Hill. We gathered materials from local residentsAz sewand friends, from a sympathetic shop owner in Brick Lane, from materials donated to new Cross Learning. Because of police restrictions in the camp it wasn’t possible to run the sessions in among the shelters, but the staff helped gather a group of women and girls to meet at the communityAz embroiderycentre where about 20 of us experimented with sequins and designs and embroidery thread. One or two of the girls knew some things and I loved seeing their pride as they showed their friends how to thread a needle. Others had no idea and required my (fairly rubbish!) sewing tuition. By the end, they all knew how to thread a needle with the right length of thread, tie a knot in the end, and do chain stitch. It’s a start. I hope they experiment some more with the left over scraps and start to imagine. Maybe if they take their sewing home their grandmothers will remember and show them more

BOOK DONATIONS: thanks to book donations from around the hill, andAz bookssome helpful rule bending by the British Airways check in desk, I managed to take about 40 children’s books to the camps. They were all English which isn’t ideal but I read some of them to groups of children – with enough sign language, the pictures and the odd bit of English vocabulary, we collaborated some understanding of the stories. They liked the idea of a mobile library and we evolved that into a mobile story telling unit. On our next visit we will organise that so that stories can go to the children, maybe with some activities and a few stools or cushions to create pop up story telling circles. When they build the library on the camp later this year this will work well together. Since my visit \I have also made contact with an Arabic book publisher and an organisation creating the first spoken book materials in Arabic to help those people with low literacy also access learning and entertainment.

SONG EXCHANGE: Before going to the camp, Catherine met with Byron, the music coordinator at Edmund Waller and he invited some of the children to perform some traditional English songs. While she was there, Catherine explained Incey Wincey spider (!!) and gave the children’s activities leader the words and actions. He will teach the children in the camp the song and send a film back to Edmund Waller. He will also film them singing a traditional Syrian song so children here can learn it. We hope one day they can sing together over live streaming. Note that in both locations this is being treated as a regular song exchange. The children don’t share information about their stories / circumstances and the videos will not be published anywhere.

NEXT STEPS

  • They agreed that they would like more squares like Hope Square to be made so we are looking for ways of funding the £15k it will cost to do 4 more.
  • We will make a shorter version of the video with a voiceover which they will then get agreement for so we can publish it online
  • I will write a report based on the impact evaluation with a view to getting more funding
  • With more staff connections on the camp, we will make sure the next visit is a step forward for these other projects and maybe the next ones
  • We will send them photos of Peace Rocks in the Telegraph Hill Festival

Az sunset

Razzle Dazzle, Transparency & Collaborative Patchwork

Razzle Dazzle, Transparency & Collaborative Patchwork at the Hill station ran during May to August  2013. Alma Titchler Wood & Sara Willet created a site specific camouflage to hide the grand piano, Tisna Weterhof and Cristiana Bottigella engaged with young people’s patches in New Cross, while the very delicate work of Karin Hanlon colours the outside view.

Opening Event on Friday 31st of May 7 pm with Live Music Performances by John Lunn and John Wood.

Treecycle – Angela McMahon and Stuart Leeser

Local artists Angela McMahon and Stuart Leeser have created the art installation at The Hill Station Cafe. With a private view on Friday 29 November 2013 the exhibition closed on Monday 6 January 2014. The private view event runs from 6pm until 9pm, it was open to all, including children, and will have music, a bar and hot food.

Inspired by trees as the breath of the planet and a magnificent feature of Telegraph Hill, Angela and Stuart have recycled cardboard to create TREECYCLE, a large tree installation made specifically for the Hill Station. With branches stretching out across the ceiling creating an immersive experience the work uses a playful approach to celebrate trees and wood as an essential part of life on earth. We use wood every day, often without thinking, as furniture, fuel, paper, books, cardboard and packaging and ancient trees formed the fossil fuels we use to power the modern world. They are also seen as nurturing, mythical or magical. Viewers are invited to write messages on paper leaves that will be attached to the tree. These will be recorded as part of the work. At the end of the show the tree and leaves were recycled.

Contact:
Angela McMahon 07977 901147
angel@angelamcmahon.co.uk

Consume and Resume

The current installation at the Hill station ran from 18th March to 3rd of May 2014. It was a food related art installations and series of performances that examined our obsession with food and looked at our peculiar quirks that embellish the act of eating. The installation created by Art Tarts, a group of local artists who collaborate in bringing the unexpected, surreal and poetic to public spaces. They will explored how food is used as a central theme from which to delve deeper into a range of topics from the essential pastime of eating for nourishment to other aspects of the culinary such as food preparation, food fads, fetishes, phobias, ethics, rituals and traditions. check out the Art Tarts Facebook page for more pics