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Invitation to make art for a hot air balloon! - The Open College of the Arts
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Invitation to make art for a hot air balloon!

I am sharing one of my current projects here as an opportunity for people to get involved either now or later in the year. This is an invitation to make artistic responses to stories describing the community of Thamesmead in South East London and have them included on our 23M high flying gallery. The artwork uses textile drawings to tell the stories of local people; rather like the Bayeux Tapestry records a period of time pictorially.

‘Fields of EveryWhen’ takes the historic form of a hot air balloon because this was the first method used to look back down at the inhabited landscape. This will be created and covered with the outcomes of community engagement and flown in Thamesmead during 2022. It is designed as a performance rather than to carry passengers.

Interior of proposed artwork


Visualisation of proposed artwork

The artwork consists of two parts, stories converted into textiles and a sculptural hot air balloon displaying those embroideries, appliqué, paintings and collage. Each textile element tells a story and represents a field in the landscape of Thamesmead as it first appeared when the land was drained and cultivated by the monks of the nearby Abbey. This is an overlaying of modern stories and memories onto the ancient landscape; a new map depicting the social landscape.

The majority of the textile responses will come from the providers of the stories however we are also interested in responses from those who are looking in from outside this community.

If you would like to get involved please follow the guidelines on www.g-foew.art and upload your artwork to the site. This is where you will find peoples stories to respond to once they have been gathered; currently there are only a few but we’re aiming for 100’s of stories by Christmas. Artworks can be uploaded at any point up to the end of January 2022. Once you have uploaded your response you will also need to send your work to us (address is on the web site where you upload your response) to have it digitally scanned so that it can become part of the balloon and a permanent archive kept in Thamesmead Library.

All details about the project at www.g-foew.art

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Posted by author: Neil Musson
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One thought on “Invitation to make art for a hot air balloon!

  • This looks an amazing project !
    I love the picture of the balloon when it is on the ground seen from underneath the fabric with the light shining though it. It is like a huge stained glass igloo! Absolutely stunning . I wish I could have been involved but I am a new student & have only just seen the information. about the project.

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