Above: This film summarises the project and features the launch event
Below: The artists talking about their approach to the project
Fields of EveryWhen is commissioned by
What is our idea?
To create an abstract map of a social landscape
We have created an artwork in collaboration with the Thamesmead community over a two year period. The work is a statement about this unique place and a time capsule of cultural life in Thamesmead for future generations. The artwork consists of two parts, stories converted into embroidery / drawings and a sculptural hot air balloon displaying those responses. Both elements have a legacy which remains long after the 2 year project.
The artwork uses textiles and drawings to tell the stories of local people; rather like the Bayeux Tapestry records a period of time pictorially. The balloon is a celebration of social and cultural interaction and recognises local people who define the community; it floats above, and mirrors, the social landscape and acknowledges the global roots of the people of Thamesmead.
‘Fields of EveryWhen’ takes the historic form of a hot air balloon because this was the first method used to look back down at, and photograph, the Thamesmead landscape (see image below). Thamesmead was also heavily protected by barrage balloons during the war due to its proximity to the Royal Arsenal.
Our balloon has been created and ‘decorated’ with the outcomes of community engagement and flown as a tethered artwork unique to Thamesmead. It has a pilot but is designed as a performance rather than to carry passengers.
‘G-‘ is the registration letter for British aircraft and ‘FOEW’ is the acronym for the project title Fields of EveryWhen. This is why our sculptural aircraft is called G-FOEW.
Each collected artwork 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 Lesnes Abbey. This is an overlaying of modern stories and memories onto the ancient landscape; a new map depicting the community.
BELOW ARE SOME IMAGES OF THE FLYING GALLERY!
What is the legacy of ‘Fields of EveryWhen’?
The legacy takes many forms and, most significantly, is the ongoing conversation about the aspirations of the Thamesmead community. This is reflected in the physical outcomes of the project as follows:
- The balloon exists as an artwork which can be exhibited in a number of ways at milestone moments in the development of the wider plan for Thamesmead.
- The artworks created by participants (which will take the form of sketches, embroidery, stitched illustration and painting) will be complied in two forms: One as a ‘weighty tome’ (tome is used to refer to a book that is not only really large but also unusually important) and secondly as an exhibition.