This Project opened up the exploration of architecture and the creation and vision of landscape beyond the conventional teaching or studio space to a group of young people, artists, architects and photographers.
The project started with a talk by international artist Edwin Zwakman and a visit to his studio to see his work in progress.
Using Zwakmanâ€™s work as inspiration for their own work the group went onto work with Farida Makki from Redmak Architects to dream up buildings places and spaces. Redmak kicked off the first three weekends of 1 day workshops.
The first week started with various games to help the young people to get to know each other and the architect. Gradually a team was built who then felt confident enough to talk about their studio visit and impressions of Zwakmanâ€™s work, find out what architects do and discuss their ideas for their buildings.
Each group member started to finalise and refine their models making them more stable, going beyond one storey and unusual ways of moving around (slides, bridges and ladders). They then began to mark their own character by signage, collaged textures, Manga drawings, plasticine people, see through fabric and gold paint.
The Next Stages
By the end of REDMAK’s workshops the group were ready to move on to work with modeller artist Jeni Smith to finish decorating their buildings and create the landscape around. They then set up a mini photography studio with photographer Jon Legge to document their buildings within a landscape using huge painted skies and land and experimenting with lighting and camera position. The last workshop was with Digital Artist Darius Powel to add atmosphere and people to their photographs.
The Final Show + Wider Involvement
The SPARKS project resulted in a public presentation of the young peoples work at Q Gallery alongside the exhibition of new works Tales from the Grid by Edwin Zwakman, at this event the young people talked to visiting members of the public and invited family and friends about their work, their themes, the process undertaken, about the SPARKS group and what they hoped for the future
Project Participants and Feedback
Main project users are self referred at risk local young people between the ages of 13 to 16 many of whom are from disadvantage backgrounds experiencing difficult home lives. They are keen and ready for the next SPARKS project!
The Artists + Credits
Edwin Zwakman: Artist
Farida Makki: Redmak Architects
Jeni Smith: Artist
Darius Powel: Digital Artist
Jon Legge: Photographer
Angela Terris: Support
Amanda McLaren: Support + Coordinator
Clive Wheeler: Documentation + Photos