Monday, August 08, 2005

"Imagining St Mary Magdalene's" Weekend

This image is one of my favourites from the entire project - it is the result of the printer running out of ink, creating a beautiful accident. (Click to see large)

I am still reflecting upon the impact this art project has had both upon those of us immediately involved in it, the artists, the park users, the churchgoers, the asylum group, and on the people who came from far and wide to see and hear and join in.

We had almost entirely good responses from local people, as well as people who had come specially to Islington.

The overall effect seemed to be to cause people to stop and look and wonder. Val, walking her dog, said to me on Saturday evening, "I keep intending to go home but I am still finding things to look at."

An enthusiastic young man I've never met came up to me and asked me who was responsible for this as it was one of the most beautiful things he had ever experienced.

I assumed he meant the experience of seeing the park and church and tombs lit up, voices, bells, speech, music, images and figures adorning the gardens, so I introduced him to the artists, Per Platou and Amanda Steggell from Motherboard, Lisa Muten, Ulf Knudsen, and my colleague in Funk, who was hugely important to the success of the event, Mark Crook.

The combination of a week of art, food, dance, music, and a sculpture which seemed specifically made for them seemed to have a greatly calming effect on the resident drinkers.

I realised that, drunk or sober, believer true or not, what most people here suffer from is boredom, and by alleviating that, the problems associated with this challenging urban space diminish.

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