Phew…there is so much going on. All good stuff I hasten to add.
In the midst of all the reading, thinking about dreams, goals, fears, blog development etc… my work on the large mosaic commission continues (fingers crossed, it will be finished this week ready for installation in a week’s time). I have been putting my heart and soul into this mosaic (as I always do!) but not least because of the special nature and meaning attached to this huge piece (1.6metres by 60cm) which will be installed on a grave. You can read more about it here.
My new mosaic workshop students have just started – yay! Another lovely group with a couple of returning students who have got the bug and are trying out more advanced techniques. Have I mentioned how much I love teaching mosaics? (yes, I know, I know!). It is enthralling seeing people tap their creativity and watching the mosaic art emerge. I am hoping to organise an exhibition of my students work in the winter – its just toooogood! Here’s a finished piece by Caroline who has returned for more…her first mosaic!
Then on Saturday, along with other local artists, crafters and community builders, I was involved in a special afternoon of making in our local neighbourhood. People descended on a bit of the neighbourhood (MoyserRoad for those of you nearby!) and got involved in making street decorations from scrap fabric, plastic bags and the like.
Some guerrilla knitting had been going on secretly and the streets were adorned with various yarn creations. Plastic bags were turned into art, the beginnings of a gown and headdresses for the soon to be Tooting Trashcatchers Carnival– a local celebration on 4th July to promote recycling.
The carnival is organised by Transition Town Tooting, part of the Transition Town movement to help us move to a carbon neutral future.
As part of the fun on Saturday, neighbours brought pebbles and broken pots from their gardens which I and a group of about 15 children used to make a mosaic of a kite (they symbol of our local community, called Furzedown Community Network). It left me full of contentment – all the elements I love so much were all there in 3 glorious hours – community, connection, fun, mosaics, crafts, recycling, (oh and the sun shone!). The kids who got involved were just so absorbed in the mosaic making (they always are…it is addictive you know!) and it is just so cool that this piece of work has literally risen from the soil (with the help of a few broken pots). The mosaic will be displayed at our big Furzedown Fun Day on 19th June when the community descends on our little park for music, dance, food, crafts, sport and the like.
I am so very very grateful to live in a neighbourhood where there is so much intentional community. It really wouldn’t happen if people didn’t have that intent and turn that into small actions. The community feel around here has been years in the making – the actions of many small groups and individuals, seen and unseen. This is what is possible in one of the biggest urban conurbations in the world. London does not have to be a lonely, isolating place. I have believed and lived that for years in this neighbourhood and I will continue to do so ’til I stop breathing as it is my deep conviction that the connections (however small) of daily community are the air to our lungs, expanding us, feeding us, helping us to live rather than just exist. Funny, my very first blog post, back in November 2004 was all about building community in London and when I clicked on the community category on the left sidebar, I realise quite how many blog posts I write in this vein. I guess it’s a deep part of me and – as I am being reminded in Kelly Rae’s e-course – blogging is a window to the soul, like letting people peek into the conversations that take place round your kitchen table! Cup of tea anyone?