Ice Road Trucker

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On Friday 3rd February 2012, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to combine my two great loves Caravans and Ice Road Truckers as I took my Moveable Museum of Found Objects on a very chilly adventure.

The destination was The Myle Cross Centre in Lincoln; the event was ‘Innovate and Inspire,’ the Lincolnshire Art and Design conference for KS1-KS5 Teachers. After waking up to snow, I braced myself for some extreme caravanning. I collected my co-pilot, we hooked up the museum and headed off with nervous anticipation.

My avid viewing of Ice Road Truckers: Worlds Most Deadliest Roads was put to good use once we reached Lincoln where the perils of snow were replaced by steep gradients, badly parked cars and speed bumps. I made the assent to the top of the city in second gear and with nerves of steel and a carefully controlled clutch. The final pre-conference challenge was a car park slalom where I negotiated a series of gates and manoeuvred the museum into place with the help of my ‘spotter.’

Once pitched up I switched into conference mode. During lunch the Moveable Museum was open for tours of We Found Art’s crowd sourced collection and a new photographic exhibition documenting our trip to The Bathing Beauties Festival in Mablethorpe.

After lunch I spoke about my work with Fulbridge School and its Caravan Gallery, the development of We Found Art and how I use social media to support creative learning in the classroom, (which led into a practical workshop using found materials).

The conference was exceptionally well organised and if I hadn’t been there to deliver I would have loved to have been able to participate in the interactive sessions. ‘Pimp your Lesson’ and ‘Up-cycled Fashion Wear,’ filled the conference hall with frenetic energy and an excited buzz, an atmosphere which luckily for me spilled over into the afternoon.

I thoroughly enjoyed my day and felt privileged to spend it with teachers who are so passionate about creativity. It was also reassuring to know that there are so many Lincolnshire schools that value creativity in the curriculum and clearly support their teachers learning.

Grateful thanks go to my Dad who was my Co-Pilot, Museum Assistant and Photographer for the day.

If you attended the conference I have put together a I Love Caravans Web Links pdf that you might find useful and you can see more photographs from the day here.


5 Projects

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As promised in my previous post, here is a brief overview of each of the five projects that I am currently researching.

We Found Art

You may already be familiar with my project ‘We Found Art’ as I’ve blogged about it along the way. I have chosen to include it in my research as the reason that I set it up was to learn more about how web 2.0 technologies can encourage innovative, creative interactions online and challenge the traditional concept of collaboration, participation and engagement.

We Found Art explores notions of value and beauty in objects that have been lost, forgotten or discarded.  Between March and August 2011 online participants were invited to post small found objects to the We Found Art HQ, along with a note of where they were found and why they were chosen. The objects were catalogued and accessioned as they would were they to be joining a gallery or museum collection.

Participants were also invited to add their thoughts, stories, photographs, sound clips and films relating to the act of collecting to the project blog. All objects submitted were professionally photographed and joined an evolving online gallery and touring (caravan) exhibition; The Moveable Museum of Found Objects.

52 by 52

Photo credit David Gillett

52 by 52 is curated by designer David Gillett.

‘A weekly photo challenge is set by fifty-two accomplished photographers throughout the course of a year. Each week the 52 by 52 members interpret the photographer’s challenge in whichever way they feel appropriate and submit a photo to the Flickr group.

The project aims to stretch its members creatively, encouraging experimentation in terms of approach as well as aesthetics. Community is an important aspect of 52 by 52 and the support of the group will be helpful to spur members on throughout the year. The project started on the 1st of September 2011 and will run for a year, it’ll be possible to join the project at any time during the 52 weeks.’

365 Jars

Photo credit Kirsty Hall

365 Jars is curated by artist Kirsty Hall.

On (almost) every day during 2011, Bristol artist Kirsty Hall made and released an art jar into the wild for people to find and keep. Each jar was left in a publicly accessible place; the 365 Jars’ web address and the number of each jar was written on its lid and it was accompanied by a friendly note telling people that they could take the jar. ‘Jar finders’ were requested to register their jar on the project’s blog.

Throughout the project Kirsty documented each jar on the project’s blog. She described the contents of the jar and photographed it both in the studio and in situ (in the wild). The location of the jar was marked either on a GPS iPhone app or by photographing the nearest street sign. Found jars were logged on the blog with details of where and when they were found and the finder’s motivations for picking them up.

The Big Jar Adventure was another strand to the project and Kirsty encouraged Jar Finders to re-release their jar with the intention of placing one in every UK city and beyond.


Photo credit Giles Babbidge Photography

#Plateaknit was developed by Ingrid Murnane, a textiles historian and maker and was led by her through @platea, a global online public art collective.

#Plateaknit combined social networking and knitting by crowd sourcing tweets to create a knitting pattern or recipe during a five day ‘performance.’

Performers took part in #Plateaknit as an instructor, a maker or both. Instructors used the hashtag #plateaknit to give the makers instructions in a tweet. These instructions took the form of

  • traditional knitting abbreviations eg ‘k1, p2, k1, p3, k2, p2, k2, p1, k1, p1, k1, p3, k1, p3, k1, p2, k3, p2, k1, p3, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p3, k2, p1, k2, p2, k4, p1, k1, p3, k1, p1, k3, p2, k1, p4, k1, p3, k2, p1,k1’
  •  were open to personal interpretation e.g ‘change your colour to reflect what you ate for lunch and knit 2 rows of moss stitch. If you ate too much switch to a larger needle’
  • or related to the maker’s twitter stream e.g ‘wrap & turn, a short row, when anyone in your twitter stream mentions #Blair or the #IraqInquiry’

These instructions were picked up by the makers and incorporated into the piece they were knitting. Makers could choose to follow all of the instructions in the Twitter feed or to dip in and out. Inny created a scarf by following the entire instruction feed of the performance.

What Cannot be Seen

Photo credit Lucy Phillips

What Cannot be Seen is curated by photographer Lucy Phillips

Lucy’s inspiration for the project idea came from experimenting with pinhole photography and an interest in the work of Sophie Calle and her use of photography as a secret recording device.

What cannot be Seen has developed into an ongoing postal photography project. Lucy mails homemade matchbox pinhole cameras loaded with photographic paper to participants, inviting them to photograph ‘what cannot be seen,’ a brief that could be interpreted in various ways. The cameras are then returned to her to be processed, accompanied by an explanation of what the participant has photographed and why.

Photographs are constantly updated in Lucy’s project Flickr set and have been exhibited at the De La War Pavilion’s as part of its ‘A Nod to Cage’ season.