As someone with a huge passion for exploring my local environment and digging into the history and architecture of an area, and ways of presenting this creatively I am rather taken by a project which I found on Twitter called “Walk My World”, the invention of William O’Byrne who is based in Newhaven, USA. The idea is that you carry out a journey, once a week, and then record and share that using various digital media tools (he suggests Twitter, Vine and Instagram and produces a handy guide for newcomers to these on his site). There’s still an opportunity to take part if you wish… join in!
I personally have not used Instagram much as until fairly recently I didn’t have a phone with a very good camera (it was quite a low resolution), preferring to play with my SLR, but since I got a new phone in November I have been playing with the many free and low cost apps which allow you to snap, shoot and share your view of the world. The Walk My World project seemed a good time to try out Instagram.. so I took a wander around Govanhill in Glasgow.
A wonderful multi-lingual community cafe, in an Evangelical church hall, which asks for only donations for breakfast:
Said free/ donation breakfast (which was lovely, as were all the people in the pop up cafe):
Library exhibition on wartime experiences:
The library history exhibition, including a little alcove devoted to R D Laing, an influential psychiatrist born in the area:
The many languages of Govanhill:
International peace garden:
Community baths (I had visited these at Doors Open Day before):
Wonderful tenements, a Glasgow architectural icon:
I discovered a lot about the area, even from this short walk! I had not created a video in Instagram before, and also played with the tagging and mapping functions. I know Instagram is not exactly “new news” but it is funny how sometimes we need a reason to play with new stuff. I also learnt that embedding Instagram posts in WordPress only needs the URL, not the embed code. I like to learn through play, and this sort of project is “right up my street”, thanks William!
I completely agree with the comment in William’s blog post that educators should create an online brand for themselves (thinking before they share), I am quite aware of my “digital footprint” and in some ways my background may appear somewhat diverse (town planning, conservation, education, creative media) but I am lucky enough to be able to combine all of these through the various strands of my professional work (on reflection, I am needing to revisit my own website to better represent this; although I was very happy with it when I created it at the time and I have gradually added content such as my “Are You Here” project exploring family history links and the environment of Bristol and Brighton, my professional practice has evolved to represent a variety of skills).
As well as undertaking freelance illustration and digital interpretation projects in arts and heritage, and volunteering my time for Planning Aid Scotland, in my other professional persona I am currently working as Educational Co-ordinator at the University of the West of Scotland, on the Digital Commonwealth project. This is a project which is designed to help marginalised communities (such as those who live in areas of socio-economic deprivation) develop digital media literacy skills using readily available technology and tools. The project is framed around the digital reporting of Queen’s Baton Relay for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, with projects based around the topics of people, place, culture and exchange. I have been really impressed with the creative results of the #walkmyworld project beginning to be shared on Twitter and it made me even more excited about the possible results of planned creative digital media projects which will take place as part of the Digital Commonwealth project!
Here are some of my favourite #Walkmyworld posts so far:
Happy Twitter dogs!
— Caitlyn Keller (@CatierayeK) January 13, 2014
More dogs (but Vine):
The wonders of Islay:
— Emma Revie (@EmmaReviex) January 16, 2014
The fabulous benefits of creating enthusiastic online communities!
— Molly Shields (@ShieldsMolly) January 18, 2014
Happy exploring, creating, learning and sharing!
So, this is what part of my studio looks like at the moment after two weeks of research away for my Are You Here Project. I thought I would share it for a bit of fun (I liked the way the printed out photographs all sat nicely together), and also ask how other people who do creative work get inspiration and plan out projects.
This is a “part one” documenting my work for the sculptural pieces I am doing as part of my current project, planning for an exhibition in July at Gladstone’s Land in Edinburgh. The works form part of a filmed and photographic work, incorporated into an e-book which will be debuted at the exhibition and then released online after this.
I have now completed the letters, shown here with their first coat of paint.
The letters of the project “Are you here” are arranged and re-arranged to form various statements, at three temporary on site locations in Bristol and Brighton, where two lines of my family come from.
These works are designed to question the nature of family and genealogical links to places, making us wonder whether it is a coincidence that we are instinctively drawn to places or if we actively try to create links with places where we have connections (no matter how distant or close).
Today was a gloriously sunny Glasgow day… headed to the Botanic gardens for a good wander as this is a beautiful place in the sun. The tropical heat of the glasshouses is welcome at any time, but on a sunny day it is actually like being abroad!
I was amused to see the large pile of craft which greeted me.. the whole of Kibble Palace was adorned with all things knitted and sewn.
There was such a lot of work in this that I feel it should stay for a long time, I am not sure how long is resides at Kibble Palace. I learnt later that this was part of National Voluntary Arts Week where people put many works in public spaces. The birds looked quite at home. I liked this watering can as well, and a few other pieces shown below:
The actual flowers at the Botanics are wonderful, they look almost like art in themselves, especially in the dramatic setting of Kibble Palace with its huge domed roof:
This is a famous “Glasgow picture” but I let the little fern get in on the action. Kibble Palace is quite different from the People’s Palace and winter gardens, as it is more of a “regional show” of plants, from different areas of the world. There are similarities between the style of display seen in Duthie Park in Aberdeen, as there are also smaller (slightly less grand in appearance, but rich in content) glasshouses with different temperatures and plant life according to these climates. I was admiring the colours and playing with the settings on my camera, so I thought I would share these as well.
I love these beautiful pens, a very happily received present. They are Letrasets, bold and wonderful. The power of new, lovely, pretty pens and a blank page!
I went to the East End of Glasgow to have an explore of that famous place which is “the barras”. For those unfamiliar with this, watch the video and you will see what I mean!
Previous to this visit I did not know about B.A.A.D, I saw a little hand painted cardboard sign up an alleyway and pondered what could be behind it. BAAD is “Barras Art and Design” an amazing place with a pink roof and cast iron columns, a beautiful airy and light space which screams “draw me!”. What a lovely find. Do look them up; http://barrasartanddesign.com/; 54 Calton Entry. I enjoyed listening to Tragic O’Hara and soaking up the atmosphere. Drank Irn Bru and a lovely espresso and chatted to Marie Hay who has a stall there. Her work is beautiful, I bought a print of Paisley Abbey which has such vivid colours and free flowing lines, Paisley has fantastic buildings, well worth a visit.
I had forgotten just how much I enjoyed looking around the antique markets; such treasures to be seen (and bookshelves falling over with the weight of their volumes). Sweetshops which remind you of childhood penny mix ups. Signs which profess to mend anything and find you parts for the most obscure item. A treasure.
The Glasgow Bike Shed is another gem, they are an environmental charity, run by volunteers, who offer reconditioned bikes for sale and also space to mend your own bike. I bought a new (to me) ring ring retro bell, in preparation for my Pedal for Scotland run.. only a few weeks to go so a little present to my bike seemed in order. Glasgow to Edinburgh… here I come!
On the way back into town paused to look at the beautiful buildings in Gallowgate, there are some beautiful sandstone tenements such as the Meillor building. The City Council has recently produced a heritage trail about this area, which is fascinating reading.
The Merchant City area of Glasgow is a short walk from the Barras, here I found another art and craft market in Merchant Square. Met Adrian McMurchie and bought a print, it was so nice to see a selection of his work in one place as I am used to seeing it in the Sunday Herald next to the Food Reviews. I really enjoy his work as I think it captures the spirit of a place so well. Decided to sketch one of the buildings in Bell Street, along from Candleriggs, as its curved window was calling to me.
I posted a video on Vimeo of the day, I would highly recommend that you go and explore the Barras and Merchant City yourself and I hope you enjoy my wee slice of the day. I’m learning to use I-Movie, it is a little flickery in parts, if anyone knows how to prevent this please let me know, but I still enjoyed the result and wanted to share it.
Sketching and exploring the architecture and art of the East End and Merchant City of Glasgow.
What can you see on the way into your town? Buildings fascinate me. Spaces and places there to be explored. Hidden details to be revealed if you look up along a roofline or up at a changing skyline. I intend sharing some of these finds, wandering with architectural mindfulness is one of life’s great joys.
There is much to appreciate in the world around us. When we create things we see things in a different way. Walk around while looking up.. it might surprise you. Drawing, sketching and photographing the changing environment is a great way to learn more about your surroundings. Take a different route to your usual one. Carry a camera. Sit upstairs at the front of the bus. Be a tourist in your own town. You won’t regret it.
This blog is all about sharing what I see in various ways, I hope you enjoy it. Tell me about some of the places you see too!