Thursday, March 08, 2012

City soul as invitations to community

This is fabulous. A project in Sheffield UK, which invites folk to participate in mapping the spirit of their city. An empty warehouse, a collective of artists and the invitation for April, May and June,

For these three months we will be using a large open plan space to build a model of Sheffield. Anybody can come to make a building to include in the city – not only artists but also passers by, community groups, schools and businesses are all welcome to come and create.

Choose a building or a part of the city that holds significance for you, that is part of your story, and make it in as simple or elaborate way that you like (we have plenty of art materials to use) then put it in place along with everyone else’s creation. In this way the piece of art will grow and evolve with our different stories just as the city itself has. The model city will develop in unpredictable ways as we interact with each other and offer our unique contributions and we will record that exciting process on our website.

I love the mix of creativity, open-endedness, participation and invitation to consider spirit. One of my hopes as the incoming Principal at Uniting College is to create art projects over a semester, a different theme and a different medium each semester, which can create engagement, remind us that we are humans as well as heads, and be a way of building community.

This type of thing sparks creativity around these processes.

Update: Olive Fleming Drane commented, asking for more ideas regarding campus community formation. Well, there is another in Ethnography As A Pastoral Practice: An Introduction which describes a Diversity quilt project. A table was set up and individuals invited to design a square with their name. Creative resources were supplied. Some students were doing a Art Practicuum and their “assignment” (working with an artist) was to assemble the quilt and hang it publicly. It seems participatory, communal, creative and above all, do-able ie it is not an idea but a description of an actual project at Wesley Theological Seminary, US.

Any other ideas that people have experienced?

Posted by steve at 06:03 PM


  1. What will you do at college for a first? When will you start? Eager to know!:-)

    Comment by Olive Drane — March 9, 2012 @ 2:56 am

  2. hoping to follow behind you Olive 🙂


    Comment by steve — March 9, 2012 @ 10:27 am

  3. Olive, I’ve added an update in the blog post, with another idea I’ve come across recently.


    Comment by steve — March 9, 2012 @ 6:06 pm

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