Shared interpretations

Art in the Park: Kearsney interpreted

“Since moving back down to Dover, I have strongly hoped to be able to have the opportunity to work with members of the public. I am interested in how workshops can be developed to engage with members of the audience and that encourage creative thinking rather than presenting a skill that “needs” to be learned because it is a skill that has benefited me personally as an artist. The value of skill differs to everyone, presenting issues when trying to engage effectively with different audiences.  When considering how I could create an workshop I intended to work with idea of reflection and creative interpretation of the space. Kearsney holds multiple historic purposes alongside this it has been the home to the imagination. A social space that has been shared by hundreds of people and families. It is rare to find such a place that en-captures so many people’s memories and emotions (sometimes difficult but also heartwarming and significant). Growing up next to Kearsney, it holds a large significance personally ( I remember as a child, thinking that it was the home of the Wind and the Willows). Since learning that imagination uses the same part of the brain as memory, I thought this would be a good way of encouraging creative thinking, to presents one’s ideas and thoughts on developments and an area. Preventing the idea that someone’s interpretation of a something could be wrong (something that I have seen occurs often through working in galleries). I hoped to create a new social history, similar to a myth. A new map that was directly influenced by the people that used it so often.

Through doing this workshop I have seen the place through new eyes and perspectives, it has grown and become a new habitat of creation. I now see the place through a shared interpretation, seeing it through new names and roles. The powerful aspect of working on this project was, in fact, the conversations with everyone that participated, although this was my intention I did not expect to have as many moving and in-depth moments. I was able to engage with certain members of the public in a way that I have never done before. The emphasis of memory through imagination broke a barrier that I have seen in multiple previous workshops I have facilitated.

It was thrilling to see that this workshop had high engagement with older generations, the idea of sharing seemed to excite and multiple conversations were started ( I am passionate about engaging with older audiences and the importance of free adult education and opportunities).  To be able to converse with people who use the park every day, to people who have returned after many years and to people who continuously think of Kearsney as a welcoming place was a special experience and I am very thankful.” (Louise Webb)