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Friday, 20 September 2013

Banner Making At The Southbank Inspired By Bob And Roberta Smith

Earlier this month I was asked to lead on a Banner making workshop for The Southbank Centre to mark the end of their Festival of Neighbourhood which had been running all over the summer.
The banners were to be inspired by the flags they had installed over the roof of the building...
...which were originally inspired by handpainted artwork by artist Bob and Roberta Smith.
The banners were to be incorporated into a festival finale consisting of a giant choir who would be using the banners in their performance. The musical director chose three lines from songs which he wanted us to include on the banners each of which measured a gigantic 2.5m by 1.5m
First of all we transferred the letters onto the fabric. There was a team of volunteers who made the banners while I watched over them and made sure everything ran smoothly!
Two of the banners were collaged on using an assortment of fabrics and later embellished with glitter and sparkles.
The third was painted.
We created them over two days inside The Royal Festival while we were treated to some wonderful live choir performances.
The team hard at work....

There was also a panel discussion on the Saturday and one of the guests was Bob and Robert Smith (who despite the name is actually one person!)
I felt so nervous when he came over to inspect what we were up to but thankfully he gave his thumbs up and was impressed; especially as they were on a much grander scale than his originals.
Banner 1
Banner 2 (sadly not the most loveliest of days...it was pouring with rain!)
Banner 3
I was so proud of everyone's achievements; it was a big project on a big scale for a very prestigious place, still can't believe we were all part of it.

Special thanks to Sabine Thoele who took some of the photos.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

A holiday with daddy

Today marks the 4th anniversary of my dad passing away and in keeping with tradition, I am writing a blog post about him. This year I've chosen holiday memories...

When I was growing up we never went on holidays. The only time we took a whole family break was in 1995 when we went all went to Bangladesh - I'm pretty sure that's how long it took my parents to save up; it really was 'once in a lifetime.'

But then six years ago I took my dad on holiday. A rather unusual thing to do considering most people in their 20s probably wouldn't go on vacation with a parent, but thinking about it now, it was one of the most important five days of my life.
We went to Switzerland. It may not be the most culturally diverse of places but nature wise it is outstanding and everything my dad appreciated in life - fresh air, trees, plants and scenery. He wasn't very well-travelled himself but he absorbed nature programmes on TV and covered the walls of our house with pictures of deserts, waterfalls and meadows; all the places he had wanted to see.
Just sitting and looking at a lake was enough of a holiday activity for him. He was a great believer in the simple things in life, was very quiet, generally calm (unless he was having one of his old man moans!) and very philosophical.
I wish he could have seen more of the world. But I also know how much he enjoyed our trip, it was a case of quality over quantity, something we are all familiar with but sometimes forget about. 
It doesn't matter how much, how often or where or when, just that 'it', whatever 'it' may be, is done well.

Miss you Ubba.