The past Saturday we had our first Open Studio here at Richmond Nature Park. I laid out some of the books created from Story Exchange and its corresponding interpreted illustrations to view. It was such fun to talk with all those who came by about the process and progress of the project. I had good reviews and responses from children and adults alike. Many enjoyed the meaning, community involvement and research this portrays while the little ones just simply believe the drawings were magical.
A station for the community to create some cameos for the installation was also set up beside. I encouraged everyone to find inspiration from the plants or animals in the trails but soon, creativity took over. I am happy to say we will be including the Park’s first lion, t-rex and a new species of fish called "daddy fish". These and all the other artworks created will be hidden in the park around the boardwalk for everyone to find at Hidden Stories happening soon!
One thing I learned during all the workshops is the joy of working within nature. From noon to late afternoon, the community and I would move around the sun to find shade during Story Exchange. On Saturday, we ran around to catch fly away paper that was not taped down during winding gusts. It was a great conversation starter on our relationship with our environment and brought a lot of laughter.
This Open Studio concludes all the workshops leading up to the installation. During the next two and a half weeks, I will be processing the estimated 200 images created and prepare them for Hidden Stories. Though seeing them in white does not encompass the whole aesthetics of them installed in nature, I would still like to show a few sneak peaks of the final illustrations. Each is from a different story and interweaved with marks made by the community in a different way.