Clare and I had a very productive session at Haltwhistle Youth Club (Young and Sweet). We completed 2/5ths of the artwork in the first session, which was fantastic!
Beforehand I had sketched out a rough design onto black foamcore board. The artwork will be 5 x A1 boards portrait hung together. Discussion with the young people and Roman Army Museum suggested that mosaics were appropriate and I felt it was important to include some Roman ‘bling’! The other challenge was making the timescale, size of artwork and unknown art skills so we could create something that everyone had been part of and would look amazing.
The design developed into using Cocceus Regulus’ name - he was a centurion responsible for overseeing this part of the Wall - and interpretation of the standard for Legio IX who were here at some point and both feature in the RAM exhibition giving us evidence of previous Frontier Voices.
Then we will create an interpretation of the geophysical survey ( a different kind of Frontier Voice?) showing what is hidden under the ground beside the Roman Army Museum, Magna Fort on the other three boards, giving lots of scope for people to work simultaneously as the Wednesday numbers are large!
Today’s Frontier Voices, the Youth Club, learned on their visit that because of the land drying out the buildings are now starting to appear as lumps and bumps on the ground, so we are showing them on our artwork as mosaics made of recycled objects (plastics, fabric, offcuts from other FV projects etc) because of the importance of looking after the planet to reduce climate change - important not only to today’s young people but also to prevent the loss of their heritage.
The youth leaders and Anneke also cut out lots of recycled ‘mosaics’ ready for use next time - margarine tubs were a particular challenge!
it is interesting how many of the young people were asking about the proposed dig so I think Anneke will be have some keen volunteers to go to Magna next year if the dig goes ahead! Evidence that projects like this get people talking and generating interest.
Some people also made embossed metal leaves for the installation at the Sill in December and they loved the way you could create patterns on the metal.
I am looking forward to being back with them all on Wednesday to complete the artwork!