Animapping Lambeth: a participatory art project in three parts

For those of you that don’t know ‘Animap­ping Lam­beth’ is a par­ti­cip­at­ory art pro­ject we are run­ning at The Por­tico Gal­lery on the first three months of FEAST. The pro­ject is about using the voices of the people to cre­ate three anim­ated maps of Lam­beth — one at each event.

The first event went down a storm, with 61 people drop­ping by on the day to anim­ate our giant cyan­o­type map of Lam­beth by print­ing their face onto their favour­ite place on the map.

Each per­son also used one of the old type­writers to ham­mer out a few words about why that place was spe­cial to them which formed a key of numbered places that linked up to their numbered faces.

The day star­ted out fairly calmly but an hour in the space was alive and buzz­ing with people of all ages eager to make their mark on the map. And what a mark they made. By the end of the day we had a map covered in dif­fer­ent faces with clusters of people around the hot­spots like Brock­well Park, West Nor­wood Cemetery and South­bank.

We made the map by piecing togeth­er scans of 18 old ord­nance sur­vey maps of the dif­fer­ent areas of Lam­beth from 1894. This his­tor­ic­al ele­ment gave an inter­est­ing dynam­ic to the pro­ject as in some peoples cases their favour­ite places had not yet been built which sparked inter­est­ing con­ver­sa­tions about how the use of the land of Lam­beth has developed over the last 120 years. For oth­ers it was just fun hav­ing to nav­ig­ate around land­marks on the map to find where the appro­pri­ate spot was.

Wheth­er it was mud lark­ing in the Thames at low tide or climb­ing on the dino­saurs in Crys­tal Palace, every­one has their favour­ite things to do in the area. SSee­ing all those won­der­ful people and places come togeth­er on one anim­ated map was a truly spe­cial exper­i­ence that will keep me enter­tained with things to do for a long time.

With the next FEAST fast approach­ing, we’re now work­ing hard on ‘Animap­ping Lam­beth: Part 2’, which will be a series of work­shops where par­ti­cipants will learn how to make ‘Van Dyke’ pho­to­graph­ic prints from old archive images of Lam­beth in 1900. These prints will be assembled to form a pic­ture map of Lam­beth.

There will be a lim­ited num­ber of drop in spaces for the work­shops on the day but to sign your­self up and guar­an­tee a space please email me with your name, mobile num­ber and the time of the work­shop you would like to attend. The times are: 11am-12am, 1pm-2pm, 2.30pm-3.30pm. Each work­shop is FREE and there will be 8 places per work­shop.

Ella Bry­ant — ellamarybryant{at}gmail{dot}com

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