I've completed day two of the residency and it's going well! I had a quick count up before I left today and with everyone's help we've reached 89 contributions which is fantastic!
With three days left there is 165 left to do, which breaks down to me needing to get 55 contributions per day if I'm going to get all the hexagons I need to represent the 254 MPs that either voted against, abstained or did not vote for same sex marriage.
I'd say for every group that have been happy to get involved, I've asked passers by to have a go and they've either declined to made an excuse not to get involved. I've found this element amusing as I've had a range of excuses and several promises that they will go around the museum and think about what they want to say. Then they never come back :-( it's like being stood up on a date, I'm there waiting eagerly for them to return, hoping they'll come back and yet some don't even walk back past me. But there have been a steady run of people who have been interested and even a few people who have enjoyed it so much they did a second!
It's been really great to involve young people in the project, it's really surprised me how interested they've been and how clearly they've understood the aim of the project. Some of the really young have just made pretty pictures which is just as good as the positive statements. I think their contributions will add a wonderful range to the piece. I've found it easier to engage with kids and parents if I ask them if they want to make some craft or make art. Once they're sat down, I encourage them to right a positive message or draw a pretty picture. I've found this method easier for the really young to grasp and then as they're getting involved and making the work I explain to the whole family what the project is about. Parents have responded really well and help explain the project in way that their child can further understand. So I've learnt that this is a good way that is easy to get people involved as it is easier to digest the whole project in steps.
It's also been great when others have written quite detailed messages and one gentleman put some lyrics from a song. I now refer to all these different pieces to encourage more people to get inspired by others.
It's also been really nice that mixed groups of people have come together and sat round the table together. above and below is examples of where three different groups of people who were exploring the museum separately have come together and then started taking about the project together as well as the rest of the museum exhibitions. This has been really nice to be apart of and being sat with them all has been fun.
I've also managed to make a start on some of the contributions which have been given over twitter and online. They're beginning to pile up now which is a bit daunting! I was expecting less people to come through during the day to give me more time, instead there has been enough to keep me busy with helping facilitate there needs to get them making their own pieces. I'm really happy that this has happened, I know I can still make the online contributions later if I need to and it's showing that lots of people want to take part. I do feel guilty that I've not sent more out back complete through twitter because I do still want people to take part from further afield, I got a tweet yesterday from America! I was so chuffed that someone tweeted from somewhere as far away as America!
This is the twitter contribution from Haus of Phag which is an excellent blog and company please do check out their posts: http://hausofphag.weebly.com/
I did this one for my sister who text me her contribution as she won't be able to visit the project. She's marrying a wonderful women at the end of next month; I'm so thrilled for them both. Marriage isn't something every same sex couple want to do, I'm just glad they now have the freedom to make that choice.
So I have a lot more work to do to get to my target. A few things I've also noticed, I need to push more on getting people to make fabric contributions and sow. It takes a bit more time but I want a range of contributions! I've also not had the time to allow a group do any spray painting! I might pre-make some stencil messages that people have tweeted and give people the option to spray a message. I also want the staff to let more people know that the project is taking place. I'm tucked up in the corner in a space on the ground floor and it's easy for people not to realize that they can come into the space. I'm going to encourage more staff to give some of my flyers as they enter the museum at the front desk. I also need to work out a way to encourage more to walk into the space. I'll have to give this some thought, in the mean time this is how it looks!