A community visual text take-over of the 3,000 Sq Ft gallery of HOME Slough, formerly a large department store set on the high street. Through open workshops with the public and partner groups Friends in Need, Mind, Happiness Collective and Aik Saath, hundreds of pieces of creative writing were developed and written on the walls.
The project focused on developing new community-driven texts through public workshops that welcomed local residents to write words around their chosen social issues. This play with text sought to empower people to be self-expressive and highlight the importance of shared community concerns. The work is a platform to share personal ideas publicly, and show how each person’s own ideas and values are just as important to share alongside all the other text we see in the city. The creation of all the print media was facilitated through DIY workshops that harboured a hands-on approach and DIY ethic to the creation of printed material.
The Text Bender – A Shop of Words was open to the public to come in and be creative through writing, printing and using our imaginations to explore how we can re-write the High Street to let our voices are heard. I worked with people to write slogans, love letters and reimagine street signage thinking about how words can have a powerful social impact. Participation in a public art project can be as simple as what you say and how you say it. Everybody becomes an artist, designer and most importantly collaborator
Being on the high street was a great location to create a piece around text and printing. A creative installation on the high street helped lead into a larger discussion around community and how text can be used to represent community. We see text everywhere on the high street, in street signage, on clothing and in shop windows. Now we gave community control over all that text we see in the city and helped rewrite our world!
Text Bender was not only be a fun mode of self-expression but also a learning about how our identities are reflected on the high streets and what it means to our sense of community.