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Dartford Steam Fair
May 1, 2018
In May 2018 we were keen to get involved with the annual Dartford Steam Fair taking place in Central Park. Members came up with the idea of a creative collaboration; something which would engage all age groups and bring families and community together to create a piece of artwork. DAN member and craft artist Nicola Claxton drew a beautiful representation of the original Trevithick engine, which we used as the basis for our project.
The drawing was scaled up, printed and then cut into squares which were glued onto foam board pieces. Each square was then able to be removed from the board (which showed the original drawing underneath) and given to a visitor to decorate and complete in their own style.
As well as a stall with lots of engaging art activities to get involved in, we also brought along DAN artist Marco Ruffoni to undertake a technical drawing demonstration. Marco is skilled in a variety of art techniques, but has a passion for detailed technical and often mechanical drawings. Visitors were intrigued and impressed by his striking pieces.
We had arrived that morning, laden with trestle tables and bringing with us a black and white image ready for the public to infuse with their creativity and colour – and that they did! We had a lovely time helping people to complete their squares and had fun with both kids and adults alike colouring, painting and sticking the collage.
After a fun-filled day interacting and engaging with the public, we stood back and admired the results – the final piece was stunning. “Colourful”, “abstract”, “patterned”, “thoughtful”, “artistic”, were some of the comments we had from both DAN members and the general public.
The work was temporarily exhibited in an empty window unit of the Priory Centre in Dartford, for the public to see the work they had seemingly created individually, put back together as a whole, collaborative community artwork.