Held at the cosy and earthy Russet cafe in Hackney on Tuesday 18th August, I arrived to assist the ‘Death of Social Housing’ workshop with young children on three different activities which included: making of translucent lanterns, tissue paper flowers and the folding of card house blocks.
Different to the previous workshop, the programme had an engaging way of connecting with young people, where the piece itself would both gain publicity and raise awareness of the issue, as a build-up for the main event later in the week. Whilst interactive works involving young people are neither new nor uncommon, it was definitely quite insightful of the artist to have a significant portion of the audience be children, in keeping with the theme of the housing and the living situation in London. For the next generation to be a part of and contribute to the piece, regardless of whether they understood or realised that there was more to the piece than drawing little pictures of cats and rabbits, was still a fascinating idea to explore further.
After reading into the programme more intently, it seems that the artist, Richard DeDomenici creates an underlying conceptual basis within his work that becomes more apparent with the physical engagement of making and preparing, for the funeral procession in London.
As both an assistant and spectator to the project, one aspect that I particularly enjoyed was the sense of community and heightened togetherness that the workshop brought, especially in a city so culturally diverse like London via Hackney. The young children with their sticky fingers and overwhelming energy brightening up the whole workshop, enhancing the clever play on live and performance art where those involved, play both performer and viewer, to create a new dimension for the event.