BUILDING A PUBLIC-FACING PROJECT DURING A PANDEMIC
In preparation to launch their ‘Look Again’ project later this year, The GAP Studio artists: Núria Rovira Terradas, Georgina Harris and Kasia Tatys take you ‘behind the scenes’ of their first big project of drawing walks, which coincidentally began with the rise of COVID-19.
Read about the challenges that the artists have faced, how they adapted to the ever-changing COVID restrictions, and what they have learnt along the way. The project will be launching Spring 2021.
The project brief was to creatively explore an environmental issue within a local setting. The GAP Studio proposed to share a few drawing tools for locals to become more sensitive to the world around them, encouraging a greater care for their local environment. The idea came about from GAP Studio’s mutual aims; to make and collaborate, celebrate place, and platform art.
Originally designed as a series of simple walking and drawing workshops for the Creative West End’s Eco-Market, the prevailing COVID restrictions meant that the GAP team had to get creative, and re-design the project to fit the new-normal. This came out of a lengthy 4-month process of catching up and trying to stay ahead of the constantly changing government restrictions. They found themselves having to think and rethink their ideas, over and over again, trying to pencil-in predictions for the uncertain future ahead. After a 4-month process of adapting plans for the uncertain future, the project was fixed on being a free activity zine and materials pack, along with a series of online videos.
Núria shares her perspective on the process:
"Adapting this initial idea to do an instructional video and activity zine brought many challenges but also opportunities to further develop the project. Having to write the activity into a small zine really helped me boil down what was essential to the exercise. The new format will make the activities more personal, allowing you to go at your desired walking speed and even take a different route from the one detailed in the exercise.”
Adapting the project for the changing times was one challenge. Georgina also shares what she learnt when adapting her art practice for a public workshop setting:
“The challenge I faced when putting this exercise together was: how am I to teach a process that I find so instinctual? And how do I talk about a process that doesn't involve language? To answer these questions, I began an investigation into my creative process. This meant lots and lots of drawing, talking it through with Núria and Kasia, and writing and revising. I had to be careful not to fall back on ‘fluffy’ art-school language when describing things, I think we all kept each other in check - just one of the perks of working in a team!”
Whereas for Kasia, the challenges lay in the production process:
“It has been such an interesting journey of doing new things and learning new skills along the way, because as a freelance artist that’s what you have to do! I started out with zero experience of talking to a camera or producing stop-motion animation. And yes, the first trials were extremely awkward and strange, but with a lot of time and work I grew confidence in doing these and can add them to my skill set!”
The challenges of this project are what has made it such a great experience for the three emerging artists who run The GAP Studio. Kasia explains:
“In the end, the outcome and what we have learnt is undoubtedly so much more than we could have hoped for with the initial proposal. And after so many delays, it’s really exciting to see the project ready to launch. We’re looking forward to seeing people’s experiences of Morecambe through the lens of drawing!”
For updates on the project and its release date, follow @the.gap.studio and @creativewestend on Instagram!
Blog By Núria, Kasia and Georgina
To read more head to their website: www.thegapstudio.co.uk