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We offered 4 day long drop-in workshops in Aveling Park Skate Park where over 200 participants contributed lots of time, skill and ideas to creating a collection of deck chairs inspired by Aveling Park. In this time we created a collection of 44 single, double and multi-seater deck chairs each with individually designed deck chair slings.
Some of the deck chairs were built using reclaimed timber including futons, marquee poles and broom handles. Some were salvaged hardwood park deck chairs which had languished in storage for decades and were resurrected over the project.
Participants spent anything from an hour to almost a whole day taking part: planning a design for the deck chair sling, preparing the canvas, applying the design. People contributed to building deck chair frames: preparing timber, measuring, cutting, shaping and sanding spars, drilling and joining sections. And people joined us in restoring park deck chairs discovered after decades in storage, by stripping, washing and nourishing the frames.
The designs were completely eclectic, there were superheros, park scenes, beach scenes, messages of hope, new takes on the vintage deck chair stripe, stencilled designs, and graffiti images.
The collection featured at three events in the E17 Art Trail 2009 and became the trigger for initiating open air film screenings in the park. In all the collection has had 16 exhibition days so far, and have been used by 530 people. These comments are a sample of the enthusiasm with which the project was received.
Re-arranging the deck chairs was a pilot project from Artillery, the creative team behind the E17 Art Trail, in association with Aveling Park Youth Group. The pilot explored the capacity of and appetite for local cultural services to build partnerships that fostered collaborations:
We are always happy to discuss developing similar projects that fit your area, if you have an idea, please contact Morag (firstname.lastname@example.org or 07899 904939)
Or maybe you would like to use the re-arranging the deck chair collection for a park event, they make the ideal auditorium for outdoor screenings, performances and music events.
Our project benefited from the generous support of park users and staff. Local residents and staff generously gave us timber to supplement our supplies. The landscape gardeners alerted us to the stash of abandoned park deck chairs. The lawn bowling club neighbouring the Aveling Park Skate Park supplied us with power for the tools. Aveling and Lloyd Park Keepers helped to transport the deck chairs to the Outset Centre and the Walthamstow Festival for exhibitions.
If you would like to read our photostory or our evaluation of the project please follow these links.