We carried out the first pair of workshops at the end of August. These workshops were aimed at families and we were pleased to see many of the parents joining in as well as the children. The focus of the workshops was to paint a series of still images which, when put together in sequence, will form the animation that will be shown in the Gala Pool in February 2020. The images have been shot in the Baths and feature swimmers in the water. People taking part could also make and paint a figure of a swimmer from laser cut parts we produced. At this stage this is a more experimental part of the project and we are thinking about how these figures could be incorporated into the animation.
In this project we are interested in taking all the paintings, made by different people of different ages, and assembling them into one cohesive animation. All the differences in painting styles, the colours that were chosen and different approaches to painting will still be visible in the finished animation, with the overall movement of the swimmers in the Baths linking the paintings together. Moseley Shoals, one of the swimming groups that uses the Baths kindly agreed to be filmed to create some of the source footage.
In the workshops participants could choose which guide image they wanted to use and then paint on top of it onto a clear plastic sheet. This gives them a guide to work to and also ensures that once the paintings are put back in order they flow coherently from one frame to the next. We have found that this technique also encourages people who aren’t confident about art or painting to join in. We are planning more workshops at the moment and will be working with a variety of local people, both adults and young people.