Where are you from? Where have you been? Where are you going? These are all questions that I have been asking as part of a new commission for The Lichfield Festival. As part of the Festival’s focus on journeys, we wanted to explore Lichfield’s connections to the wider world – and what better way to do that then through a gargantuan map!
Last Saturday, on Day 2 of the Festival, I took up residency for the day in the Festival’s pop-up shop, armed with the said map, a wad of colourful stickers and a bag of craft materials. As well as a band of trusty Festival volunteers, I also had a Hare and Tortoise for company! Using the map, I invited members of the public to mark out where they were from, where they have lived or worked, and one place (only one!) where they would like to go. This sparked off some fantastic discussions, particularly between families. Kids planned out holidays, their parents pointed out some far flung places they had visited, some visitors revealed ‘other lives’ spent as children overseas.
Alongside the map, we have been creating a ‘patchwork quilt’ of our collective journeys, ahead of Textile Artist Elizabeth Blades’ upcoming textile project (keep an eye on the Festival website or even better, join their mailing list for more details). Using maps, stickers, crayons, pens and plenty of imagination, participants created their own ‘patch’, illustrating a journey which has been, or will be important to them. Some have been fantastical (flying cars and trips to the moon), some have been fond memories (childhood holidays on the beach) and others have been possibly the first stage in planning an adventure (Manga fans wanting to visit Japan and children excited about going on an African Safari).
Come and view the quilt and the map so far and add your own journey this coming Saturday, 10-3pm at the Festival Shop, next door to Costa Coffee in Three Spires Shopping Centre. If you can’t make it, maybe add your own journey to the conversation using the #lichfieldtravels hashtag.
Here is a quick timelapse that I put together of the day – if you were there, see if you can spot yourself!