The Heartfelt project is a collaborative work. It came about partly because of my own preoccupation with life journeys and partly through talking to other people about the significant things that had happened to them over the years – and the ways that they reflected on the feelings these events aroused. I was curious about what makes us react as we do - brimming with joy or optimism or overcome with anxiety and dread.
For each of us, these moments are unique, but at the same time they touch upon common experiences that allow us to connect and empathise with others. I am aiming to collect around 500 of these moments and to put them together as a shared expression of our myriad emotions. I hope it will be an opportunity for people to remember and reflect – to hear each others’ stories and to share their own.
The finished piece will be exhibited at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol, 19-24 November.
Private view: 6-8pm, Friday 19 November.
The idea is to hang all the hearts vertically from the ceiling in the gallery (about five per string) arranged in a grid, so that visitors can walk through the hearts and read the labels. I also want to project some of the text from the labels onto the walls, where they will be easier to read.
Some of the groups making hearts will record their stories and these will be playing in the gallery during the exhibition. I also plan to have a ‘vox pop’ box, where people can record their own stories during the exhibition.
I invite you to create a heart, from any material, to capture a significant moment in your life – something that provoked such a strong emotional response that you will remember it forever. For the exhibition, the hearts will be hung from strings so they will be visible from all sides. A good size would be something between 10 and 20 cm square (4” to 8”). Please add any decoration or objects that helps to express your memory of that time. Then attach a label (something the size of a luggage label or a postcard) and write your story. How did the event or situation unfold? What were your reactions at that key moment? How did you feel?
It would be good if I could get your ‘moment’ back by the end of April. Then I will photograph and catalogue it for the exhibition. If you want to let me have your e-mail address, I can keep you informed about my progress and send you details of the exhibition, but I do understand if you prefer your contribution to be anonymous. Thanks for your help – I’ll look forward to sharing this with you over the coming months.
The best way to check on progress will be to look at my weekly blog.
So far I have received around 60 hearts. As each of these arrives, I am photographing them and transcribing the labels to create a permanent record. Once the blog is up-and-running, I will post photos of the hearts so you can see what’s arrived.
Groups currently working on hearts:
- Family Learning group at Perry Court Primary School, Whitchurch
- Art on Wednesdays, St Pauls Learning Centre
- Brislington Surgery
Opportunities to make hearts:
- 1 May Abbotsleigh Artists Exhibition link
- 8/9 May South Bristol Arts Trail at Faithspace, Southville link