As part of her Chimera Plantarium project, which looks at mapping, rethinking and redesigning public places from the perspective of “weeds”, Chiara Dellerba led a third of a series of workshops with children at Exeter – A Learning Community Academy, in Corby.
After the two previous workshops, this week pupils used some graphic design techniques to develop content for their forthcoming “plant propaganda” posters which will be cropping up on billboards across Corby.
Pupils developed their own typographic alphabets by using cut up letterpress blocks and tools to print their own letterforms.
Messages which will be set in these fonts were developed, with rallying cries all from the perspective of plants (or the plant-children hybrids that the project has been cultivating).
No more war
Stop stepping on US
Oi! Stop deforestation ya crusty old people that cut trees
Get off your musty phone for once and touch the grass
Would you like it if we harmed you?
Don’t hurt nature, it has feelings too
Don’t throw the dirty water in the clear water
Plant the trees – don’t kill the bees!
YOUR future is in MY hands and I AM in YOURS
Without ME there is NO YOU!
Imagery to accompany the slogans were created by using torn paper and marks made through printing with carbon paper to help the images feel more organic.
In between protests pupils snuck in other messages to Chiara such “You are the best art teacher we have ever had!”
The first billboard image will be revealed on Wescott Way in Corby in August.
The Chimera Plantarium is generously funded by Northamptonshire Community Foundation’s Leslie Church Memorial Fund. Commissioned as part of Xylophobia, Fermynwoods Contemporary Art’s new two-year programme funded by Arts Council England. Named from the fear of wooden objects or forests, Xylophobia addresses issues of place and belonging which go to the heart of community feelings of exclusion from both the art world and woodland spaces.