Where the audience is engaged directly in the creative process and the art is incomplete without the audience's interaction, a number of names are given to this kind of art - public art, interactive, participatory - but none of them seem quite efficient or expressive enough for such a broad reaching, expansive and unboundaried approach. Using art and creativity to connect and engage people, to give them opportunities to communicate and be heard, to explore and express themselves, to tell stories, provoke ideas and inspiration and to explore alternative perspectives.
The Dreamcoat, the Heart and Soul Surgery, Com-murals, Heart and Soul Twinkle Eyed Misfits are all examples of particpatory projects, as is the project below. This kind of art is highly adaptable, imaginative and impactful and can be made anywhere.
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This project was part of the 'Neglected' exhibition in Berlin 2010. Held in a vast space of a disused building that was about to be rebuilt, a collection of artists were invited to choose an area within the space and produce something on the theme of Neglect. I chose to reflect the opposite of neglect; appreciation, and built a garden in a portion of a room where the floor was destroyed and the wall crumbled. I planted flowers made from card and magazines in plastic bottles using sticks and straws for stems. Next to the garden was a bag full of small items - toys and treasures - and an invitation for people to take one and plant it in the garden giving thanks for something they appreciated. The garden became a bit of a shrine over the two days of the exhibition as people welcomed the opportunity to think about what they were thankful for.