During Paul Evans' workshops for Măgura Past and Present we set out to create a 'group portrait' of the village. This was achieved using two separate but complimentary themes; the first based on a very ancient way of marking our place and time. Paul has had an interest in artworks that have been made using human hands as stencils since first seeing one in The Grampians in Australia.
"It was a beautiful thing, painted on blood red rock, which featured the small stencilled hands of children as well as those of adult women and men.The fact that it was protected from vandalism by a metal grid struck me as particularly poignant - an intimate, tactile and immediate expression of belonging to the landscape, held at arms length."
So, the aim of the first part of our workshop was to create a version of this in a contemporary setting using the hands of children and staff from the school as stencils. Our version used ground up charcoal and hogs hair brushes rather than blown pigment to work around the shapes of the participants hands - we wanted to avoid the risk of swallowing paint!
The second element of the workshop consisted of visualising Măgura 8,000 years in the past. We used a tape measure to show the length of this time - equating 1mm to one year. The children (and adults) were asked to imagine what people would have looked like at the dawn of the village. What would their houses have looked like? Would they have had any animals? We then projected 8,000 years into the future and imagined Măgura in 8,000 years time - how will the village look in this distant time? Finally, to complete the picture, we asked the students to draw us a scene from Magura in the present.
The community drawing workshop took place in July 2010 and the outputs produced contributed to the Măgura Past & Present exhibition at the Teleorman County Museum.
Visit the Media-Resources section to read Paul's chapter in the Interventions: Măgura Past & Present book [pdf, 2mb]