Wednesday, 14 September 2011

pic'n'mix part 2

good old FW always been here 2/6
picknmix rummage
elastic for yr knickers 1/-

On Saturday pic'n'mix went truly interactive: we invited shoppers, staff on their breaks, children and their grandmas to add to the icing poem, celebrating memories of Woolworths, at St Helens.

if you didn’t have any money 3/6
you could spend hours in
/- Woolies = where I first tasted
a quarter of allsorts a quarter of buttered brazils £sd

Five large glass doors were covered in coloured iced drawings and writing, featuring sweeties, buttons and bows, records, Ladybird clothing, cutlery, pots and pans and 'much, much more'.

quarter toffee treacle
thought I’d die happy
licqorice stringing ~
MUST GO Woolies goin cheap sweets in cellophane 6d
lollies in cardboard 3d
aniseed balls last forever =

The artwork attracted a constant flow of people, wanting to join in and share stories. Woolies is a communal memory of more than a shop: the danger of steeling sweeties from the pic 'n' mix, or a meeting place for a first date, or where 'my mummy worked', or the counter where you got your first school uniform, or where you went because you couldn't afford anything better.

walk around town with our eyes open
[we think but]
look up see the beauty see 2/6
hooks + eyes press-studs + rings

As the day went on the windows filled, I was kept busy getting extra stocks of icing, while musical floats went by as part of the Street Festival celebration.

Ella singing =
“Diamond bracelets Woolies doesn’t sell BABY”
stood outside /- it was raining
2oz sparkly bling

While Phil and I led the icing crowd, volunteers from the Four Acre group looked after a large stall showing the embroidery, ceramics and other artwork they'd helped to create; they invited the general public to create their own poetic doilies and decorated biscuits. Over the two days the team of volunteers helped 100s of people create their own artworks to take away. Thank you so much Marion and George, Brenda, Marion, Norma, Eddy and Joan.

More photos from the day can be found at
To read about the rest of the project at Four Acre, please look at our other blogs...

FINAL lost in the age of retail parks OFFER
in Ladybird clothes in white kneesocks
stood in Woolies doorway.

(Group poem
Chester Lane Library
1st Sept 2011)

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