Sunday, 10 April 2011

1,2,3 O'Leary... Bingo!

Our project at Four Acre plays with the idea that artmaking can take place in any environment. Going to the Bingo session at St Michael's church hall was an ideal way to stretch out our creative process and to show our faces too.

We'd decided to construct a poem that used chance and numbers for so that we fitted into the surroundings.

When people arrived in the hall we asked each individual for a memory of childhood number games. They came back with skipping songs, hopscotch, hated maths teachers, counting away slow time in hospital - and much else besides. 

Their words were then gently whittled to make them concise, cut into individual lines and put into  bag, shaken up and tipped out in random order. This became the order of the poem, with  very little re-arrangement.

The room went pin-drop quiet as I read back through the Bingo Caller's Pa. People were waiting to hear their line. Bringing together so many disparate but similar memories was an extraordinary feeling, like channeling  choir.

The response was delighted surprise. Several people came up to us afterwards to tell us how pleased they were to 'hear' themselves - and how well all of their memories dovetailed together, making a whole. The Bingo night (run by Les and Pat, unpaid -wonders of the community) is helping to stitch together  community that's struggled. Perhaps the poem confirmed how much they share, despite all the differences. 

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