Options #1 The Excursion

This year (second year) we are being guinea pigged through a new part of the course called Options (which despite its name is compulsory). We will present a Collaborative piece of work in week 1 of term 2. The collaboration will be between Fine Art students and theatre students. Im excited about this because the resulting piece of work will be several big productions involving people from all across the uni campus. The subjects are; The Body and Identity, Science and Technology, The Environment & Sustainability, Built Environments, Architecture and the City, Narrative and Document and Archive. Our first lesson in Options involved the tutors pairing us up, one fine art student to one theatre student. Me and Dan where paired up with Laurence and Jasmine. We where told to go out into wimbledon and document the environment under one of our chosen subjects. Before we left we were told briefly about the 1950s and 40s style buildings that we would inevitably encounter on our journey through wimbledon. Our tutor, Aoife, told us about psychogeography which is…a subfield of geography, was defined in 1955 by Guy Debord as “the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals.” We where incouraged to take paths that wouldnt normally be be taken, to let instinct and subconscious dictate the direction of our excursion.

We walked through the neighbourhoods of wimbledon aimlessly looking for something to take pictures of. A quarter of an hour in we walked past a small church on the corner of Fairlawn rd & Dundonald. The pasture, Nigel, ran out and asked us to come in for a coffee as if some divine inspiration had told him to come and save these lost souls. We hesitantly accepted his offer, walked into the church and were greeted by six or seven elderly members of the community who were all sat around a knee high coffee table. There was a small dog under the table which we took in turns to stroke as coffee was poured and introductions were made. Mary offered us grapes and cakes and more coffee. A man whose name I don’t remember came over to us straight away and after we explained what we were doing he proceeded to tell us, in detail, about the different historical (less well known) sites around wimbledon that we could explore. While Dan and Jasmine talked to Mary, Laurence talked to the man whose name I have forgotten and I noticed Ruby, who was sat on the other side of the table in her wheel chair. I stood up and introduced myself to her and her friend who was sat beside, Hazel. Ruby was 91 years old and had wit. She was still very much alive despite the chair and her age and the church. Her friend Hazel may have been blind, I am not sure. They seemed to be close friends, Hazel and Ruby, even though Hazel was at least forty years her junior.  She seemed equally pleasant and as amused with Rubys’ utterances as I was. Ruby told me a joke…”There was a class room full of young students, 6 or 7 years old. They were all drawing. The teacher, while wandering around the room, was struck by one little girl whose drawing the teacher could not yet make out. She asked the little girl…

“what are you drawing?” the girl paused and looked up,

“I am drawing God”

“but know one knows what God looks like” said the teacher,

the girl looked up again and said  “they will in a minute”

She probably had a fireworks display full of jokes but we left before Ruby was given the chance to set them off. Before we left I asked if I could take photos, of course they kindly obliged. Here are the photos and some sketches I made from them…



The dog with no name