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Sketchbook Project Tour 2012

October 14, 2011
Time Traveler

You are now leaving the future

I first signed up for this touring art show in 2011.  A paragraph in Writer’s News of March that year brought the project to my attention.  I signed up to the theme of ‘A Day in the Life’, received my moleskine journal, filled it with daily entries and poems, and sent it back to Brooklyn Art Library in New York.  From there it went on tour around America and I was delighted to receive an e-mail telling me that someone had checked it out in Florida.  This year, the project is going global.  Australia and London have been added to the tour list for the first time and I’ve signed up to the theme of Time Traveler.  This is my first foray into writing Science Fiction.  The notebook introduces Bell, an arkette navigator who is due to retire from making  intergalactic deliveries when his hypersonic ship is deflected off course by stellar winds.  As a result the Pioneer corkscrews into a vortex and comes to land on Kopra.  I ran out of notebook pages shortly after Eyva, the other main character (a scientific investigator) leads him through the acclimatisation chamber and into a ‘guest’ room on the black, burnt-orange and white-marbled planet.  Readers are invited to continue the story.

This year I have requested that the sketchbook be digitised so that it is available online as well as at exhibitions.  The 2012 project tour runs from April to October and takes in: Brooklyn, Chicago, Portland, Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Greater Boston Area, Portland, Toronto, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Austin, Melbourne and London.  The final resting place for all sketchbooks is The Wall in Brooklyn Art Library. (I have yet to decide whether or not Bell returns home.  Am playing with a number of alternative endings).

If you are looking for a creative outlet for your imagination, it’s not too late to take part in the project.  Go to www.arthousecoop.com and sign up to a theme before 31st October.  An exciting part of the 2012 project is the option to be matched up with a community group.  I selected the Harmony Science Academy in Houston, Texas.  As a result one of their students will receive a free sketchbook so that they can participate in the challenge.

The organisers consider words to be an art form.  Participants are free to create around the theme and can include photos, drawings etc.  I extended my ‘matchstick person’ art skills to sketch an arkette!  There is a freedom to be enjoyed in not having to follow submission guidelines.  You could consider this an alternative olympic challenge for London 2012.  And in case you’re wondering where the inspiration for this story came from – it was as a result of taking notes about my observations on a journey back from V festival at Brentwood this summer.  Nothing to do with attending the festival as my husband and I were just chauffeur and navigator for the trip (Am trying not to be replaced by the Satnav)  The most intriguing entry was about a sign by the side of the road which read ‘You are now leaving the future.’

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