I’d like to thank the 350+ people who took the time to contribute to the Painting By Numbers project at Unit 56 as part of the SVA Site Festival in May.
This collaborative artwork was based on a design that used a satellite image of the Stroud Valleys. While many people guessed it represented some kind of map or terrain, only one person had guessed precisely what the image was based on.
With so many people of all ages participating in bringing the artwork to life, there was a lot of evolution from the original design and it looked much more like an abstract painting at the end. Several contributors added creative touches, deliberately or by accident, from ghosts to sheep, Pollock-style sprays, text, polka dots, and determined yet chaotic toddler’s splashes.
The 100 numbered paint colours were hand-mixed for each session using natural paint pigments and a clay paint base, donated by The Greenshop and served up in compostable Vegware pots. Support from Stroud Arts Festival covered other expenses and a workshop with myself and Rebecca Ashdown on traditional painting techniques.
The local papers took an interest and the fabulous Mould TV gang shot a YouTube interview with the artist.
I am delighted that the Equine Eye Clinic in Wotton-Under-Edge bought the painting in a silent auction, for TomatoJack Arts in Berkeley, so contributors will be able to view the painting in the gallery there. 30% of the sale price was donated to the nominated charity, which is the Julian Trust Night Shelter in Bristol.
This was a truly collaborative art project and with so much support from the people and organisations in the area I reckon it warrants the title ‘A Portrait of Stroud‘.
Articles, photos and film about this project are on the way. In the meantime here’s a little gallery: