This project actually began years ago when Bec Scott from STREAT was taking long walks from her home in Flemington, Melbourne to her work place in Collingwood. On these journeys she began to collect all of the discarded lists, notes and thoughts she would spot on the footpaths.
As Bec collected all of these intriguing bits of paper, and filled shoe box after shoe box, she started to imagine that this collection of words and scribbles was perfect for some sort of story telling art project. Enter Francesca from the non/fiction LAB at RMIT, and a plan is made to apply for a grant.
After securing a grant from the City of Melbourne to run an event during Melbourne Knowledge Week 2019, a team was gathered to realise this project. I was invited as the creative map maker, to join the RMIT team including Stayci, Melody and Ronnie who would all be running the writing projects during MKW. The other members were Tracey from Bowen Street Press, and of course Francesca and Bec.
We met every few weeks for 4 months to plan ideas on how we could use Bec’s collected story litter, how RMIT’s writing workshops would work in, and how we would use the 20 metre wall that Metro Tunnels had offered to display some of the final artwork.
We decided on a pre-populated City of Melbourne map with an additional 4 maps - each being a quadrant of the city. These quadrants would relate to the 4 writing workshops, and participants would then add their text to the map with clear stickers which they had written onto. Thus this map grows. Meanwhile I was drawing all of the streets and trees and overlaying these 2 layers to create the base of the map.
All of the original map artwork was hand drawn and written, and then scanned and assembled in photoshop. The finished installed artwork was 14 metres wide x 1.8 metres high. It was digitally printed on banner and installed onto a long hoarding at Urban House, A’Beckett street, Melbourne. During the week text was added by participants who attended the writing workshops, in which they responded to the collected story litter as a way to inspire creative writing.