Organise people and resources required to run the project
Please note that before lockdown 2, I had planned for a physical installation in a physical venue and an experiential experience where I would have posted a tent to the recipients homes. Due to new lockdown measures, I decided this wouldn’t be the most appropriate way of sharing the work publicly. So please remember, the input for ‘Stage 2: Audience Engagement’ below in my initial project plans, timelines, risk assessments and budgets did not take place.
But all of the ‘Stage 1: Concept Development’ plans did take place.
Advice from camping friend expert Michael Robertson (in addition to an hour long phone call)
Logistics: Campsite, travel and packing
I research campsites using Google with the help of friend Ella Barnard. Together we booked a campsite which was open and available, within a reasonable distance on public transport, scenic open spaces, and had the option of electricity.
During the development of the project, I decided to only promote it via word of mouth as with social media I often find is judgemental and invites me to manipulate myself into thinking a certain way and integrate other people’s opinions (which goes against the purpose of the project). Also, the context of being online is unfitting for such a deep introspective and purposefully offline project.
Evaluation of leadership development
My leadership journey so far has been eye opening. This was my first ever art commission of this scale and the first time I’ve had to report a detailed budget, timeline, project plan and expenses etc.
Due to the changes with COVID-19 pushing us into a new lockdown, I certainly went into the project with more of a flexible way of working. The second lockdown was when I changed my project from a physical outcome (an installation in an art space such as Somerset House), into a digital / photographable series of something (eg, paintings)..
My research into the risks of camping in winter and alone paid off. My equipment could not of been any better. With the hood of my tent closed, I didn’t feel the cold once in my little tent, despite even waking up on the first morning of frost. My trusty Quecha jumper and -2 to 10 degree Vango sleeping bag did the trick.
The campsite and travel to and from worked out perfectly also, keeping my battery charged at reception I was able to get a spot at the far end of the field (nearest to the River Thames river bank).
I certainly felt nervous being on my own, a woman and a woman of colour which inspired my creativity due to the openness to feelings and self-reflection I entered the project with. These fears allowed me to envision the type of leader I wanted to be in terms of confidence and being ok with change.
I had only spent half of the budget and all on the absolute essentials to conduct the first half of the trip which is something I will definitely repeat to ensure I am buying the appropriate things.
What I could’ve done better is plan my meals before had and practice cooking them with the camping equipment because ‘just add water’ meals were certainly unsatisfying.
Plans for public showing
During lockdown no.2
I really struggled to let go of the idea of creating a physical and interactive installation however, the context of a further lockdown restrictions and the call for non-essential public venues to close, called for no other choice but to go digital. Luckily it did not affect my going on the trip at all.
Initial physical installation ideas:
- Hanging a contemporary installation at Somerset House mimicking the campsite layout and global positioning for viewers to sit in the spaces I sat to see the world from the same angle and sat with the same equipment and collected items from the trip.
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- Send physical tents to install at home in your bedroom with activity sheets/prompt questions and instructions on how to not get distracted and spend time with yourself.
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Post Lockdown news:
- An itinerary list, top tips content and a review of where I stayed for others to be able to do it themselves and reap the benefits with an exercise book to record thoughts and learn from being alone.
- A small A6 book/long essay (similar to the Penguin £1 books) on the role of self-perception in isolation.
- A ‘get to know your time’ worksheet with yearly and weekly goal setting exercises.
- A series of poems / artworks