Friday, 11 August 2017

Following The Yellow Brick Road - An Art Project

Welcome, welcome.

I am the wizard.  I am the witch.  I am Dorothy too.  Welcome to my world, to my crazy meandering yellow brick road through a land not unlike the land of Oz.

I should explain.

Some of you will have found this page by chance.  Some through links I'll have placed on social media.  And some of you, all being well, will have taken a piece of paper from a box in an exhibition and typed in a web address.  Hey presto, through the hokum of magic you are all here.

This page and those that follow arose from an art project undertaken at the Recovery College Collective in Newcastle, an amazing place for people attempting to recover from all kinds of different mental health problem.  I am one of those in recovery.

The idea was simple.  Take a box.  Take a fairy tale.  Transform the box into that tale, or at least into a version of the tale that reflects the teller's life and journey and message.

A simple idea.  But I'm not great at practical arts.  I can't draw and I'm not ever going to be the world's foremost expert at making things or at producing visual wonderments.  I'm neither going to create the reality or the sham of an Emerald City.  I'm also not great at fairy tales.  I spent weeks trying to decide which one fitted my life the best.  Difficult when I didn't grow up among such tales.  I grew up with Asimov, Bradbury, and lots of other sci-fi and fantasy writers.  I didn't spend my time with Grimm or Anderson or the other workers of fairy stories.  Eventually I decided in a moment of jest that I could focus on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and all the ways I looked outside for answers that could only be found inside.

The box is made.  The box is, or will be, presented at an exhibition alongside boxes made by other participants in the course.  There may be dancing too.

I realised early on that I am far better at building with words than with crafting materials.  So I began to write.  The pages that follow are the result of my writing about different parts of my journey along the yellow brick road towards some kind of freedom in myself.

I hope you find some enjoyment in it all.  Or some challenge.

Come, walk with me on the Yellow Brick Road.  Let's go and see the Wizard together and see what he can do for us.  Let the journey begin.  We'll be following the movie closer than the book.

Before you start the journey I'd like to invite you to take a look, or another look, at the decorated box.  You can find descriptions and photos of box underneath this link.

Each chapter can be found by clicking on the title.  Each chapter will contain a link back to this page, to the previous chapter and the following chapter.


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