Poverty and Homeless in Champaign-Urbana
During the Month of October, 2017 artist Jane Gilmor collaborated with University of Illinois CU Art and Social Work students and staff, community experts, and under-sheltered individuals in Champaign-Urbana at three area organizations, Courage Connection, operating a domestic violence shelter, The Daily Bread soup kitchen serving meals over 200 meals a day, and The Phoenix, an area drop-in center.
Discussion–based workshops with residents, staff and students in journaling, handmade books, and metal embossing as well as video and audio interviewing were part of a number of activities involved in this dialog between the University and those disenfranchised from it. During these workshops we created drawings and writings on metal foil sometimes based on visualizations and memories of a place and sometimes from a visualization of our hearts. Each twelve inch square metal note or drawing became part of a large walk-in book for Bed Shoe Home, in the culminating exhibition at The University YMCA.
Here are examples of our process and embossed metal drawings from these workshops.
A REMEMBERED PLACE
Close your eyes and try to remember a specific space
From early in your life.
What did it look like: furniture, windows, floor, ceiling, and doors.
What did it smell, sound, feel like?
How did you feel in that space?
Make a sketch of the space on the metal then write about your drawing.
Hone is Where the Heart Is
Close your eyes and put your hand on your heart.
Imagine you can see, as well as feel it in your chest.
Now imagine it jumps out of your body and onto the floor!
It gets bigger and bigger! It is as big as you are!
Now you can see every detail, every vein, every tunnel and every edge.
With your eyes still closed, draw your heart on the metal in front of you.
Follow every edge.
Now, open your eyes and continue drawing,
Then write about what you have drawn.