Wall 4 All - 2019 Articultural Outdoor Installation
Wall 4 All was exhibited at the University of South Wales, Treforest, in the summer of 2019. The installation was made from recycled apple crates, with a blackboard added to one side of each of the 16 boxes. On the other side of the piece the boxes spell out 'Something there is that doesn't love a wall' the first line of 'Mending Wall', a poem by Robert Frost. The poem was selected as it explores the paradox of a wall representing limitation, while having the potential to become a means of liberation.
The concept of the block design is to enable participants to use graffiti art to express what makes them feel afraid, before taking the wall down and replacing the negative words with alternatives that make them feel safe and happy. The wall can then be reconstructed to celebrate and symbolise building a more joyful and positive outlook.
I had not fully appreciated the playful and creative physical possibilities of the piece at the outset, and it was only when I used it with participants that I realised its potential. When used outdoors, most notably with young children, they took great delight in building the wall into all manner of imaginary constructions. This was an unexpected outcome that has become well established in the way I now use this resource.
To create the piece artists aged between the ages of 5 and 81 contributed their favourite words to the wall to inspire visitors to the exhibition to add their own ideas. Three boxes at the top have been filled with living plants to continue the decorative theme of growing and flourishing, while the fourth box, labeled 'Open Me' contains brightly coloured chalk pens.