The wonder of big things made small

There’s something magical about changes of scale, of changes in perspective, as if not only can we see what’s around us anew but we see ourselves differently too. Over the last few weeks artist Alison Cockcroft and I have spent some time making something so vast and monumental into something tiny; we’re making the beginnings of a paper city for a workshop at the Museum in the Park, Stroud. Using only white card and handmade black ink stamps, a monochrome interpretation of all sorts of mixed up ideas of what a ‘city’ is, is emerging. The shapes, patterns and scale of buildings is being slowly explored, the zones or districts of all sorts of cities is being noted. The way in which cities grow organically or are planned is being looked at. It will be a muddle of cultures and influences, a mix of shapes, of perspectives and patterns. What happens when people exert their will over a paper city? When the inhuman monoliths and the intimate spaces of crowded cities become playfully malleable?

The highly visible monuments to man, the domestic spaces and pleasure/leisure areas. The hidden areas, the underground, sewers. The homeless and overlooked. The slums, camps and no-go areas.  “With cities, it is as with dreams: everything imaginable can be dreamed, but even the most unexpected dream is a rebus that conceals a desire or, its reverse, a fear. Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.”   Italo Calvino – Invisible Cities


The Paper City workshop will run alongside and respond to the exhibition ‘Tales of the City’ at the Museum in the Park.

Come and make a building and contribute to the paper city, make your own printing blocks and plan an area of the city.


Pop up Paper City – Workshop for adults and children 5+

17th-19th February, 11-4pm

The Museum in the Park, Stroud.



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