Join artist Claire London for some wind charming at our stall at the Kite Festival.
How can our libraries adapt to changing times? The marketing machine of Formula 1 might not spring to mind but for artist Chris Dobrowolski it was the inspiration behind his new project Selfie Slot Car Championship. Created in early 2016 as part of the Library as Laboratory commission, this project was an experiment in making and marketing in our selfie-obsessed world. The artist invited local families along to workshops at Dunstable Library to make slot-car replicas of their own domestic cars. Then two weeks later the families returned to the library to race their slot car in a one-day championship. Twenty five cars took part in what proved to be a passionate and hotly contested event. Chris Dobrowolski is an artist, maker, story teller and car enthusiast. He is known for creating homemade life-size vehicles that actually work, such as a hovercraft and an aeroplane. For the Dunstable Library project his inspiration came from an unexpected source. “My approach started with a satirical look at advertising and marketing” says Chris, “and I decided that Formula 1 motor racing sponsorship was probably the most expensive and glamorous form there was. I then tried to find a way to associate this with the not so glamorous context of the library. In my mind creating an alternative championship using the slot car was a way of mirroring the dystopian experience of the world outside we live in,” said Chris. So on a cold half-term week in February 2016, Chris found himself in the Asda car park in Dunstable armed with a mobile phone and selfie stick. “The idea was for people to park their car in the Asda car park next to Dunstable Library and pose inside their car. I then took photos of the whole car – front, bonnet, boot, roof and sides”
The commission was to be an ambitious and new, large-scale work for voice and orchestra, written, composed and performed by volunteers living in Bedford.
We invited the people of Dunstable to dance with the wind, become part of a collective performance, and create the folklore of tomorrow.