As part of the ‘The Big Draw’, the National Campaign for Drawing’s nationwide event, we commissioned Jo Roberts for The Excursionist project. Between October 15th and 22nd Jo and supporting artist Arabel Rosillo De Blas took groups of participants on ‘doodle walks’, mapping our local area through drawing, photography and communication. The project was a response to the context, history, architecture and cultural vibrancy of the Midland Rd area of Bedford.
Three afternoon sessions took place, two being open for the public and the third doodle walk with members of the art and wellbeing group ‘Infinite 29’ (www.infinite29.com). Many of the participants had never been involved with a project at Bedford Creative Arts before and the level of enthusiasm and commitment to The Excursionist was clear to see when the project culminated in a bustling public presentation on Saturday 19th November at Bedford Creative Arts headquarters.
It wasn’t just the drawings that made The Excursionist such a pleasure to be part of. Speaking to local people, shop owners and passers-by the project captured some enchanting stories and memories of an area that is so often an undervalued part of our town. Making art on the streets helped us here at Bedford Creative Arts connect with our surroundings since our move here last year and brought us closer to local residents who we are keen to work with in the future too.