What Makes You Smile? Is a collaborative Community Art project between myself and Josh Wells and sponsored by a City of Stirling, Artist in Situ Residency.
Over the month of February we interviewed over 173 people attending the Hamersley Recreation Centre asking them “What Makes You Smile?’ while Josh took their portrait.
We had an overwhelmingly positive response to the project from all the groups, teams, clubs we approached.
People from 3 years old to 94, footy players, art groups, after school programs, a theatre company, exercise groups, dance groups participated.
What Makes People Smile?
Many of the members of the various groups were very keen to tell us all about the group they attend and in many cases that is what makes them smile. Friendship, companionship, looking out for each other…
Some people it was a single word – grandchildren, food, the beach, were common answers.
Many talked about simply being alive is something to smile about, especially after medical challenges and age.
I have loved the look on participants faces when I asked the question What makes you smile?
Group leaders wanted us to participate in their class!
I think overall it shows that finding something you enjoy doing and being with likeminded people is very beneficial.
The portraits and quotes were printed, stitched and tied to the railings at the entrances to the centre. We invited the participants to a launch, for homemade scones, and a walk through, as what one participant described the project ‘A corridor of happiness’
It was a delight to see their reactions as they saw themselves, their friends and the range of people who attend the centre.
The installation is on show at Hamersley Recreation Centre until 8 April