Storytelling and Narrative in Public Space
The Strand Dee Why, Australia / September 3rd, 2013
This workshop utilized the fundamental elements of narrative and storytelling in the design of individual public art interventions.
- Identify a central location with clear boundaries.
- Participants explore the location and select an individual site. The site inspires a story. The story can be a true story, fiction, combination of truth and fiction, poetic, and other forms.
- Each participant tells a story in their selected site as the group listens.
- Participants are asked to design an intervention at their space inspired by their story and location in thirty minutes.
- Participants share their designs and the group listens and makes suggestions.
- Participants break and prepare for their invention at the site.
- Interventions are executed for 90 minutes or longer.
The workshop participants set up their respective works in a critical mass at The Strand in Dee Why. Most of the responses of the pedestrians were congenial and many of the passersby engaged with the artists.
After about one hour, we noticed that many of the shopkeepers in the area were outside of their stores with cell phones. Suddenly a swarm of police cars (about 12) pulled up. The police approached all of the participants (except one) and asked to see their identification. The artists explained that it was a public art program sponsored by Warringah Council. After a few minutes of dialogue, everyone was released however instructed to leave the area and not return for five hours.
All of the participants were valiant and composed under the pressure of being approached by the Dee Why police and afterwards exhilarated by the experience.