'The Green Man' is most commonly represented as a face surrounded by leaves, or with vegetation sprouting from the nose, mouth and head. Sometimes the face is composed entirely from leaves and foliage. Green Men are used as decorative architectural features, usually representing fertility and the regenerative cycle of the seasons.

I am interested in reinterpreting ‘The Green Man’ as symbol of the city of Stoke-on-Trent at this point in time; a motif that not only represents a sense of regeneration and renewal but one that could also be used to bring about changes, by highlighting what is effectively public artwork that already exists.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Residency @ SHOP, Stoke- Preparations

Amongst other things I have been creating a Green Man Trail map as part of my Residency at SHOP click here to read more and to find out about free workshops and activities on offer.

Below is the map. My Residency at SHOP starts On Saturday 31st July and runs until 14th August.

Get out there and start exploring the Green Men of Stoke!

Double click on each side of the map to enlarge and print your own copy off, or come into SHOP from Sat 31st July to collect one.

More about the Green Man Trail:
Whilst the Map clearly marks the location of each Green Man, there will still be an element of discovery involved, where the participants may have to spend a minute or two looking up at the facades of buildings to spot the Green Men lurking up there. Some are more obvious than others.

I hope the process of individuals and small groups of people stopping in the town and looking 'up' will generate interest from other passers by who may also respond by looking up and discovering a Green Man for themselves. The notion of finding the Green Men on the buildings will also allow people to re-consider the buildings of Stoke, by looking 'up' beyond the Shop (or empty shop) windows and discovering interesting architectural features that they may have not noticed before- perhaps enhancing their experience of the town.

Questions on the back of the postcards will invite the viewers to consider the faces and the surrounding area- what has this character seen? what expression is he displaying? why is he feeling this way? By asking these questions the Green Man becomes a 'tool' to consult the public and feedback their own views and memories of the town- considering both the towns current state, it's history and hopes for the future.

The information collected will be used to construct a pop-up style book which combine images of the Green Men of Stoke with images depicting the towns past, it's current state and visions for the future- resulting in a document of the town at this moment in time.

Many thanks to Steve Birks, creator of www.thepotteries.org for allowing me to feature some of his information about the Green Men of Stoke (installation dates). Read his Green Man article that inspired me to start this project here http://www.thepotteries.org/architecture/green_man.htm

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