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Fenland villagers join community art project organised by teenage artist to relieve lockdown boredom



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Aspiring Fenland artist Maggie Powell has galvanised her local village into joining a special lockdown project, which has resulted in an art installation at the local pub.

The 19-year-old who has just completed her level 4 Art Foundation course at Long Road sixth Form College in Cambridge, took to social media to encourage Manea residents to join her community project, which involved participants in creating a tile using any medium they liked.

Maggie explained: "The ‘My Tile’ project was created at the end of March. I was nearing the end of my Level 4 Art Foundation. As a result of the pandemic I was unable to fulfil one element of my course: the live brief.

Maggie Powell with the tiles that are now on display outside the village pub.
Maggie Powell with the tiles that are now on display outside the village pub.

"This brief is set by a company or public space to allow students to create public artwork outside of the college environment. I had done quite a lot of work for the brief, which would have involved my artwork being displayed in business offices near Cambridge railway station.

"I was really disappointed that I couldn't complete the brief, so I decided to form a community project of my own. The idea was that the local community would create tiles by cutting, sticking, painting, sewing, photographing, carving, etc. and post their work through my letterbox or email a scan of the work to me.

"The project would provide locals with a task to occupy themselves and help beat lockdown boredom. It was set up in a way so that it would comply with social distancing rules and help bring the community together in a time where they are obliged to be apart. The project was open to people of all ages because we are all facing the same challenges."

Maggie Powell works on framing the tiles contributed as part of her community art project. (34338624)
Maggie Powell works on framing the tiles contributed as part of her community art project. (34338624)

As a result of Maggie's social media appeal she received 72 tiles and she has now compiled them into three separate pieces of art work, which have now been installed on the wall of the Rose and Crown pub in the centre of the village - which means villagers enjoying their daily walk can see them.

Maggie said: "I thought it would be nice to have them on display where people could see them when they were out for their daily exercise rather than just seeing the village day after day.

Maggie Powell works on framing the tiles contributed as part of her community art project. (34338622)
Maggie Powell works on framing the tiles contributed as part of her community art project. (34338622)

"I would really like to thank Lydia Payne and the Rose and Crown for allowing me to use their wall to display the wonderful tiles.

"I would also like to thank my parents Hayley and Chris for allowing me to tak over the house for a month with tiles, frames, paints, pencils and what not so I could get the project done."

Just some of the tiles contributed as part of Maggie's community art project.
Just some of the tiles contributed as part of Maggie's community art project.

The tile displays will remain on the wall until the elements finally destroy them, but they will also be on show on a special website set up by Maggie to promote her artwork.

She has now turned her attention to creating art pieces that she can sell with the aim of becoming a commercially successful artist.

"I'm going to see how things develop over the coming year, if my art work takes off then I will continue with that, if not then I may go to university to study to become an art teacher. For now I'm just really happy that the community project was such a success and I hope everyone enjoys looking at the tiles as they pass by."

Just some of the tiles contributed as part of Maggie's community art project.
Just some of the tiles contributed as part of Maggie's community art project.
Just some of the tiles contributed as part of Maggie's community art project.
Just some of the tiles contributed as part of Maggie's community art project.
The tiles are now on display outside the village pub.
The tiles are now on display outside the village pub.
Villagers can enjoy the tiles when they are out for their daily walk.
Villagers can enjoy the tiles when they are out for their daily walk.


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