Walk Leader: Emma FitzGerald
Text by: Emma FitzGerald
Sketches by: Emma FitzGerald and Natasha Warren
After assembling at Dee Dee’s Ice Cream in North End Halifax, each participant was given a small cardboard “frame” and a Jane Jacobs quote. They had instructions to walk the neighbourhood, ‘framing’ views and and then sketching them. The group reassembled outside the North End Library and shared their drawings and experiences.
Participants commented on the conversations they overhead, and even became part of, as well as the diversity to be found in the neighbourhood, planting a seed for more sketching to come. One participant described how she was mistaken for someone going door to door giving house painting quotes!
A woman began talking to her about her house, and all the work it needed. Suddenly the woman’s children were part of the conversation and the participant described a sense of becoming ‘part of the neighbourhood’, despite never having previously spent time there. Another person drew what he thought a community food coop – currently under construction – might look like in the future, recognizing that changing neighbourhoods require vision.
My feeling is that people experienced sketching as an access point for better understanding a place, even if they aren’t a professional artist.