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Cambridge artist invites your input to 20ft book ‘for a future museum on Mars’

The Leaving Earth project, which is curated by Cambridge Artworks artist-in-residence Amanda Mears, is now up and running with a series of workshops and talks taking place in Cambridge over the next few weeks.

At the heart of the project is a large-dimensional pop-up book filled with “collage, colour and mixed media”.

An installation of some of the pages for 'Leaving Earth'
An installation of some of the pages for 'Leaving Earth'

The book is being made from artwork made in and about natural spaces and donated by participants of all ages and backgrounds. The book is 10 inches high, and ‘up to’ 20 feet long, and contributions are now being sought as part of an eco-social art movement – “something a future space traveller would take with them to remind them of home”, says Los Angeles-based Amanda, who is in Cambridge until September 10.

Of the project’s origins she says: “Inspired by science fiction and current space exploration, I have been making sculptural books as aide-mémoires – a French term that translates as an ‘aid to memory’. These are concertina books that can be folded and pocketed and kept to remind us of the unique experience of being in the natural spaces of this planet.”

Amanda is closely involved in the programme of events and workshops.

“The workshops are opportunities to interact with people and gather their visual and verbal contributions to the book,” Amanda told the Cambridge Independent. “The residency is important mainly as a generously-provided opportunity to host workshops.

Putting ideas on paper for 'Leaving Earth'
Putting ideas on paper for 'Leaving Earth'

“I was a documentary filmmaker before becoming an artist and so this is a kind of documentary. I gather all these materials and engage with lots of people in natural settings and the result will be the book – a documentation of the process as well as an artwork in itself.

'Leaving Earth is not a book yet - this is the gathering of imagery phase,' says artist Amanda Mears
'Leaving Earth is not a book yet - this is the gathering of imagery phase,' says artist Amanda Mears

“Underlying it all is the fact that we are losing natural spaces and experiences at an alarming rate and the book aims to be a kind of aide-mémoire – literally, something that helps you remember something.”

There will be free, public workshops on:

Saturday, September 2, 2pm-4pm

Tuesday, September 5, 2pm-5pm

Saturday, September 9, 2pm-4pm

And drop-in open days on:

Wednesday, August 30, 11-4pm

Wednesday, September 6, 11-4pm

More information here or email leavingearthproject@gmail.com for details.

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