For the past month Mitcham’s Models have been gracing the locality of Mitcham’s Corner, Cambridge. A kind of scavenger hunt, open to all, where the treasures are artful mannequins displaying poetry and hidden within the local stores.
Whilst discovering the models I recalled Brian Eno’s recent John Peel Lecture which so eloquently outlines the central validity of art in our daily lives. Brian equates art and culture with styling, and gives a definition of art as everything that we don’t have to do. From this viewpoint art is seen as adult play which we all engage with, even if only at the hairstyle and clothes level. The mannequins, similarly, felt like a playful blending of art and life: at once quotidian within the clothes store but rather more unusual in the bakers’ or carpet shop!
The area is undergoing considerable regeneration and it is heartening to see art popping up in such a joyful way, to promote cohesion of community- past, present and future. Along the way I have learnt a little bit more about the local history of the area. Also good to see public art included in the new development at Mitcham’s Park, on the old Cambridge City Football ground. The Field of Play: End of the Game annual whistle blow is a particularly innovative inclusion!