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Flags planted to celebrate one year until Olympic Games

Artist in residence Jon Adams

Artist in residence Jon Adams

The university’s artist in residence is inviting people to be an artist for the day to help celebrate Open Weekend, which marks one year until the start of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Jon Adams hopes tens of thousands of miniature paper flags will spring up across England this weekend as part of his national public art project Dysarticulate.

The aim is to encourage local communities to create recycled ‘flags’ using old books and place them in unusual places across the UK. In Portsmouth it is being run in partnership with the New Theatre Royal and Portsmouth City Council.

The flags, made from the pages of books which are no longer needed and glued to bamboo skewers, are to be planted all over the UK from back gardens to parks and beaches.

He said: “Dysarticulate is a project that anyone can take part in; the artwork lies in people’s participation and that’s the beauty of it. I wanted to create something with which anyone, anywhere, could be involved. What counts is the conversations people have whilst making the flags and what it means for them to plant them – it’s all about bringing people together.”

Jon, who has dyslexia, said the written word destroyed his life when he was a young boy so he likes the idea of a book being transformed into a piece of art.

“This is the most subversive thing I’ve done in some respects but I don’t think it’s about ripping up books – it’s about taking them apart carefully to create something new.

“Lots of art projects put people off because they think they need artistic skill but this isn’t the case with Dysarticulate – anyone can join in.

“Seeing thousands of handmade flags placed on beaches, hillsides, village greens, window boxes and in parks is quite spectacular. My aim is for the UK to have planted over a million flags by the time the Games is here.”

Jon’s project will be launched at ArtSway gallery in the New Forest on the 22nd July before being taken countrywide showing as part of this year’s Open Weekend, supported by BP. It will be rolled out in Leeds, Liverpool, Dover, Gillingham, Whitstable, Andover, Frant in Kent, Hackney, Plymouth, Weymouth, Stoke on Trent and Stratford upon Avon.

Jon will also be leading events in Canary Wharf on Saturday 23rd July and at the New Theatre Royal and Guildhall Square in Portsmouth on Sunday 24th.

Dysarticulate is also part of Discovering Places, the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad campaign to inspire the UK to discover their local natural, built and historic environments. Find out more at Discovering Places and Cultural Olympiad.

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