Yesterday was a very sad day. I can’t begin to tell you how heartbroken I am. I felt maybe I was over-reacting but I’m not because 15 small pieces of me died. Someone threw my artwork away! I’ll tell you the whole story.
A few years ago I created the Tiny Trail. It’s an art trail/treasure hunt for children and I made it when I was involved in the adult art trail, who wanted to get children involved. I came up with this idea of having mini-worlds in the same venues as the artwork so that the children would encourage their adult keepers to see art – even those who wouldn’t even think of it.
I worked my butt off getting 15 scenes made in time for the trail. I had stickers printed, maps made and the children loved it. I was lucky enough to be around at the HQ when a little girl had completed it all and it made my heart sing. I did that. In every scene I put my heart and soul there. I searched the house for tiny things I could use. Some scenes were based all around one single find. This was my treasure hunt too.
I also had recently made a Tshirt for Tubby – my partner Chris Pegley. It is his nickname and one night we were chatting and he said in a Yoda voice…”Mmm Tubby one you are” to which I added, “The waist is large on this one”. It was hilarious. Oh how we laughed, with a bit of wee no doubt. (sorry). I decided to make him a tshirt (like you do) and designed this graphic..
And in a true “Traciness lightbulb” moment I decided to make the Tiny Trail “THE ADVENTURES OF TUBBY”. He came round one night to find 15 small cork versions of himself:
Creating the trail in such a small time-frame had, if I’m honest, made me a little insane. You can imagine his face when he turned up to see an army of mini versions of himself on my table. I wanted each scene to have a Tubby. I thought it would add to the wonder for the children.. Perhaps they could meet the real Tubby at an event in the future. It opened up my mind to so many more possibilities for the Trail beyond this one.
I did it. I made 15 scenes by the deadline and took them to their venues and has since travelled to other towns, has entertained both adults and children in the Children’s waiting room of a local community hospital for 6 months, came with me to show some children in a school how to make their own worlds, and was due to be on display once more this July. It has been in storage. I was told it would be safe there and I figured it would be fine there. Life hasn’t been very easy this year and trails are usually in the summer so Tubby was left where he was. I’d made new scenes for one of the trails and when old scenes became a bit worn out I’d recycle pieces I wanted to keep and make a new scene…
So – I’ve been trying to organise collection of the trail pieces so that I can get them ready for this years adventures. It took 3 weeks for them to get back to me only to tell me that “it must’ve been thrown away as it’s not here anymore. All I can do is apologise”. BOOM! Just felt my heart lodge itself in my throat and it’s not really left. I had no idea I would be so upset over little cork people. Silly really but my word did I cry yesterday.
All that work.. no, it’s not even the work… each piece meant so much to me. Tubby and I worked on this together in the end as I ran out of time. He made 2 scenes himself! I made individual pencils for the people in his “cork board meeting”. I had plans for them all. 3 weeks has gone by where I could’ve been making new scenes. The next trail was the 20th of July but I have to go and have surgery and will be recovering in a week so this one has had to be cancelled. 😦 I’m so very sad.
I’m not going to give up though! I want to recreate it and I need your help. I need to raise some funding to pay for a new Tiny Trail and I wonder if I could ask you for a small donation to help? Art trails have very small budgets and can’t afford to pay for this kind of thing. Even if it’s just a few £s or $s. Please help me recreate the Tiny Trail and bring back Tubby and his friends so that they are able to have more adventures this year.
Thank you! A big thanks also to the women over at Magically Mixed Media – one of the facebook groups I belong to. You were awesome yesterday in supportive grieving! I really hope that I’ll be able to move on from this… it may just be little scenes of silliness to most but it meant so much to me and I put my heart and soul into every single one. It’s such a waste! Luckily I take photographs galore in my life and had plans for this trail beyond using just the physical scenes and I guess this will push me to doing those. Look out for that! For now though here are a couple of those photographs in a tribute to the lost Tubby Adventures. I hope there will be more…. one day.