Neighbourhood Project

Neighbourhood stitches together artists from around the world in a spontaneous collaborative toy remixing project — which took several years to wield its way across the world.

Beginning with the blank canvas of a featureless cloth toy, a sequence of characters was born from the hands of the players, progressively reworking (or remaking) the hapless figures in a series of hands-on remixes.

The participants used a myriad of techniques to bring each stage to life – stitching, painting, drawing, tailoring, accessorising, even adding, removing, or repurposing body parts – the severity of the changes being decided by the nimble hands of each player. Whether through gentle embellishment or radical reconstruction, each artist left their mark on the character’s design and shape, the entanglement of having to work back into a previous player’s creation resulting in a collision of styles and ideas that the individual artists would not have chanced upon working alone.

On completion of each round, the toys were returned for photographic documentation and then passed on to the next participant, weaving a global trail of inspiration, thread, blood, stuffing, and love. Players were not shown the sequence of prior workings for the toys they received to remix, limiting the influence of previous incarnations of the weird fabric visitor that landed on their doorstep.

The process was repeated over and over, yielding an entire neighbourhood — the inhabitants of which were finally revealed in a lovingly crafted family album.