The first project I was asked to be a part of was a bottle cap mural at Bukit Batok. Apptly titled Color Field, this project was located on the front facing side of cement seating at the neighborhood sports plaza. The project was approved and started about a month before they wanted to show it for display. This was a giant project. And there was a lot of responsibility left up to the community and residents of the neighborhood: collection of bottle caps and volunteering of their time to work on the project. When so much of the success of a project is put on the shoulders of a community, there is a lot of risk involved. Two things happened: there were not enough caps collected and not enough people volunteered their time to help put the mural together. Both challenges pushed the project back several months. Additionally, I felt like there were some major communication issues within the sponsoring party of this project. I was under the impression that they were rounding up lots and lots of volunteers, as one would do with a giant project such as this. But every time I showed up to work, there were only 6 - 15 people there. This was a huge project! 15 people help, but we definitely needed more. Maybe close to 50 people that could rotate their time. And the collection of the caps should have started in January, several months prior to the project. As it was, we did get a great portion of the work done, but the project wasn't officially finished until National Day (4 months later). It still won an award at the Works of Wonder presentation in early September. But it felt a bit bittersweet . . . Especially since none of the community showed up to the awards ceremony. Celebration is such a huge part of these types of projects. But I don't think there was enough motivation and excitement behind this project to make things happen.
The third community project that I was asked to complete for 2014 was a water bottle recycling project with the Toa Payoh neighborhood in celebration of the Moon Festival (Mid-Autumn Festival). This was also a project working with several seniors in the community. It was quite fun to work on, but I felt like this time the community didn't have much of a say as to what they made or what material they used . . . They were utilizing plastic water bottles, but did they want to use water bottles as a material? Who knows? All I know is that the water bottle usage seemed very questionable . . . For one, I think a portion of the water bottles weren't even recycled, but the water just poured out and used (insert Home Alone surprise face emoticon here). The plastic bags were legit and turned out beautifully. They reminded me of horse manes as I sliced them up and bunched them together . . . But they were super tricky to install in the wind. They would blow around and because of static electricity would stick to everything!! Argh! The water bottles we ended up cutting into loops and stringing together. I loved how it ended up looking, but it was super difficult to install. You would think that staples would be able to hold these light little rings together but they wouldn't! Every time the wind would blow, they would snap apart . . . So we had to go around and staple everything like a thousand times to get it to hold! But it all came together in a crazy plastic light fantastic when the disco lights were installed. So much fun! And doesn't it resemble bubbles? I couldn't help but think of the plastic bottle loops as floating bubbles!
But I vowed never to work outside again after this project . . . I say no more to rain, no more to wind, and no more to heat! Give me an indoor space and air conditioning any day of the week . . . Ta-da!