I haven’t written much about Tiree in Your Words here yet, not wanting to potentially affect the result by exposing too much of the processes and thinking that went into it. Now that it’s completed (at least the word collection part – who knows where it might lead), I’ll be reflecting here on various aspects of the project and related thoughts.
Tiree in Your Words is a mini-project we (Frances Woodhead and I) undertook for the course we are doing with the University of the Highlands and Islands called Art and Social Practice.
We wanted to find out what the Isle of Tiree means to people who live here by collecting six words from everyone; to give islanders the opportunity to express their idea of Tiree and the chance to see what Tiree means to others in the community.
We provided a number of ways to participate: cards to fill in, a mobile number and an email address. People ‘posted’ the cards into boxes around the island – wee Tiree houses made of papier-maché – and yesterday we held a community event where we opened the boxes and put the words on display. At least 26 people took part in the box opening, and we were delighted to find we’d collected words from about 140 people, nearly 900 words. During the event we collated the words and created some on-the-fly word clouds using Wordle, then mounted the cards on boards to display them in five age groups, plus ‘age unknown’.
The words will be printed in An Tirisdeach, our island newsletter, as a word cloud and maybe in other ways too, and are currently on display in Tiree Rural Centre. They’ll be available for other projects and we have already collected ideas from participants for ways to use them.
Tiree in Your Words has a blog at tireewords.wordpress.com where we will be adding more images and word lists, together with any further project developments. We’ll be documenting the project fully for the course and I’ll post a link to that soon, for anyone who’s interested.