Kit Kite for Virtual CultureJune-July 2020
Partners: London Borough of Waltham Forest, Barbican
The Kit Kite project, took the kite as a universal symbol of freedom, and the starting point to create 1000 activity kits (500 x kits funded by the Virtual Culture Project and 500 x Barbican / Walthamstow Garden Party) that could be distributed free to residents across the borough as we started to emerge from the Covid-19 initial lockdown. 50 kits were also distributed via the PL84U AL-SUFFA Foodbank, and 10 were allocated to young people via the Build–up Foundation project. £800 was raised for mental health charity MIND to support local services within the borough. Kites were released in two batches, the first to coincide with the Virtual Culture programme, and the second in advance of the ‘In the Air’ online festival to continue the spirit of the annual Walthamstow Garden Party.
The simple kite making kits included templates and all the basic materials needed. The design was developed to allow makers to customise their own design.
In a time of reflection, people were invited to dedicate their kite to a local hero or someone they admired, people they had missed seeing, or in remembrance of others they might have lost to the pandemic.
Ten professional artist/makers from Waltham Forest were commissioned to design a kite using their own skillset whether that be collage, graphics, embroidery, CNC digitally drawn or screenprinted, and asked to create a short inspirational video documenting their customisation process.
A ‘how to’ instruction video was also made to further demonstrate the kite making process.
Participants were then invited to share a picture of their kite which was uploaded to an online gallery, and filmed clips of their kite flying incorporated into a video.
To celebrate the project, the ten commissioned maker kites were displayed in the The Mall, Walthamstow’s local shopping centre.