In 2012 I was a artist in residence at the wonderful NGO Acer Brasil. This was made possible through the help of charity CMAP – Charlotte Miller Arts Project, who work on facilitating art projects with at risk children in Latin America.
I was given the task of enlivening a local football court with mosaic in the hope of deterring the drug dealing that had unfortunately taken over the space meant for football practice. With staff and participants of local educational football association, Desportiva Bola Pesada we set to it.
The idea was to turn a neglected and stigmatised area into a more welcoming and communal place through participatory art. Once we decided to decorate the stairs leading to the court we held consultations with local users on what or who they would like to see represented.
Designs featuring football heroes and sports motifs along with iconic images of Brazilian flora and fauna proved to be the most popular. As was the importance of a neighbourhood supporting encouragement, effectively expressed through positive wording.