Cards of Connection by Joe Gilmour-Rees

Recording connection and conversation

Earlier in the summer, Rachel asked me to be part of Art with Heart’s Dial project. Over five weeks I would ring five older participants from Greater Manchester. The idea was to create connections during this difficult and challenging time.

When I learnt I had to create something in response to the conversations, my brain started whirring. It’s not often I’m given such an open page to create anything I want. Having made notes and drawings from the conversations, I started to look through what the conversations had been about. The theme of change had come up quite a lot – change throughout people’s lives, but also changes that we’ve all been through over the last six months.

My brain started thinking of a story that could encapsulate these ideas of change as well as weave in references to all the different topics of conversation we had had. But as I talked to one participant, it struck me that the important thing was not to create a new adventure, but create a record of the conversations and connections I had made with each of my five phone buddies.

Then came the idea of a custom deck of cards – each card is inspired by a particular moment of connection from the phone calls. So there are Air fix plane models, canoes, the Royal Opera, drawings of Leeds city centre and photos of Warrington amongst the cards.