Pedalling art in green movement

sp92097 Paper Girl Project. L-R, Megan Cook, Pam Kay, Amy Cook, Janette Hallatt, Michelle Meikle, Julie Moorby, Mary Kane, Anne Frazer.
sp92097 Paper Girl Project. L-R, Megan Cook, Pam Kay, Amy Cook, Janette Hallatt, Michelle Meikle, Julie Moorby, Mary Kane, Anne Frazer.

But for unsuspecting shoppers, the mountain literally came to Mohammed when bundles of art were randomly thrust upon them by female cyclists in Chesterfield.

The unusual Papergirl Project saw 90 beribboned surprises handed out to promote art, cycling and the town’s first green fair this weekend.

“People will think ‘What on Earth is this about?’ but that’s great – it’s fantastic to do something that’s totally out of people’s heads,” said organiser Michelle Meikle.

“Some might put it in the bin but others might say ‘Hey, I really like this’ then go and find some more work from that artist.

“It’s great just to do something different and also show you don’t have to be kitted out in Lycra to go cycling, you can do fun things with friends too.”

Papergirl began in Berlin and has spread worldwide.

On Saturday women pedalled around town handing out work – from computer art, to photography and drawings – donated by 16 artists after teaming up with Arts Derbyshire.

A gallery containing one example from each contributor is open as part of the fair so people can see more or discover what they missed.

Mum Michelle, 46, who has put an anonymous piece in herself, said: “Some of the art is very obviously done by artists but the more abstract ones may make people think they could give it a go, so it’s not just appreciation.

“It’s the curiosity of Papergirl that appeals, we’ve randomly given something to someone so they’re going to want to look at it.

“I think the fact they’re tied up with ribbon means it’s not like getting a flyer on the street, it’s a gift.”

ellen.beardmore

@derbyshiretimes.co.uk

l Did you receive a Papergirl package? Send your thoughts and pictures to comment@derbyshiretimes.co.uk.

UNUSUAL workshops and entertainment will spread the fair’s environmental message.

Alastair Meikle – Michelle’s husband – has organised the fair with Chesterfield Borough Council.

The day, from 10am-4pm this Saturday, September 24, includes:

n A market with stalls on everything from solar power and harvest swaps to beekeeping

n Vegetable cabaret with Madame Zucchini, sheep shearing and Brampton Community Band

n Free rides between displays on a seven-seater conference bike

n Children’s workshops and woodworking displays near Tourist Information Centre

n Wirksworth sculptor Jonny White creates from recycled waste at St James’ Square, Vicar Lane shopping centre

n The Papergirl gallery in the old Clarks shoe shop at The Pavements shopping centre