Gareth A Hopkins

These pages will be kept updated with forthcoming gallery shows and news on completed artwork.

Pages from my ongoing surreal/abstracted comic 'The Intercorstal' can be found here: The Intercorstal

My deviantart gallery, chock-full of my art, can be found here: grthink

Stories from my (old) walk to and from work can be found here: Trolleys In Odd Places

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Imagining Utopias - a Young Blood Initiative project *CALL FOR COLLABORATORS*


From the 2nd to the 25th September the Young Blood Initiative will be on location at 48 Aberfedly Street, London, running a program of activities, performances and other artworks based on the theme of 'U(DYS)TOPIA(S) - the dream of a perfect society, and how lurking within that is a totally imperfect one.

For my small part of the proceedings, I'll be building a city out of buildings, with each building representing a different idea of 'Utopia' (which under the defnition I'm using here is 'a perfect society'). Each 'building' will be built from a simple template.

Which is where the call for collaborators come in. For this 'city' to be monumental, it's going to need more ideas that I'm capable of by myself. So I'm making what I've put together so far available as a download - there's either a ZIP of all the assets I've made, or just the basic templates. I'm inviting you to download the template and fill it up with whatever you think would be appropriate as a Utopia - it can be very specific, or a little bit abstract, it's up to you. You can adapt the template, within reason, too. For instance my 'Jungle' one has a part that sticks up out of the top of the structure, and 'Neon Cosmic Waste' has a bit in the middle to get chopped out.

Send me a digitised version of the completed template and I'll print it out onto thin card/thick paper and stick it together, then put it in the 'City'. I'll also add it to this blog post for posterity, if you fancy it.

There's now another way that you can get involved, too - just send me a description of your idea of Utopia in 5 words or less and I'll interpret it for you. Those that have been done in that way are tagged below with "5W".

Email any completed templates to GARETH@GRTHINK.COM.

Here's some examples that I made:

Here's a couple that my daughter made:

Here's the blank templates. You can shrink them or expand them as much as you like, although they'll need to fit an A4 sheet so that I can print them.

Here's a link to the ZIP with all of the assets I've made in:

Here's the basic template (it really is very basic) if you just want to Right Click/Save As:
Here's a cleaner version of the template, submitted by my friend Daryl:

FAQs (from actual people, Simon and Sarah):
Q: What's the deadline?
A: I'll be setting up the initial cityscape at the end of August, so anything in by the 30th August will make it in from the start. After that, new buildings will get added to the display sporadically throughout September, so I'll be taking new buildings that whole month. But obviously the earlier the submission comes in, the longer it'll be on display for..

FAQs (that I've made up):
Q: Does it have to be that box shape?
A: No, not at all. But it does need to be easy enough for me to fold and stick together.

Q: Will I get my printed 'Building' back?
A: I don't know what I'm going to do with the installation once it's done with, but I think it's unlikely I'll be able to post the building to you. If you're nearby you could pick it up?

Q: Do I get paid for collaborating?
A: Unfortunately not. You'd be doing it for the enjoyment of activity.

Q: Will I be credited in the gallery?
A: The buildings will move about, so keeping track of which building was done by which collaborator will be tough. However, I will keep an update list of collaborators and the name of their utopia on display in the space. You will get direct credit here.

Q: What happened to all the No New Ideas stuff? Did the comic get made?
A: I lost the drive with all the tidied up files on it, so the comic didn't get made. I do intend to return to that project, though.

Q: How are you?
A: I'm well, thank you for asking, if a little tired - but then, I always am. Thank you for asking, I hope you're well also.

Q: Have you got an idea of what this thing will look like?
A: In my head, yes. The closest I got to realising the picture in my head was when I tried photographing the buildings I already have for use as a poster - the photos weren't good enough, but here's what it looked like anyway. I'd really like a much more impressive city, though.

User submissions follow below:

Daryl Morris

Aliki Chapple (@amaenad)
(5W - "Curvilinear" - Aliki actually gave four other words, I'm doing one at a time)

Dr Matt Finch (@DrMattFinch)
(5W - "Running Water Never Grows Stale)

Bill Hopkins - Not On Twitter
(5W - "Dungeons And Dragons Land, like lots of dragons and swords and magic and stuff" "This is supposed to be five words or less, Bill." "OK, DRAGONS. Just one word."

Kate Dowling (@waveatthetrain)
(5W - Always Space For Dogs)

Sarah Harris - @implausible17

Tom Alexander - @tomlxndr

Maxim Peter Griffin - @maximpetergriff

Susie Gander - @susiegander


  1. what's your deadline for getting contributions, Gareth?

    1. Good question - I'll be setting the initial buildings up at the end of August, but new buildings can be submitted and added throughout September. The earlier the submission comes in, the longer it'll be on display :)

    2. I'm going to add this to the FAQs...