I got completely swept up in the excitement of the Cultural Olympiad long before Open Weekend kicked off. Having been working in the Brand team for the last few months I have been very involved in the Inspire Programme application process, working closely with each and every project and so had therefore been given a taste of what was to come!
Before we knew it, Open Weekend was upon us, and faced with the exciting prospect of going to only a couple of the hundreds of events taking place UK-wide, we were forced to be ruthless in our choices! Rightly or wrongly I had already been enticed by a number of projects which, to me, stood out in the way they captured our values, welcomed the world and above all seemed genuinely inspired by London 2012. ImagiNation our Nation: GermiNation was one of these.
It was a beautiful day with clear blue skies, so 'Through the Arch of Imagination' (the first of the five events taking place within the Imagination our Nation: Germination project) made for a very good reason to leave the office at lunchtime and get out there and experience our brand - something that everyone here at LOCOG tries to do when given the chance. We arrived at Liverpool Street station, in the heart of the city, where colour is a rarity among the blacks and greys of the suit wearers which line the streets. As we made our way round the corner into Bishops Square, I almost felt like we were stepping into a parallel universe.
The square was flooded with colour, and we were greeted by a towering pearly queen (which we later discovered to be the 'Mother of Imagination') surrounded by a multitude of dancers, drummers and circus acts (evidently the 'seeds' of the future representing the values and qualities that we need to achieve our future) all in extravagant costumes. This was all much to the bemusement of the surrounding five hundred or so city workers who clearly didn't expect to be swept up in carnivalesque celebrations as they nipped out to get their lunch! There was an incredible atmosphere and I was particularly struck by the fact that the performers were representative of every little pocket of society...what an inspiring way to spend your lunchtime!