Participating artists: Glenn Boulter, Russell Peet,
Ellie Chaney, John Hall.
Having seen the benefits at first hand through John's sustained residency at Barrow Island School, and his work with Creative Partnerships Cumbria we set out to maintain and develop similar relationships with schools, artists and organisations around teh county.
Our first project introduced animation, audio, and textbased game programming techniques alongside making and storytelling skills . Work in a local Nursery combined an encouragement of imaginative play with demonstration and sharing of construction skills.
The results, including audio and video pieces, can be found here.
Puppet-maker ELLIE CHANEY worked with Year One boys and girls from South Walney Infants on a video production of " Puss In Boots."
The group made thier own puppet theatres and used a variety of puppets and animation techniques to tell the story. The soundtrack features the children and their families.
"Focusing on a long term project with one class resulted in creating work of a level that is often not possible in school workshops. By spreading the time I was in the school across several weeks, there was the opportunity to work with the whole class on creative and performance based activities, whilst there was also the time to work with small groups producing artwork that the children needed more support to create. We also had the time to create artwork in many different media, using both traditional and digital media.
I was very impressed with the time that the school gave to the project. At the beginning of the project there was a whole school assembly in which I shared my work with the children, and they were given the opportunity to ask questions and see my puppets and animations. The children then gave a wonderful assembly about puppetry and traditional tales, showing all the different things they had created. We finished this by showing our film to everyone."
Animator RUSSELL PEET worked with Barrow Island school on a compendium of short films...
I started animating when I was 15. I started by making puppet shows with rods and strings, then when I got a box of plasticine and an animation book for Christmas I started animating with plasticine and haven't stopped since. Being able to bring a lump of plasticine and some wire to life, still amazes me to this day. Since then I have worked on "Wallace and Gromit" and "Shaun the Sheep", directed a short film for the UK film council and directed a play with Ray Davies from The Kinks among other things.
The animations all follow the loose theme of being set against the backdrop of the town hall. The children were allowed to go wild with their ideas, from the town being put in jeopardy by a time travelling dinosaur, to a pesky cat trying to steal the mayors sandwiches.
All of the children's ideas were totally unique, and the amount they achieved in a relatively small length of time was amazing. They designed and made their own puppets, with armatures (metal skeletons to give the puppets stability) recorded their own voices and sound effects. They also did the animating, and some of the shots were really complicated, involving many characters and flying objects.
GLENN BOULTER is an artist and curator based in Cumbria.
His work incorporates print, sound and performance. He worked with Norrh WalneyJunior School on a series of interactive text-based games..
"The project used an outline of Walney as a blank canvas for working together, telling stories and exploring a range of processes from drawing, model making and creative writing to photography and working with sound. By utilising a mixture of digital and more traditional media, the project aimed to provide an example of the way that contemporary artists increasingly work across a range of formats and that maps, books, computer games, radio programmes are all potential outlets for creativity and play.
The 26 individual islands saw Walney transformed into a dragon's cave, a One Direction theme park, an army base, a huge outdoor swimming pool, a flying pig farm, the site of a zombie invasion and the home of a giant panda. A giant map that we made connected all of the islands to each other with various forms of transport from submarines, boats and jets to flying pigs, catapults, bridges and tunnels."
JOHN HALL worked with children and families at Bram Longstaff Nursery on Barrow Island on play-based consdruction projects using recyclable materials.
"The process was often linked to a particular learning theme, but always involved following the children's imaginative leads, allowing them to explore materials, talk about their work and develop a creative vocabulary of making skills while learning the value of following a process. Other work involved sound and movement games in Barrow Park and family art sessions in the summer holidays."