Playground  is a project to inspire children from 0-3 years old, as part of a team of six artists working in Kent libraries we  immerse the children and those who care for them in creative activity that is deeply engaging, transformative and high quality.

The aim is to pass on to parents and carers confidence and enthusiasm for sustained and creative engagement with pre-school children and explore the potential of a lasting connection with culture and art.

For the weekly Playground sessions I have developed ideas around colour, texture, shape, objects and sensory experiences, this included a week of  sessions influenced by the Japanese artist Kusama using polka dots, circles and lady birds. A further week focused on spiders, exploring line and mark making using charcoal, tubes and wool. Space week included making helmets, costumes and tinfoil aliens culminating in a fashion shoot. High points have been drawing with potatoes dipped in water and caring for ‘paper bag birds on a luminated nest’. Our sessions only use re-cycled, re-used and found materials.

I am interested in how we can reach out and connect through art; engagement signals; non verbal narrative; social bonding; slow time to explore; ideas led by baby and carer; building an empathetic space with our bodies; engaging all the senses. I am enthusiastic to develop my wider practice in this area.

The Library setting is an excellent context for this project, providing invaluable knowledge and support, in a neutral, non judgemental, non educational space, it has been a joy to hear and see the magical space that Playground has brought to the Library environment.

Playground is a 6 month long pilot project in partnership with Kent Libraries, researchers at Kent University and Arts Council England.

Playground sessions will continue in the Libraries from September, run by the Librarians who have worked alongside us, it is very important to me that the projects I am involved with have a legacy and are sustainable,  Playground will continue and grow so fulfilling it’s initial aim.

The Playground tent is at bOing! at the Gulbenkian, Canterbury, August 2019.