Playground 2019 – 2020.


Kent Libraries.

Playground was a project that immersed children under 3 and those who care for them, in creative activity that is deeply engaging, transformative and high quality.

Working as part of a team of six artists we delivered workshops daily in libraries across Kent, for a six months.

The aim was 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.

During the weekly Playground sessions I developed ideas around colour, texture, shape, objects and sensory experiences, this included a week influenced by the Japanese artist Kusama using polka dots, circles and lady birds. A further week focused on spiders, exploring line and mark making, with charcoal, tubes and wool. Space week included making helmets, costumes and tinfoil aliens culminating in a fashion shoot. High points for me were drawing with potatoes dipped in water and lovingly nuturing ‘paper bag birds’ on a luminated nest, of course accompanied by a small crowd of 2 year olds. Our sessions only used re-cycled and found materials.

In my practice I reach out and connect through art, in particular this project gave me insight into 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.

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

Playground was a pilot project in partnership with Kent Libraries, researchers at Kent University and Arts Council England.

The Playground project continued in Kent Libraries, facilitated by Librarians.

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