An Educational Project
‘One storm filled day, when the clouds were the colour of a bad temper, something washed up on the shingly beach that was neither fish nor bird nor boat.’
16 schools from across Cornwall took part in a two-day event involving schools dance performances in specified locations around the gardens at Prideaux Place near Padstow and Trebah Gardens, near Falmouth. Interpreting the theme of journeys and myths with direct references to Cornwall, I worked with a team of dancers, choreographers, a writer, a dress designer and other visual artists to create parts of the set, installations and costumes to accompany the performances.
Working with the children we set up treasure trunks, messages in bottles, giant crab shells and sea creatures from the ocean’s depths that the children made using a range of recycled materials. The result was a spectacle of cobalt blue and coral orange with touches of gold that shone against the green of the gardens in both locations.
‘To see my daughter involved in this has been a joy! She has come home talking about what she has helped to make and today we have seen it all come together as a performance. I wish they could have more such experiences in primary schools.” Parent from Porthlevan School
DATE: July 2016
CLIENT: TREBAH GARDENS
Engaging with young people to create an event which stands together with or is sometimes part of a professional performance is an area of work I feel passionate about. On these occasions I feel a member of a creative team from the start and enthusiastic about sharing my skills. From a professional point of view, I am inspired by working with artists from other disciplines towards a focussed outcome. In this case, I was involved in adapting the costumes for the professional dancers. Experiences such as these bring together some of my key interests; working in response to a site, collaborating with other professionals and involving people of all ages.
Neptunalia’s education programme ran alongside a professional production by Cscape Dance Company as part of SALT 2016 also at Trebah Garden. This tale of Neptune and Neleus is described as a feast for the heart, soul and belly, exploring the emotions of leaving home, of prodigal sons and daughters and culminated in food and drinks, dancing and celebrations on the beach.
My role was to create an object that would illustrate the scene the particular school was involved in. We made crab claws, a giant map leading to treasure chests brimming with golden goblets, messages in bottles and precious pendants.
All the artwork produced decorated the stage of the Amphitheatre at Trebah Gardens and the gardens of Prideaux House Padstow.