In 2017 I was part of a team of artists, designers and writers developing an exciting new resource within an existing space at Cornwall College in Camborne.
Hidden inside a 1970s office complex deep in the heart of Cornwall, The Writers’ Block is a curious new world created by writers, teachers, theatre-makers and artists.
I chose to design the reception area, the cloakroom and the first step into this magical space. There was an emphasis on this being a threshold, a space you would enter off an everyday corridor that would lead to the unexpected.
Commission for the entrance to Writers' Block
My inspiration was a painting by Marc Chagall called ‘The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk’. Figures in motion, propelled forwards by the wind, driven by an excited energy. The two figures reach out towards each other, as if dancing on the wind. Items are blown about, gloves, scarves, hats in disarray.
KEAP (Kernow Education Arts Partnership) created this new initiative to support reluctant young writers in Spring 2017. The challenge we set ourselves was to create an inspirational environment to encourage and support writing. How could we reach these young people, those who are afraid of putting pen to paper, those who don’t have the confidence to articulate their ideas?
We know just how difficult it is for some pupils, particularly boys, to write effectively. We know how hard it is for them to reflect on their experience, show their understanding and imagine new worlds. And we know how important it is for them to overcome their difficulties and become confident and creative when writing.
The Writers’ Block has developed into a creative space for the young as well as adults and now runs several writing programmes designed to encourage and inspire people of all ages and abilities, cultivating their writing confidence.
Sessions are led by a professional writer, illustrator or performer. Participants experience the surprises, reveals and curious worlds of the Writers’ Block and claim them as their own. They are inspired to write, encouraged to share and develop their ideas and produce work of the highest quality.
“Amazing, delightful, terrific. I learnt that you could describe atmosphere only using a colour and write a whole story based on an object as small as an arrow.” Student, St Mewan School
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