I have been working with Devon Carousel on a project with families and the pre school in Stoke Canon. This has led to some explorations of the beautiful environment of the grounds of the Killerton along with our home patch around Stoke Canon Church. We have made hedgehog houses, been birds, played hide and seek in the orchard, seen apples pressed and created shadow puppets among other thing.
It is always an interesting challenge working with a mixed range of very young children. Story and activity has to make sense in a visual and dynamic way without relying on the understanding of words. Creation has to be child focussed. Shadow puppets this morning work best away from the drawn and cut out and more into assembling ripped think paper. That shape is the body and that one is the wing and there is the bit for the beak. Some how the result works on the screen in a way that the crisply cut out patterns do not. I like the way that my practice and technique evolves and adapts. I guess I have been doing this kind of work for over 20 years but still it is new. There was a lovely moment talking to a couple of the builders who had arrived to start preparing the church for the new bells. They saw the magic of what was happening as children pecked and soared and flapped in the church yard and saw what we were doing by linking dance with the creation of, on the one hand, an imaginative shadow story and the other the creation of a practical garden for wildlife.