Imaginative Spaces at Southfields Library
Our Artist in Residence at Southfields Library was Andy Reeves. He ran a series of creative reading, writing and performance workshops for children and young people throughout 2014.
He said about the year:
"What characterised the residency, as well as the bigger projects (below), were some special smaller moments-
Reading stories to one child who had been looking miserable, eventually being joined by various children of different ages listening in...
The girl whose first words on entering the library were "I've heard that in this library, if you read a story, it comes true..."
The number of children who would wave at me in the street and call out...
The girl who wrote a story for me and brought it to the library...
And many more..."
Work with Schools
Weekly schools programme
Every Thursday schools groups came to the library to join in an interactive, curriculum linked adventure. With the building otherwise closed to the public, we had the freedom to explore the library and use the spaces as creatively as possible. Children found themselves exploring secret gardens, venturing into Egyptian pyramids, sheltering in world war one trenches, sailing to mysterious islands, and much much more. Each workshop ended with book issue time and classes clamouring to take out a book...
Non-fiction challenge sessions
October at the library was 'non-fiction challenge' month. Developed in consultation with local teachers, the non-fiction challenge sessions used interactive stories to set up a research and debate topic- participants were then set the task of using the library's resources- but not computers- to find information to move the debate forward. Reference skills, speaking and listening, problem solving and teamwork were all enhanced- and we had lots of fun!
"The children really enjoyed the research activity and the debating game was an excellent idea to get children thinking for themselves. I might pinch that idea for lessons! I was also pleased that the visit was all based on books and thought it was a great idea to not have the PCs on during the visit."
Teacher, Montrose Primary
The Box, The Dream and the Drum
Three 'play in a week' projects which ran during holidays- each week, young people aged 8-13 worked together to imagine, devise, rehearse and perform an original play in just five days. Time travelling portals, zombie invaders, spooky houses, mind-controlling drumbeats, A tree of life, wizards, dragons, abandoned libraries and much more were to the fore...
"I thought it was fun and I could express myself " "I felt safe, happy, excited and that we were like a family." "I felt confident and really special" "I have learnt how to overcome my fears"
We were privileged to host some great performances at Southfields last year including our own performance of The Petal and The Wire, written by Andy Reeves. We also hosted Jimmy Whiteaker in Tim Crouch's 'I Peaseblossom', Marcus Joseph, Mellow Baku and a great band in 'Paradigm Rhymes', Gary Lagden in Jayne William's World War One play for schools 'The First', Danyah Miller in the wonderful 'I Believe in Unicorns'...
"Wow! A truly breath taking performance, which had adults and children alike on the edge of their seats and wondering what would happen next."
Audience member, 'I Believe in Unicorns'