As part of Our Future City #BeWell programme that works with schools from the Brighton City Partnership for Education, a budding collaboration is developing between Hertford Infant Schools and arts organisation Herringbone Arts. Fran Malone from Herringbone updates us on the peculiar, progressive happenings between craft and communication...
Hertford Infant School and Herringbone Arts are excited to be beginning a 6 week project with a difference, featuring year two children, their parent or carer and... aliens!
Over the course of the ' Us in Space' project, the children and their grown-ups are invited to have space and time together to create an alien puppet, a miniature set and props, a pet for their alien and even experiment with shadows and projection to create magical, out - of - this - world special effects!
Of course, this will be a lot of fun, but the project was also specifically designed by Herringbone Arts with Hertford Infant school staff to promote conversation, communication and self-esteem.
So… Why puppets? Puppets can inhabit any world and do anything, they can perform and experience events in ways that may be out of the realms of possibility for the puppeteer, in this way playing with a puppet can be liberating, in a similar way to taking on a different character when a mask is worn. In order for two people to operate a puppet, communication is essential!
And why aliens? Aliens can look like anything! Nobody knows what colour or shapes an alien really consists of! In this way the imagination can experiment freely when creating an alien puppet and successes can be had in abundance, this will be a great boost to self-esteem, especially when completing the task with a loved one! Imagine the conversations needed to design and create the aliens own planet, discussions can be had about their food, hobbies, describing their likes and dislikes, their modes of transport! What a rich landscape of language this will create!
Joining materials together to create a puppet, props and set is a collaborative task. The year two children will be experts in some of the techniques used and will be able to lead certain parts of the making, in others they will need the support of their grown - up. Resilience will be needed at times in order to problem- solve together to find out which materials are the best to use for each job and which ones are not! Seeing the task through to the end with rich conversations, collaboration and a common creative goal which has been worked towards with a loved one will be an unforgettable experience!
Herringbone Arts is run by Fran Malone and Madeleine Herrington. They are an award winning company who create interactive theatre and installation featuring performance, puppetry, live music and projection. Using exquisite attention to detail, they transform unexpected places and ordinary spaces into something magical where children and families can create memories together.
‘Us in Space’ is part of the Our Future City #BeWell programme, which works with schools in the city’s Central Cluster.