- Some Curious Finds
materials and techniques
- Blog latest news
installations, spaces for stories, spaces to explore...
A lot of projects I work on involve setting up spaces for exploration - spaces which invite children and adults to create stories or questions and then to make their own things. I’ve created story spaces with groups and made story spaces for groups to come and explore. I’m really interested in the ways in which both individual objects and combinations of many objects can lead to all sorts of adventures, tales and questions. An old rusty key hidden in a muddy box… a battered old tin with a half-worn away pattern… a worn out multi-coloured bag with many pockets… These things ignite ideas and beg to have questions asked of them.
Like many people, I’ve collected things since I was tiny and I’m fascinated by the ways people collect and store / arrange their collections. Objects tell so many stories and can hold great intrigue.
I spend a lot of time rummaging for project resources in charity shops
and can’t help but wonder at the stories behind the thousands of things that end up for sale there.
This all links closely with the aesthetics of the spaces we use everyday and especially with spaces for learning. There’s something really important in slowing down and looking more closely and with a deeper curiosity at the objects we find around us. Many aspects of modern living bombard us with visual, sound and verbal clutter which can prevent us noticing special things. I’m really interested in exploring the
ways we set up educational spaces and how we can use spaces to nurture and inspire children.
Katy Doncaster and I have worked for many years on creating a range of story spaces and installations through our Some Curious Finds work. This has included installations at Calke Abbey (Derbyshire), Clumber Park (Nottinghamshire), Lakeside Childrens Festival (Nottingham), Wells Carnival (Norfolk) and the Childrens Book Room at Scarthin Books in Cromford (Derbyshire). This has linked closely with the work we’ve undertaken with community groups and schools
exploring ways we create and invent stories.
I’ve also recently created a series of photo booths, for weddings and special events, setting up spaces with backdrops and costumes.
These spaces enable people to creatively play with dressing up, which
leads to laughter, fun and thereby a series of photographs that are quirky, playful and often touching.