» work with children and young people
» Troy Story
Troy Story revived our earlier Space Odyssey built on the Orchestra of the Swan's successful long term relationship with Welcombe Hills School in Stratford Upon Avon to develop a production (involving 80 children from 3 schools, an orchestra of 11, 4 adult soloists and a narrator) which transposed Homer's Odyssey into space - and added the Illiad as a prequel.
You can find more about it here.
Masterplan was a 3 year project in association with Creative Partnerships in two Coventry schools. It involved a number of investigations, at least one sculpture, 13 sets of school toilets and a mention on (sadly no longer John Craven's) Newsround. You can explore the slightly labyrinthine project website here - look out for the fabulously revamped toilets here, here and here (for starters).
At Stivichall Primary School, the project was very much about transitiion - straddling the period of the ending of one school and the start of another. Initially, Talking Birds worked with years 2 and 5 to investigate the outdoor space of the school site and to create a sculpture that would act as a focal point for parents gathering at the end of the day. We treated this as our 'levelling stone', and made something which echoed the roofline of the existing school building (which was to be demolished once the new school was built), and incorporated objects and lenses through which we would literally as well as figuratively see the school differently.
Talking Birds worked alongside the architects at the start of the design process for the new Stivichall school building, getting pupils and staff involved in looking at the exisiting building with a view to making the most of the site, transferring features that worked and determining what a twenty-first century school might need to be. Once the school was built, we worked with a mixed age group of children to design all the new toilet blocks.
In Finham Secondary School, it was more of a straightforward re-design of existing and badly-vandalised toilets: see the before and after for details! We now hold the view that, actually, the toilets are pretty much the most important thing to get right in a school, because they are the one place where children and young people are unobserved and vulnerable - we could go on, but we wouldn't want to put you off your tea, but if you are interested in a further conversation about this, do get in touch.
» The Space of Possibilities
A cultural strategy.
Sounds dull, sometimes it is dull, and the process of writing can be even duller. Its impact on a city, though, is huge, or at least it should be. And if it isn’t, then what’s the point of writing it at all?
We wanted to explore a different way of creating, and then presenting, a cultural strategy. We thought a good way of starting would be to ask people who’d never heard of a cultural strategy.