Created initially for a Bright Shadow Zest event, this activity was developed for Animate Arts Company and the Swale Creative School Network. Murmurations offers everyone taking part a chance to explore creative freedom within a template. It can be adapted according to who is taking part so was perfect for the SCSN as this covers all school years from R to 13 and is fully inclusive.Pictures below are from Bright Shadow Zest participants.
Bright Shadow 1-2-1 2022In response to the impact of the lockdowns which had been running since 2020, Bright Shadow created a one to one programme which introduced artists to people living with dementia and who may have experienced a greater sense of isolation during the pandemic. I spent six weeks with Mr B and created a series of paper based table top activities which offered a kind of creative exercise and also worked as conversation openers intended to rebuild his confidence and sense of trust.
Each week I learned a little more about his life and was able to use this detail to tailor the following week's activity. He loved to count and had worked with numbers in the past, so to conclude our time together he made one hundred counting beads with air dry clay, and threaded them in rows of tens to build his own abacus onto a frame which I had designed and made for him.
There is something very beautiful about the hand built shape of each of the beads. We discussed adding colour but agreed that white celebrated the form most effectively.
Mr B's motor skills had been impacted in recent times but the tactile nature of the clay, and repeated mode of the making, made this an accessible, calming, and overall rewarding process for him.