Thursday, 30 July 2015

Parbold Hill Comes Alive: Arts Festival

Parbold Village is having an Arts Festival. And it's very exciting!

Parbold is a pretty and lively village in Lancashire. It is bursting at the seams with creative talent. The Parbold Community Association and WLBC Arts Development team at the Chapel Gallery in Ormskirk have secured funding for the Arts Festival and I am delighted to be part of the creative team putting the festival together. The lead artists on the project, Andy and Sharon Shaw, known collectively as Article have worked on many community engagement projects and it is a joy to be collaborating with them.

With a choreographer and percussionist also on the team, the aim is to create a performance over the festival weekend, 4- 6th September, that will process through the village and onto an open air stage telling the Tall Tale of Parbold Hill.

A creative writing workshop at Parbold Douglas Academy.
Here, we are creating collage prose poems.
Photo: Andy Shaw @ Article fine arts, Parbold. 
Over the last two weeks of term we've been running workshops in Parbold's two primary schools. I've been exploring creative writing, while Andy and Sharon have been facilitating arts workshops with the children sculpting the figures that will make up the performance. We have been building the story collaboratively with participants as we work together. It was exciting comparing notes with Sharon and Andy and sharing the ideas that the children had contributed. Slowly, the story is beginning to breathe.

Parbold has a very particular geography, nestling against a large hill. A dragon-creature myth is emerging from this geography. The dragon lives under the hill and comes out every year. I have been exploring this idea with the children. What does the creature look like? Is there only one of it? What does the creature do when it comes out each year? What kind of character is it? How does the creature perceive Parbold landmarks - the canal, the windmill, the railway station...? How does it interact with the villagers?

The schools have been brilliant. It is clear that Parbold community really values the arts. Both schools are vibrant and creative places and the children were keen and ready with ideas for the tall tale. It has been a delight to work with the pupils and staff.

The work they produced creating their own tall tales and myths about the dragon creature and with Andy and Sharon, forming the sculptures, feeds directly into the performance and will also be part of the exhibition that will follow for the rest of September in venues across the village.

There will be free workshops open to all in the community over the next couple of weeks in both art and creative writing. More on this soon.

The Festival is happening on the 4 - 6th September. There will be lots of different events to get involved with. More details soon!

No comments:

Post a Comment