Creativity matters was an educational research project run by the Engine Room at Wimbledon School of Art and then University of the Arts Chelsea. It was designed to test the usefulness of placing working artists in the context of early years education by measuring the impact on the children.
Placement 1, Southall.
My first placement was in a nursery school in Southall, where I worked full time for most of 2006 with children aged 3 to 4. We did a variety of things from water colour painting to photography which we showed in mini exhibitions during parents evenings and so on.
During this time I made a film about the shadow puppet plays [see above] we were doing. We started by talking about stories, then we designed characters and backdrops until we were ready to perform the plays.
Placement 2, Yeading.
In 2007 I went to a reception class at a school in Yeading, where I worked alongside artist Markus Thonnet. We did many projects that lasted anything from a few minutes to a whole week of large scale art, including a building a cardboard city in the playground and making a jungle on the playing field.
The brief was basically get the kids excited about art, and show the teachers that it is not an impossible subject to explore.
This culminated in a display of our project alongside the artists who had been placed in other schools in the area, where we showed a film based on letters of the alphabet.
Here are some images from a publication called perfect practices which feature an article about the project.