Fantastical Histon

We are delighted to be working with the children and families and educators at Histon Early Years Centre in 2019. This reconnects a relationship begun in 2011 which led to one of our most popular resources - 37 Shadows. Artist Hilary Cox Condron will be leading the project and exploring the spaces for fantastical adventures with this community. Updates from our workshops are shared below.

It was brilliant to work with the Histon and Impington Sustainability Group on their celebration of their green spaces for Mental Health Week and contribute to their celebration day on May 11th.

A14 and Cambridge Community Foundation Logos

 

Celebrating Green Spaces

15/05/2019

One hundred and three people of all ages joined us on Saturday May 11th to explore the fantastical qualities of Histon and Impington. 

Visitors were invited to immerse themselves into the sound worlds of the animals around us (recorded by bio-acoustic engineer William Seale) and then contribute new work to Nature’s Gallery.

We shared stories and ideas together and gathered wonderful new drawings for our fantastical map we are creating.

The day was part of a celebration of green spaces around the community organised by HISustainability. Huge thanks to their team for all their support and to our volunteers on the day Bridget Cusack and Gladys Jones.

Into the woods

08/05/2019

(by Hilary Cox Condron) Homefield Woods are just over the road from the Histon Early Years Centre and we ventured out there on our second visit last week as explorers and artists, thinking together how to look up high, look down low and be very quiet to listen to the sounds. The youngest member of the group, Bertie, immediately found a bear print. Extraordinary drawings began to emerge of the sounds we could hear and treasure collections were carefully assembled.

Caitlin’s bashing sticks

Sophia’s rustling leaves

Back in the nursery we shared what we had found and began to create more stories and characters to inhabit them. Erin’s incredible mouse-like seedhead was given its own toy and named Tilly, who Erin then drew being carried by another dormouse named Reggie.

Caitlin spent time drawing her collection of treasures before adding ‘Kooka and Lawa the dinosaurs, who live with the mice in a treehouse in the woods. Kooka likes to eat chocolate with Peter Rabbit, Lawa can see things really far away… she found a coconut and took it to a summer beach to drink.’

Elliott quietly focused on creating an extraordinary and intricate collection of forest pictures to which he added smaller detailed observational drawings using a magnifying glass and a collection of animals.

We were struck by the focused concentration as the children remembered their morning in the woods and worked together on ideas for our fantastical map.  We will be taking lots of this work to share with residents in the nearby Bramley Court Care Home next. 

I am Reggie the dormouse

30/04/2019

I am Reggie the dormouse

I am Reggie the dormouse, I am Lala Fair
I see a cocoon, my mummy, dandelions swishing in the breeze and a lipstick on the floor
I smell fish, rosemary and my breakfast of fresh flowers
I hear rain and my friend, the mouse, shivering
I have a little play.
I dream of fairies, rainbows, unicorns, crocodiles and flowers
I wish I had a dog, a magical toy and a hat-burger
I am Reggie the dormouse
I am Lala Fair

By Erin, James, Ataiah, Bertie, Amy, Caitlin, Sophia, Alexis, Eli, and Elliott (age 3 and 4)

(By Hilary Cox Condron) From sharing some of our favourite things – splashing in puddles, climbing, running, playing in the park and resting in the garden – to snoring like a dormouse and imagining dormouse dreams, our first ‘Fantastical Histon’ session was, indeed, fantastical.

What might a dormouse see and smell when it first wakes up after hibernation? And what might it’s nest look like?  Alexis and Sophia (4) created a kitchen for their dormouse nest - ready to prepare a breakfast of flowers. Nests were carefully placed in the garden so dormice could visit.

We know that being outdoor explorers and artists means we look at what is around us from all different angles – after being tiny mice with fresh new eyes, we imagined we were as big as Mo Carter, the Histon Giant…taking huge steps as we look down on the village.

Next week we will explore Homefield Park – imagining we are tiny and imagining we are huge. And we will also visit the nearby Bramley Court Care Home with some children and hear from residents about some of their favourite places in Histon.

 
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