Events

Details of events and workshops we are currently involved in are listed below:

Animating Addenbrooke’s

15/10/2018

Oliver is almost two now and loved seeing his Taking Note photo

I walk past your exhibition every day. It makes me smile. I like the simple things - the personal moments - like the picture of the hug and the mother watching her daughter go off to school. It's just so human. You feel you are in their personal moments. Keep doing it. It's really special.

Diane, Specialist Nurse, reflecting on Taking Note exhibition in Addenbrooke's Hospital, 2017

Poetry, storytelling, dance and sculpture: the work exhibited here celebrates creative projects over recent years with different communities across Cambridge University Hospitals. Produced with Addenbrooke’s Arts, it will share an exceptionally diverse collection of new work including poems written especially for the hospital by Jo Shapcott (winner of the Queen’s Gold Medal, 2011) and three Cambridge poets; stories co-created with people living with dementia and their carers; and new stories of happiness moments gathered for the Taking Note project.

A limited collection of free copies of the Taking Note: poetry in moments publication will also be available together with cards and bookmarks celebrating the project.

The exhibition is part of this year's University of Cambridge Festival of Ideas. More details of this programme is here.

These poems are serious, and they’ve certainly got a serious subject. The subject is life, and how it might be lost; and how it might be saved. There is brave and tender hope here; but, even deeper down, the thrill of being human. Clive James

The Michaelhouse Centre, Trinity Street St. Michael’s Church, CB2 1SU (map)

Monday 15 October - Saturday 27th October 

Open Monday – Saturday 8.00am – 5.00pm

The Art of Reading

31/12/2018

The Art of Reading, site of the new Milton Road Library

A huge temporary public artwork created by more than 400 children from Milton Road Primary School with artist Patsy Rathbone was unveiled in early July. It transformed a 50 metre stretch of builders’ hoardings around the site of the new Milton Road Library which is currently under construction. The display is the end result of a community art project called The Art of Reading which has been produced by a group of volunteers led by Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination director and local resident Ruth Sapsed, a member of the Friends of Milton Road Library, working in collaboration with community activist Ysanne Austin, artist Jo Tunmer and producer Nicky Webb. 

Every child in the school took part in a day’s activities exploring the joy of reading, talking about and drawing their favourite reading places and reading companions. The finished artwork features reading in all sorts of fantastical places and in all sorts of situations: on the moon, on top of a volcano, in a dinosaur’s mouth, on a reading train. Hundreds of enchanting details have been included and can be explored by passers-by for the next 12 months. 

The project was made possible with support from Cambridge City Council, Coulson (the developers), a group of local trusts and businesses and more than 70 individuals who contributed via a Crowdfunding campaign.  

Ruth volunteered her time saying I love libraries. They offered me sanctuary and inspiration as a child and when I was raising my daughters. Now I understand how valuable they are as community spaces too. Einstein said ‘the only thing you have to know is the location of the library’. He also said that imagination is more important than knowledge as knowledge is limited but imagination encircles the world. This celebration of a library and reading and brilliant imaginations will be at the heart of our community for the next ten months at least, and beyond that also as we develop ways for the work to have an enduring legacy.

The Art of Reading, site of the new Milton Road Library

The Art of Reading, site of the new Milton Road Library

The Art of Reading, site of the new Milton Road Library

Lost Words for Cambridgeshire

01/08/2018

We’re losing nature as well as the names for nature - Robert MacFarlane

The Lost Words Book Cover

NEWS UPDATE - a copy for each school in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is now available thanks to the generous donations of so many of you. These are being shared at meetings and gatherings across the county. 58 books were taken to the Peterborough Primary Headteachers briefing last term for example and copies will also be shared at the Witchford Area Schools partnership meeting at the end of September.

In November we will be talking about the book and sharing copies for all Cambridgeshire schools attending the English Subject Leaders Sessions run by the County Council. Dates for these are: 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th November at venues around the County. Schools/teachers can book these online through the schools intervention service course at www.cambslearntogether.co.uk/course-directory - follow link for ‘Briefings’.

We want all Cambridgeshire and Peterborough schools to have a copy of this wonderful book. Schools that can't make it to a meeting are welcome to liaise to collect their copy from the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education reception. Please contact us at info@cambridgecandi.org.uk.


CCI has been campaigning to get Cambridgeshire children back to nature by getting a copy of The Lost Words book into every Primary School in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, as well as bespoke inspiring activities that creatively connect children with the outdoors. Launched in spring 2018, the campaign has clearly touched a nerve and we are hugely grateful for the support we have received to date. We continue to raise funds to support our ongoing activities with this book.

Please support The Lost Words for Cambridgeshire campaign today. Every single donation will help.

Donate to the Campaign button

Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination (CCI) creatively connects children with their local landscapes through real and imaginary adventures. The Lost Words, written by Robert MacFarlane and illustrated by Jackie Morris, is a gorgeously illustrated book that conjures lost words and species back into our everyday lives. Together we want to (re)connect children with the wondrous free natural opportunities that exist on their doorsteps.

Why do we all need nature in our lives?


The Lost Words at Cambridge Literary Festival

Jackie Morris drawing the Otter

Otter by Jackie Morris

At the Cambridge Literary Festival, on the 14th April, Jackie Morris (illustrator of The Lost Words book) live-painted an otter, using Japanese ink and water drawn by Robert MacFarlane from the chalk springs at Nine Wells in south Cambridge. Robert hand-wrote the 'Otter Spell' from The Lost Words onto this too.

This artwork, created with wild water and sumi ink, pencil and gold leaf is unique. It is signed by both Jackie and Robert and has been auctioned, with all proceeds going to The Lost Words for Cambridgeshire campaign bidding has now closed.

Discover more about the creation of this artwork here in the comments section on Jackie's website

Posters of the painting are also available to order from the CCI shop. 

Follow this campaign: @CambridgeCandI | @RobGMacfarlane | @JackieMorrisArt #LostWords

I have lived in Cambridge for nearly 25 years now, and all three of my children have been to our local state primary school. Jackie and I have been moved and amazed over the past six months by the energy and generosity with which many people around the country have campaigned to get copies of The Lost Words into every primary school in their borough, county or country, in an effort to green the classrooms of our children. Now a campaign has come to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. I am so glad that it is happening, and grateful to those who are bringing it about, in the hope that it might help close the gap a little between childhood and nature in our region. Robert Macfarlane

Find out more about why we are running this campaign, the story of The Lost Words and Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination’s creative practice.


Why are we running this campaign?

We are running this campaign so that all Cambridgeshire children can benefit from Robert’s magical words, Jackie’s inspirational art and CCI’s expertise in creatively connecting children with nature. We all need nature in our lives.

The evidence about what happens to us, to our children, if we are not connecting with nature is alarming.  In addition to this, children’s freedoms, both physical and emotional are continuously being eroded. Troubling statistics are everywhere yet successive governments pursue ever-narrower policies. It is more critical than ever that we get this inspiring book and accompanying support into schools across our county:

  • ‘Nature deficit disorder’ is now a widely-used term and children’s roaming areas have decreased by 90% in the last 30 years.
  • 1 in ten children now suffer from mental health difficulties severe enough to require treatment – at least three children in every classroom.
  • The arts are rapidly becoming only for the most privileged with just 8% of the “wealthiest, whitest and most formally educated” proportion of the population making the greatest regular use of Arts Council funded organisations.
  • Access to arts and culture has significant social impact: people who take part in the arts are 38% more likely to report good health; and students from low-income families who engage in the arts at school are 20% more likely to vote as young adults, twice as likely to volunteer, and three times more likely to get a degree
  • New research commissioned by Fabian Think-tank talks of ‘deeply shocking landscape of diminishing arts provision in primary schools’ (2018)
  • Parts of the county are some of the worst in the UK for social mobility (Social Mobility Commission 2016) with Cambridge itself described as a ‘social mobility cold spot’
  • Cambridge identified as the least equal city in UK for second year in row (Centre for Cities 2018)

The story of The Lost Words

This magical book was created to celebrate and revive once-common “nature” words – from acorn and wren, to Conker and dandelion – dropped from the Oxford Junior Dictionary (and replaced by words like broadband and blog). It is a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke. With acrostic spell-poems by award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustration by Jackie Morris, this enchanting book captures the magic of language and nature for all ages.  The book has been described as a "cultural phenomenon" by The Guardian, for the speed with which it and its ideas have taken root in classrooms and homes across Britain since its publication in October.

The Lost Words is a brilliant catalyst for new conversations with schools about these essentials rights and freedoms for children - to explore, to imagine, to be creative and to connect with their local landscapes. You can hear more about the story of The Lost Words here:

https://twitter.com/RobGMacfarlane/status/980857803463065601

And you can hear Robert Macfarlane talking about these issues and The Lost Words here:

http://www.lostwordsforschools.co.uk/index.html

BBC News Night

These bespoke resources have been produced by the John Muir Trust:

- Explorer’s Guide to Lost Words

- Literary and Nature Resource Guide


What is CCI?

CCI are Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination. We creatively connect children with their local surroundings in order to develop:

  • children’s capabilities to care about themselves, each other and the world around them
  • curious citizens with powerful imaginations

We work to explore the rich landscape of wild imagination and to stop wild play rapidly fading from our children's minds. This affects everyone – our children, ourselves and the world we are living in. We can’t care for a world we are not connected to.

CCI is all about empowering and encouraging young people to express themselves and to explore. This is so important - that exploration of themselves and the world around them - as the citizens of the future.
Amanda Askham, Head of Transformation, Cambridgeshire County Council, October 2016

CCI has been working closely with schools across the region to open up spaces for imagination and curiosity, to connect people of all ages with all that is fantastical on their doorsteps and reignite their capacities to have ideas and act on them. Resources informed by this work are available from the CCI shop, in particular our Wild Exchange Games - a collection of playful games for 'people of any age to play anywhere'. Find out more about our Fantastical Cambridgeshire programme.

Donate to the Campaign button

Cambridge Faculty of Education Exhibition

31/12/2018

Place-making research is an important aspect of the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education’s work. CCI is proud to have children from this county's own ideas represented here in the heart of this building. On display in the main lecture theatre are the three Fantastical Maps co-created with the children and their communities from Eynesbury Church of England Primary School, The Round House Primary Academy and Offord Primary School. Also included is the Fantastical Map of Spinney Wild Woods and poems by Jackie Kay and children from Spinney Primary School published in A Poem of a Dream of the Woods.

The work will be in the main lecture theatre until summer 2019. Prints of the maps and the poetry publication are available in the CCI shop.

Pam Burnard (Professor of Arts, Creativities and Education) explores the work with Ruth Sapsed (Director of CCI) in this short film:

With thanks to the brilliant CCI artists who worked on these projects: Elena Arévalo Melville, Filipa Pereira-Stubbs, Helen Stratford, Sally Todd and Deb Wilienski.

 

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