Imaginary Creatures workshops

A workshop designed to stimulate children’s imagination while acquiring skills in fine art, film making, animation and creative writing.

Imaginary Creatures was commissioned by Canonbury Primary School as part of the Creative Schools Brokerage for London schools and was supported by the London Borough of Islington. The workshop was delivered to two classes of 30 pupils from Year 6. Digital artists Valentina Floris and Ben Foot from SDNA, in collaboration with fine artist Noel Basualdo, creative writer Clare Moloney, and theatre director Laura Keefe, supported pupils in conceiving and creating an audio-visual installation featuring imaginary creatures.

The workshop was divided into three sessions and took place over three days. In the first session pupils were asked to invent their own imaginary creature and create a collage using printed images of West African objects/artefacts, jewellery and textiles, which referenced their current art research. In the second session they learned how to animate the creatures, using stop-frame animation and a motion graphic software. In the final session pupils learned how to create and structure simple narratives and then collaborated in groups to generate and write their own story about their creature. The groups rehearsed and performed their stories with the theatre director, which were then recorded and used as a soundscape for the animations they had produced. At the end of the project, pupils, parents and teachers were invited to attend an exhibition at the Bomb Factory Art Foundation Gallery, displaying the collages, animations, creative writing and soundscapes created by the pupils. The animations were projected onto the walls of the gallery and within glass bell jars to resemble Victorian specimens.

The project stimulated participants’ creativity and imagination, and enabled them to learn new skills in film-making, animation, digital media, creative writing, devising and performance. The workshops supported Key Stage 2 milestones including: enhancing art and design techniques using a range of materials; building vocabulary; using well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes; using spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, imagining and exploring ideas; participating in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates. The workshop also promoted a range of soft skills including team-work, communication and listening, self-confidence, and an opportunity to learn from and respond to feedback.

If you would like to hear more about our workshop programmes and what we can offer your organisation, school, or community group, please do get in touch.