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 initially 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.

Since then we have run it as a full workshop at the Sacred Heart Primary School and the Bridge Secondary School and as a drop in at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery and Brighton Digital Festival.

The full workshop is divided into three sessions and preferably takes place over three days. In the first session participants are asked to invent their own imaginary creature and create a collage using printed images of art objects and artefacts. In the second session they focus on structuring simple narratives and then collaborate in groups to generate and write their own story about their creature. The groups rehearse and perform their stories with the theatre director, which are then recorded and used as a soundscape for the final film. In the final session they learn how to animate the creatures, using stop-frame animation and motion graphic software. At the end of the project participants are invited to attend an exhibition displaying the collages, animations, creative writing and soundscapes they created.

The project stimulates participants’ creativity and enables them to learn new skills in film-making, animation, digital media, creative writing, devising and performance. It’s designed for schools, but it can be modified to suit different events. It supports 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 promotes a range of soft skills including team-work, communication and listening, self-confidence, and offers an opportunity to learn from and respond to feedback.

If you would like to hear more about our workshop programmes please do get in touch.