This Little Light of Mine
A Made In Corby project in collaboration with the children of Pen Green Centre for Children and their Families, Visual Artist Kaitlin Ferguson, Composer & Sound Designer Lee Affen and Dance Artist Anna Daly.
Guest blog by Kaitlin Ferguson
The project began with a series of sessions where the team was in residence at Pen Green Centre for Children and their Families, working directly with children to explore multi-disciplinary responses to the theme of light.
Our approach was centred around the curiosities and interests of the children. This took the form of playful exercises in interactive installations filled with music, responding through dance and movement. We used light to stimulate the creativity and sensory responses of the children.
Sensory play is incredibly valuable for early years development, benefiting both brain and language development as well as developing fine and gross motor skills. When working with the children we wanted to create a comforting space which was stimulating and therapeutic.
We enabled moments of creative exploration and play to happen, through experiments using torches, touch-sensitive lights, reflective fabrics, intertwined with playful dance and movement. All whilst incorporating live music mixed in real-time in response to the children’s movements. We watched the children bask in this approach, with lots of laughter and smiles along the way.
Through these open and experimental sessions filled with improvisation and playfulness, the children’s further focus naturally made its way to the surface – they were fascinated with Space. We played with projections of stars and moons, danced with them across the sky and dreamt up stories of travelling to the moon. We began to record these moments in audio to weave a soundscape of this ephemeral experience.
As well as working to spread cheer and energy throughout the Centre, we witnessed smaller tender moments, in particular working with individuals who we were told often don’t engage or are tentative to do so, instead fully immersing themselves in the sessions.
Following our residency at the Centre, I built a sculpture in response to our work with the children for the Grow Festival in Corby town centre. The piece used nearly ninety 3D printed moon lamps, representing each one of the children we had worked with. Inside the sculpture played a beautiful track made up of the stories the children had come up with. The sculpture was installed in Willow Place Shopping Centre, filling the area with light and cheer of the children.
The sculpture invited people to touch, encouraging sensory interactions as they listened to the soundscape. We had over two-thousand people engage with the sculpture itself. It was a wonderful experience to share the children’s work with so many people. Following the festival, the moons were returned to the children at the Centre, for many hours of future fun and play.
“Special thanks to the staff of Pen Green, who made us feel welcome and supported through-out the project as well as thanks to Creative Producer Vicky Frayard.”
Kaitlin is a socially engaged artist working with communities as well as a multi-disciplinary arts practice. She creates projects for all ages and backgrounds across the country, as well as exhibiting internationally.