Published 09.10.2021
by Kids’ Own

Artist – writer training day in The Model

We recently met with all our new artists and writers for 2 days training in The Model, Sligo. It was fantastic to meet everybody in person and to hear about them and their practice. There was such a mix of art forms and ideas, from taxidermy, to filmmaking, to writing.

On the first day, we looked at a wide variety of Kids’ Own projects and books. There are 24 years of books in our archive so there were plenty to choose from! Associate Artist Mary Branley discussed the Kids’ Own process using specific projects as examples, talking about how the artist and writer team collaborate with both each other and the children and young people. We took part in some really interesting Deep Listening exercises which helped us connect as a group, preparing the artist/writer pairs for their future collaborations.

Artist Sarah Fuller animating handmade puppet of old man
Self portraits of all the participants
Creative session making beady pockets by Francesca Hutchinson
Collage, drawings and snippets of writing in handmade book
Creative session by Sarah Ellen Lundy with squirrel as drawing prop

The second day started with a deep dive into ‘I Hope You Grow’ project with Associate Artists Maree Hensey and Mary Branley who facilitated it. They shared some really interesting insights into their creative process and how they worked, communicated and bonded during the project.

Then the artists organised a creative session, sharing a simple technique or creative warm-up with the group. There was a fantastic range of activities from beady pocket making, to blind drawing, to puppetry. This was a fun and playful collective session where everybody got to try out a range of creative activities. During this time, writer Mary Bradley was chatting and gathering insights from all the participants, replicating the Kids’ Own workshop process.

On the last afternoon, we created a beautiful collaged book together, using photos from the 2 days, printed and handwritten text that Mary Branley had gathered, drawings, collage and other imaginings. The result was a 34 page fold out accordion book packed with visual and written reflections.