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Playing with Nature

Updated: Nov 22, 2022

As a continuation of our work at Norton Priory over the Summer - Claire and Rachael joined in with Norton Priory's Apple and Quince weekend. These sessions also gave our artist Rachael, an opportunity to see how people respond to the new maps and trails she is designing for Norton Priory.


Artists involved: Claire Pitt and Rachael Prime.

Apple and Quince weekend is a two day event in October and we wanted to create an activity that worked outdoors, that would let people engage with us for ten minutes or an hour.


On Day One we started the sessions with lots of materials on offer, to help build the map, but as the day went on, it became apparent that using found items turned the map into a miniature kingdom, leading to some participants staying for over two hours, immersed in their own world building.

On Day Two, we decided to limit the materials to colouring pencils and found/foraged materials, mindful that we were in the walled garden and foraged was limited to weeds and items on the ground (we didn't want to annoy the gardeners with over zealous 'foraging').

At the end of the final day we put together the worlds that had been built over the days and it was left on display in the walled garden till the elements took a hold of it, this leads to our further discussion below about things we need to improve.


Tools: This was a simple workshop, relying on imagination, but here are a few things that helped along the way

  • Best crayons/pencils ever (amazon link) - Stabilo Woody Three in One Colouring pencils are a staple item for our workshop box now. They are brilliant on paper (for big and little hands), they work on windows and cardboard boxes.

  • Large scale printing of the map that Rachael designed - this was produced by a company that does draft printing - we use Plot Giant

  • Photographing the world in miniature - Rachael has invested in a Moment Lens for her phone.

Things to improve:

We have been working towards a more sustainable way of creating artwork and running workshops, as part of this work, we are now looking into the materials we use and what happens to work created after workshops finish. In this project we used hot glue, in hindsight we could have used clay. We will also be looking into more environmentally friendly glues for future projects.


Things we are doing now:

With our community garden project 'Old Town Bloom' we are working towards doing more community litter picks and planting more trees. Follow our 'Old Town Bloom on Tour' project to find out more.


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