Alongside The Reading Room the everyday goings-ons at the Residency took on a rather literary vibe in celebration of Book Week Scotland. Here is a quick summary of what went on…
Monday 21st November, Mama Makes @ Cafe Stork
My first ever Mama Makes session was at the start of Book Week and in the spirit of everything bookish we made beautiful nursery bunting from old books. Now for all the bibliophiles reading I must reassure you that no books were harmed in the making of this workshop! We had a huge amount of old books donated to the studio for Book Week and you know what kids picture books are like- a lot had pages missing or had seen better days- so this was the perfect way of giving them a new lease of life!
Mums chose a book and then a bunting template that fitted well. Picked their favourite pictures, drew around them with the template, cut out the pieces, used a hole punch and ribbon to string them together! Ta-dah! Easy peasy but beautifully effective! Cafe Stork is open to pregnant mums as well as postnatal mums so it was a lovely activity for them to kick-start their nesting!
Wednesday 23rd November, Women’s Art Group
The Women’s Art Group also started this week and alongside the art activity being taught there was also an ‘Parkhead-colouring’ sheet (as requested by the the community at the Studio Open Day.) Of course, there was only one option for the sheet this week- Parkhead Library!
Thursday 24th November, ROC Cafe
The night of 24th was probably the first really freezing nights of the winter but it didn’t put off a group of hardy Parkhead girls from creating some really fun (slightly anarchic) street-art. All guerrilla warfare depends on a strategy and our guerrilla art night was much the same. We chose 5 sites and 5 reading/book related quotes, paired up the most fitting texts to places and then headed out. In the end we only managed 4 of the quotes as our 5th planned location didn’t have any street-lighting so would have been impossible/eligible (and slightly creepy).
Going to bed that night it was exciting to think of all the people waking up to our artwork- brightening up the morning commute and school run! The quote below was only visible in the daylight- it was such a beautiful morning!- couldn’t resist stopping to watch the reactions of passersby!
Friday 25th November, Messy Art @ Toddlers
I ended the week with a session called ‘Nae words, Nae bother’ at Parkhead Toddlers. Based on the wonderful book Bee and Bird by Craig Frazer- this workshop helps illustrate that literacy should not be a barrier to sharing stories with our children. It takes a lot of confidence to read aloud, and for many parents and grandparents poor literacy can make what should be a relaxing, bonding experience fraught with tension or at worse avoided completely. It’s also an issue for bi-lingual families where local library books are in English but at home there is no one to read them. It can also be frustrating with younger toddlers who want to skip over pages and/or become fixated on one page for a long time- how do we keep the story going when we’ve ran out of words?! The beauty of Frazer’s book is that there are NO WORDS. Just a great series of illustrations depicting the story of Bee and Bird. Are they friends on an adventure? Are they travelers thrown together? Why are they on such an epic journey? NO BOTHER! It’s up to the reader! My son and I came up with out own ideas but in the hands of another family the story changes. It frees up the adult and child to take their own time, not feel they have to keep up with the authors pace or level of language.
To empower the families to use images as the starting ground for storytelling I helped them create their own ‘books’ of images. Everyone got a pack of A4 images to colour, once coloured they were encouraged to lay them out like a storyboard or comic strip. By simply shuffling the images they could twist and transform their story- an activity that keeps on giving.