Project

Coopers Court & Halley Primary School

An Arts & Ages Partnership

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First year (January – April 2019)

Constellations 

I really loved the project and didn’t know three months had gone by and we have done so much

Younger participant

Constellations was the first collaboration between Coopers Court Extra Care Scheme and Halley Primary School, working with artists Lehni Lamide Davies, a theatre practitioner and Liane Harris, a photographer.

At the beginning of the partnership Coopers Court expressed an interest in creating a piece of artwork that could be permanently displayed in the lounge. Using this to spark the group’s ideas, residents from Coopers Court and children from Years 4, 5 and 6 came together to create Constellations.

Using photography, storytelling and sound, everyone worked in small groups to create their own unique story. Together they created an exhibition of photographs and sound recordings which tell these stories. The exhibition includes 23 individual and group photos, sound recordings and text – and we imagine it like a time capsule which will become a gift to generations of the future! The artworks are installed in the lounge at Coopers Court and were exhibited to friends and family at the end of the project.

Second Year (September – December 2020)

Spaces & Places

Continuing their work with artists Lehni Lamide Davies and Liane Harris, Coopers Court and Halley Primary began Year 2 of their partnership with a one-off workshop reuniting participants from Year 1. Coopers Court used this one-off workshop to introduce working with younger people to new older adult participants.

Following this workshop, with support from Magic Me, artists and partners developed a shorter project structure, which included an introductory workshop, three intergenerational workshops and a sharing event. Partner staff such as the Activities Co-Ordinator (Coopers Court) and the Arts Specialist (Halley Primary) began to input into creative planning sessions with artists and deliver activities in workshops.

Spaces & Places explored photography and storytelling, with older and younger people creating visual storybooks with themselves as the main characters.

During Year 2, partners also developed ways to incorporate intergenerational events into their current programmes. This resulted in a group of older participants attending the school’s Winter Art Day to create Christmas decorations with a group of children and their parents.

Simple Acts (April 2020) 

In April 2020, artists Lehni and Liane were due to continue working with partners, as they completed the second year of their Arts & Ages partnership. However due to the constantly changing situation around the COVID-19 pandemic all sessions were put on hold. In response, Lehni and Liane created Simple Acts, a series of bespoke creative activities for Coopers Court residents.

Residents were gifted a personalised activity pack, containing six creative activities including collaging, painting, movement making, poetry, sculpture and puzzles. In order to select an activity residents roll a dice and follow the instructions of the activity with the corresponding number.

Activity packs included materials needed to take part in each activity and a message from the artists to each individual participant. Simple Acts continues to be used by staff in 1:1 sessions with residents.

The View From Here (April – June 2020)

In response to the constantly changing situations around the COVID-19 pandemic, Magic Me designed a remote project for Arts & Ages partners to take part in from home. The project involved activity packs sent in the post and uploaded to online learning platforms, with the aim of creating a space to reflect on the now, explore another generation’s perspective, and most importantly have fun! Full project details can be found here.

Final Year (May – July 2021)

Between May – July 2021, partner staff worked with Magic Me to build upon their previous work together. Through online meetings, partners established joint aims and objectives, continued their learning of intergenerational practice and planned for the future.

Older and younger people continued to connect remotely through a creative project where both groups designed a series of ‘dream home’ collages. Residents began by thinking of their childhood homes and who they would want to invite into their home if they owned a castle, manor and mansion. Collages were created on large boards which were exchanged every other week so the groups could see and build upon each other’s art work. Older and younger people strengthened their sense of connection through written messages and videos.

Photo credits: featured image by Holly Falconer, Constellations Celebration image by Samia Meah, Spaces & Places Storybook image by Liane Harris

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