Our Celebration is part of the Quality Street project.
From March to June, an intergenerational group aged from 7-100 met at Albany Court sheltered housing scheme each week. Working with artists Chuck, Mia and Kathy the group explored the theme of celebration through photography, costume, framing, storytelling and making.
Over the weeks they shared personal stories of celebrations, experimented with different creative processes and had a lot of fun!
How it began…
To begin, the adults from Albany Court and students from George Mitchell met separately and explored creatively how the two groups might differ from one another in terms of age, daily routines and interests.
Through weekly creative activities we worked together, to design wearable artwork that would represent our celebrations as a group. Mia then helped us transform these ideas into costumes that we would all wear to our Meet the Street festival.
There was plenty of colour, spray paint, creativity and lots and lots of glitter!
Using frames made from newspaper twists, the group created frozen tableaus of different celebrations they had attended, from baby showers to Eid celebrations, exploring the commonalities and differences in each story.
One story that particularly struck the group was shared by Chris who is 100 years old. She shared a memory of a party her family held after moving house in Scotland, to a road nicknamed ‘Electric Avenue’. This was the first house she had moved into which had electricity, so they celebrated by having a ‘turning on the lights party’.
By sharing our celebration stories we were able to really get to know one another. We learnt that there are lots of different types of celebration, but that common themes included ‘dressing to impress’, ‘eating good food’, ‘dancing’, ‘community’ and ‘having fun with family and friends’.
Widening the Celebration
Our widening participation days enabled the whole of Year 3 to be involved in the project. On these making days we created wearable artworks representing common celebrations across a range of communities, as well as carnival inspired masks. When completed, the group put on their costumes and posed for a final photo shoot. These photographs were used to decorate our festival bunting and photo booth.
We hope that more people will add their celebratory poses by having their picture taken at the photo booth stand! In this way Our Celebration continues to grow and we are able to pass along to others.
Photos on this page by Chuck Blue Lowry and Samia Meah