Tapestry Tuesdays with Year 4 from George Mitchell Primary School and Albany Court
We kicked off year 2 of Quality Street by creating an intergenerational tapestry.
Working with artist Kathryn Horak-Hallett and guest artist Polly Beestone, Year 4 pupils from George Mitchell Primary School and residents from Albany Court came together to share their experiences of the local area and explore places which are important to the community.
In the second year we were able to work with all children in Year 4, giving everyone an opportunity to meet and be creative with the residents. For some of the children who took part in a project last year this was also a chance for them to reunite with people they had previously worked with.
Being with the children is like therapy, some of them even remembered me from last year.
Albany Court Resident
During this project we trialed a new way of working in the hope of establishing a structure which would be sustainable for partners going forward. This meant rather than having weekly intergenerational sessions, the two groups took part in separate creative sessions and came together once a term for a regular gathering to share their artwork. The school hosted Albany Court residents for these events, providing an impressive picnic lunch and a space for the children and adults to work creatively together. The children prepared by thinking about what they would need to do to make their guests welcome.
The aim of this new structure was to enable George Mitchell Primary School to host their own regular intergenerational event in the future.
Batik, vegetable dying and knitted trees…
Sessions began by both groups exploring journeys they have made and those they would like to make. The children mapped out these journeys using fabric and created short videos taking Albany Court on a virtual tour of their journey.
At the first regular gathering we exchanged stories and learnt about Pauline’s adventures in New Zealand and Chris’ childhood in Scotland. Together we added to our tapestry using printing techniques; our once blank tapestry had begun to take shape.
I learnt that I liked doing stuff with the older people.
Year 4 Pupil
Using different techniques, including dying fabric with beetroot and avocado, we continued to add places that were important to us such as the forest, marked on the map with knitted trees by Joan, and the cinema.
For our final gathering, the groups came together to create a river using large pieces of fabric and a dying technique which produced patterns that looked like rippling water. We then decorated fabric fish in small groups and placed them onto the river to complete the tapestry. At the end of the workshop we shared a final moment to look at the different elements each group had contributed and how it felt to see them all together.