An explosion of dance, colour and sound

4 February 2020

Bring together a dancer, some music, brightly coloured paint with the fearless imaginations of very young children. Mix them up and what do you get?

“Something that’s unique, probably chaotic and unpredictable but bright, bold and very beautiful in its own way” says Starcatchers Associate Artist Katy Wilson.

As part of her research ‘Mix Up’ Katy has been working with nursery children in Edinburgh who are helping her develop ideas to inspire a pop-up arts experience for babies and young children.

“I’d love to create an opportunity for the very young to independently push the boundaries of their own creative expression through mark-making” said Katy

“Every time a child makes a mark it is personal to them – it’s unique. I love to see children expressing themselves in this way but wanted to give them the opportunity to use more of their physicality in the process, to connect with others and engage all of their senses so the experience is one of genuine exploration with a dancer.

“We have started with the simple idea of something, or someone, spinning with music and are developing out from there.

“So far the brilliant children I’ve worked with have responded really positively – using the paints whilst also listening to music and interacting with, and sometimes mirroring, the dancer.

“The DJ – using vinyl turntables – responds to the children, the atmosphere and the dancer. It’s an additional dimension. Next I’d love to explore introducing lighting to help inspire and provoke different responses.

“The incidental quality of the marks we make during the process encourage a feeling of equality between the children and the adults, each time a new, genuine exploration together.”

Katy Wilson designs creative experiences, theatre sets and installations for children and their adults. Her aim is always to provide opportunities for wonder, magic, hope, imagination, exploration and connection. 


In developing new work she collaborates with children and through arts and creative activities encourages their ideas to become reality.


Blue Block Studio (2014; 2016) is one of Katy’s biggest projects – a gallery for babies, toddlers and their adults where visitors are free to explore, touch and play with anything inside. It toured to venues and communities across Scotland.

Mix Up