Written by Corrie McKendrick, Early Years Artist
Girvan Creative Babies is a collaborative project. It’s a collaboration between Starcatchers and Children 1st, it’s a collaboration between me (Corrie, the Lead Artist) and lots of wonderful artists from around Scotland and, most importantly, a collaboration between Wee Ones aged birth-5 in Girvan, South Ayrshire and the important Grown-Ups in their lives!
In November 2020, work started to put together a plan for a 12 week, in-person, outdoor project in Girvan. It would be all about providing high quality art and play experiences to families and there would be some extra community open days. Of course, as we all know, due to the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic it wasn’t possible to move ahead as first planned, so I went back to the drawing board to have a think about how we could still provide a high quality arts project for Wee Ones and their Grown-Ups to enjoy, together.
In February, I started off by sending families some Play at Home Packs, along with the required resources, to enjoy together while they were spending more time at home. Alongside the packs I started to chat to families on their existing Facebook group to introduce Starcatchers (and myself!), and get to know them a little, too.
We looked at all different kinds of play in our packs, as well as bringing colour, texture and rhythm into our play. It was loads of fun putting these packs together and I was able to bring in some other, fantastic artists to work alongside me, in creating the content for these packs. Aberdeen based fibre artist, Frieda Strachan worked with Starcatchers for the first time on her Play at Home Pack, and Fraser Stone, a familiar face at Starcatchers lent us his musical expertise to help create another fun pack for families to enjoy.
Now, as we are getting towards the end of the Girvan Creative Babies project, national restrictions are beginning to ease and we are looking forward at the opportunities ahead over the next month or so to actually be in Girvan and meet some of the families we’ve been engaging with for the past few months, which is very exciting- it feels like such a long time since we have been able to play in person.
Very soon we’re hoping to have Doorstep Play Sessions for one family at a time in their own private garden space or other local outdoor area, and we have some very special Easter plans that are still top secret!
Keep an eye out for my next blog post which will be all about our upcoming Doorstop Play Sessions.