By Where We Are Lead Artist, Callum Younger
As the colours, warmth and scents of spring begin to populate our sessions, we are reminded of the changes made to our project throughout winter.
We ended January saying farewell to the inspirational Kirstin and Claire through two huge community-centred Baby Raves. Sensory delights of UV tents, nineties tunes and paint throwing that truly encapsulated the spirit, and creativity brought to the project over the last 9 months.
The projects continuation into spring was tentative, akin to the first bulbs sprouting from the cold ground. The outdoor focus was adapted, feeling the coldest months harder than before, we sought shelter and found new spaces in which to inhabit on our weekly explorative and creative play.
Though the roster of creative leads changed, the core aspects of our project did not waiver. Facilitating a creative space for both the adults and wee ones remained the deep rooted ethos of the team. Anna injected the project with such vibrant enthusiasm, ensuring that each session was sure to better, brighter and more fun than the last. Roz’s eye for visual beauty and ear for every participant expanded the atmosphere of non-judgemental caring attentiveness built throughout each week. Our team were focused on building sessions that transported both child and inner-child to new horizons, tactile designs and sensory landscapes. Holding the space for each family to build upon their relationships through play.
“It is in the space between inner and outer world, which is also the space between people–the transitional space–that intimate relationships and creativity occur.” (Winnicott 1958)
Our project has been lucky enough to be granted something most special, time. More time than previously accounted for and with that there is a wealth of subtle dynamics that have emerged through the interplay of our communities.
On a brisk spring afternoon, under the canopy of old beech trees a new dynamic emerged between father and son. Until this new season, their individual styles of play had always appeared to be close in proximity but independent of each other. When this afternoon brought a mini drum kit, the pair shared in drumming together for most of the session. Filling the park with grooves in unison and polyrhythms (4:3 is a favourite of this particular wee one) they were reacting to each others playfulness that captivated all in the near surroundings. This attunement to one another is important not only for the wee ones sensorimotor and perceptual development, but in terms of their developing further social skills.
“Young infants are sensitive to timing, rhythm, and meter, which helps them to organize inputs such as speech and music into hierarchical meaningful structures, and to enhance processing of auditory streams that unfold over time by using the regularities of rhythms to predict when important upcoming information will occur…” (Trainor & Marsh-Rollo 2019)
The wee one has since been much more curious of their peers. Offering drumsticks or dinosaurs to others, playing more games with his family and actively exploring the session surroundings in a way we did not see a few months ago. Although both father and son developed and acquired skills drumming independently throughout the sessions last year, it is the attuned attentiveness to each others play that has seen a distilling of confidence in both.
With each session, we all share more in the communal aspects of observing, playing and learning from one another. Our time is spent creatively exploring and establishing relationships through play. It is such a privilege to be part of this community and bare witness to its growth and change in this new year.