I’ve just started work with Creative Conversations, led by Arts Alive and Media Active. This three year partnership development links experienced agencies for arts and health to help establish new creative opportunities for people aged 55 and over. Participants may want to develop their own creative ideas, acquire new skills that can be shared with others, or may simply wish to try something new.
This is a really exciting project, collaborative and specifically in search of new ways of working. Professional musicians, poets, writers and digital artists will regularly visit various groups and venues to have creative conversations, gather stories, share music, write songs and poems, make films and digital drawings. Over the next two years we will be collecting these and feeding them into the production of a touring Variety Show and exhibition; this will tour around to many small community spaces and village halls across the county, celebrating older people and putting their creativity quite literally centre stage.
I’ve just done the first ‘taster’ sessions at Shropshire day and community centres – and we’ve had a wonderful time making poems together from stimuli such as a heavy horse bridle –
On Clee Hill there was a Shire
across the railway line.
Sometimes my cousin’s husband
would put a saddle on that horse
and ride it
like a medieval knight.
I saw a Shire horse in a field,
before our time.
and on a different day, from a painting by Anthea Craigmyle –
I write down what people say, trying to keep up, trying to keep the way and the exact words they choose, then we read them back. Maybe add a bit more. When we’re done, I chop it up with the scissors, do a swift shuffle and edit, then sellotape the bits back together. Then we read it all again, much clapping and laughing. Here’s one:
I thought it were one of them roundabouts.
Can you write Yorkshire?
I said a leprechaun, but no,
a unicorn by the river.
We three kings,
being as it’s coming to Christmas,
and a spotty dog, all
on their way to Bethlehem.