Visual Stories - 2017

Inspired by the Summer Reading Challenge 2017 theme Animal Agents, Inspire commissioned 5 practitioners to work with pupils from Mattersey Primary School and West Bridgford Junior School to explore visual literacy.

Professional visual artists Anna Roebuck, Stephen Jon and Jess Kemp, and storytellers Nicky Rafferty and Gordon MacLellan worked with students to explore visual literacy, make masks and create stories. The resulting artworks were brought together in an amazing exhibition, to inspire library visitors to take up the Summer Reading Challenge.

We all worked on the theme of ‘Animals of the Savannah’, we made masks of some of the animals that inhabit the region...we had to choose the ones that had good faces. Some looked best from the front, these made good masks, some were better in profile and these made better hats.

West Bridgford Junior School

Working on the theme of 'Woodland Creatures', we made masks and stories of some of the creatures we found there. We even invented some creatures that could live in the woods if they were of another world.

Mattersey Primary School

The Elephant Who Couldn’t Dance

Once upon a time there was a elephant. He was invited to a party but when he got there, apparently the said, he had to…..to dance. Then when he tried to, he fell over.  

Then they said, “You have to leave now. Go!”

The other animals called the elephant police.to take him away. When they heard the music, they started to dance! The elephant can’t help it, elephants love to dance! 

The other animals realised they couldn’t stop them so they thought of another idea; they set up a dancing school and advised elephants to go there, including the elephant police. 

At the next party, they were the best dancers there.

The End.

Pupil from West Bridgford Junior School

  • 13 artist-led workshops for families were run in the 13 level 1 largest Inspire Libraries. 22 smaller libraries also took part.
  • Arts Award at Discover Level was achieved by 20 pupils from Mattersey Primary School as a direct result of their involvement. Their success was celebrated by, and shared with, parents in a special assembly.
  • The Arts Award pilot took place at West Bridgford Library. 3 young people who attended the workshop were able to complete the Discover Award while visiting the Visual Stories Exhibition and working with a professional artist and advisor to gain their award.
  • 51,279 people had the opportunity to see the Visual Stories Exhibition in West Bridgford and Retford Library galleries from 28 July to 7 September.
  • The exhibitions and workshops helped Inspire library visitors to take up the Summer Reading Challenge. 9,732 children took part in the Summer Reading Challenge in Inspire Libraries.
  • Artwork given back to both schools is proudly on display and was celebrated in an assembly in both settings.

Have a go at making your own masks and hand puppets at home!

The Visual Stories project was supported by Arts Council England Lottery Grants for the Arts and The Mighty Creatives.