helenehugel's profile

My Posts

Day 6 - Text - Beginning of Puppet Exchange

Today was very quiet, as last week there was a nurse`s strike.  Most of the children for admission were sent to neighboring hospitals.  Today was the first day children were being readmitted.  

My colleagues in the other 3 hospitals and I are doing a puppet exchange.  This idea came from a discussion during our artist`s meeting the week before.  Each of  us is posting a puppet to the other, and for the next 4 weeks (up to the end of the project) we shall receive a new puppet.  As these puppets travel, their character and story develops, assisted by the children it meets on the way.  Today, I made the puppet I am sending in the post.  With the children, we discovered some of it`s story, which I wrote in a little travel journal, which I will send with the puppet.  I discovered from the children that the puppet is a moonwalker.  He lives alone on the moon.  He travelled to Earth, but as he passed through the atmosphere, his ship burned.  The children then imagined what characters this puppet might meet on his travels around Earth.  They then made these puppets, and we shot a video of one encounter.

In the travel journal, I added to the story.  The puppet itself is nearly white, and so is traveling the Earth in search of colour.  I asked the group of children in the next hospital, to please colour him in.

Because of a late start working with a child in the morning (as there were no children available to work earlier), we could not participate in the link-up.  This was a pity, as I had made a theatre box to facilitate performance during the link-up.  This was inspired by my work in the studio the previous week.  I am very interested in how we can perform artistically via the live link, and how worlds/environments can be captured by the camera.

Another interesting development this week, is that the Hospital Play Specialist offered to facilitate making during the week, in between sessions.  For the coming week, she is going to make a port hole using collage.  We are going to use this for our display we are building in the play room window.  I think this is a great idea, and will help to give the last 4 weeks good momentum, particularly after the start stop nature of the residency.

Staff Activity:  I collected comments rom the comment box in the staff room today.  These included: "Great Ideas! More activities like this needed badly"  "Great Ideas. Lots more fun and games for the kids."  It also included quite strong opinions like, "Good idea, but Helene seems to want collage her way not paeds way." "And Humour needed badly, not dreams of exotic places."  It is always hard to take criticism, but the fact that the staff are engaging with the activity in a reflective and emotive way is positive.  The conflict cited here is in relation to the theme I first presented as a starting point for the collage, and the ripped out images I provided.   The staff decided to use their own print material to source images and therefore went down their own route.  I was not expecting such enthusiasm, and had tried to make the activity as simple as possible, by suggesting a theme.

Before defining the next activity, I would like to ask the staff for suggestions, by hanging a suggestion box in the staff room.  Also, to acknowledge the work done so far, I would like to take a photograph of the collage, possibly frame it, and hang this in place of the collage itself. I would also like to leave photograph copies of the collage for staff to take home with them.  I might possible have these printed as postcards.  I am going to discuss these ideas with the hospital slay specialist next week.

I realise a lot of energy is going into working with the staff, but it is my feeling that it is important to develop their creative confidence and skills, as this will reflect in their relationships with the children.

Comment this Post

    No comments added

To comment this post you must be logged.