A Tale Gathering
“Story Heritage – Community, locality and people are valuable resources in the Highlands – sharing is what we do best; access and inclusion is what we are about, and what we want to be – sharing stories keeps our communities alive.” Jelica Gavrilovic
Artsplay Highland brought artists into communities in the Highlands throughout 2007 in a storytelling project led by well-known community artist Bob Pegg.
The gathering of stories began in Glenurquhart working with community groups and the primary school, encouraging people to share stories, and record them as a legacy. Visual artists Geordie Haig and Jane Bregazzi worked alongside Bob to interpret the tales leading to an open event at Glenurquhart Hall which included an exhibition and workshops throughout the day in music, dance and art for children and adults.
Bob Pegg also brought his own knowledge of the Highlands and each area’s unique “story heritage” to enhance a sense of belonging. It is hoped that the stories can be re-told in each location and become a part of every-day conversation within the groups and will inspire them to take the stories into other art forms.
The story-gathering was an organic process, initially non-formal in its approach with the groups in each area, and sought to encourage communication, knowledge, awareness of the unique landscape, history and of course people and their lives, regardless of where they came from, or where they may be going.
After Glenurqhart, Bob went to Dingwall for early summer. Each area had a day of exhibiting and workshopping.
Childcare workers, care staff and teachers took part in the project as part of CPD and learning new skills by working with artists.
Part 2 - Intergenerational Project with Cairn Housing Association
As a follow on from our Highland 2007 programme, Bob Pegg and Joanne Kaar worked with Cairn Housing staff and residents in Inverness and Crown Primary.
CROSSING THE BOUNDARIES ACROSS GENERATIONS
This 5 month project aimed to improve communication and understanding between generations within a given locality.
The focus was on establishing and improving links between young and old people in key community facilities, local schools and older sheltered housing.
The aim was to reduce the social isolation of many older people and highlight the value of older people’s experiences.
Bob Pegg and Joanne Kaar, freelance artists with experience in teaching children worked on story-gathering, design and montage, and creating books. Bob worked in 2 Cairn Housing courts in Inverness and along with Joanne delivered workshops at Crown Primary School with the p4 class. A permanent website/webpage will house a resource of facts and news relevant to the project and which can be added to by Crown Primary children. They will also utilise resources such as the Highland Photographic Archive and look at examples of similar websites that already exist i.e the Cromarty Archive website.
The p4 class created 8 books from stories told by two residents: The Picnic, Daily Life, Games, The Strange Noise, The Penny, Wartime, Punishments for You!, Trouble at Sea. Bob Pegg also collected stories orally from residents at the courts.
The headteacher at Crown was also extremely pleased with the project as an educational tool in community-learning. ‘I would recommend this project to other schools, and I would readily take this on again as an excellent way to learn about the community we live in, our older generation and their lives and childhood experiences across the decades.’
Please see pdf for further information.