One of our favourite projects this year has been documenting the work of resident poet Cheryl Moskowitz at Highfield Primary School in Enfield. We’d worked with Cheryl previously on the fantastic Visual to Vocal project at Dulwich Picture Gallery. We were delighted to work with Cheryl again at Highfield and made six trips over six months to capture the extent that poetry has been embraced in the school. This project has been a very unusual venture in a primary school and even captured the eye of the national press:
It was a real privilege to be involved in documenting this residency and to watch the children develop their love of poetry, win competitions, grow up and build relationships through their work with a professional poet. We covered every part of this incredibly diverse school and felt welcomed into the community over our time there. The films still only really scratch the surface of Cheryl’s work and the school’s commitment to poetry.
As part of the review of their anthropology collections, the Horniman invited 32 lucky local people to engage creatively with some key objects from that collection. The Community Fieldworkers, as they were known, were given special access to the collections store and training on how to work with and consider the objects they would be responding to. They were then sent 18 postcards, each one showing a different object. From this stimulus they were asked to create, research, respond or tell a story based on at least one of the objects they felt a connection with.
All of these responses were gathered together for public display one afternoon in the Horniman’s pavilion building and we were invited along to record the work and chat to a small handful of the fieldworkers who contributed to the project. The work was very diverse and often very beautiful. The Community Fieldworkers had really risen to the challenge of engaging with the objects and everyone’s responses were so individual that I can only say I wish I had more time to really look through it all.
Nicola Scott was one of the coordinators of the project and tells us a little bit more about it here:
Then we heard from the fieldworkers who made pieces ranging from spoken word readings to Sculpture via collage and maps!
There was a wonderfully warm and community atmosphere as visitors, fieldworkers, friends and family investigated and documented the work for themselves.