Over the spring and summer of 2017, I worked with River Holme Connections, a local charity, and sound artist James Mabbett (aka Napoleon IV) and animator Ben (Dr Simpo) Simpson on an Arts Council England funded project along the River Holme in West Yorkshire.
We worked with junior and infant schools and after school clubs running workshops along the river. The children got to learn about river life, get covered in mud, soaking wet and be creative. With Ben, they made collagraphs. With James, they made sound installations and, with me, they created experimental film using cheap action cameras, selfie-sticks and their imagination. Each week, the children would collect footage with the cameras. I’d use that to create short colourful clips and, then, the children would transform these into films in the classroom.
It seemed to rain every time we went out – this is West Yorkshire – and, over the course of the project, we followed the river downstream from its source on the moorland to the point where it joins the River Colne in the middle of industrial Huddersfield. We saw the river and its environment change but, also, the riverside bloom into life throughout the summer.
You can find out more about the project, and hear the sound pieces the children made with James here.
The project will culminate in a series of exhibitions along the Holme Valley using the sound and images created. In the meantime, here are the films the children have made so far.