Somerville Adventure Playground visit to Somerstown Adventure Playground as part of PLAYAWAY, August 2013 (Image: Abigail Gilchrist)
PLAYAWAY can now be viewed HERE.
PLAYAWAY is Delta Arts’ recent project with two adventure playgrounds in Portsmouth and South London. We invited filmmaker Hannah Blackmore and artist Abigail Gilchrist to work at Somerstown Adventure Playground on Portsmouth’s Somerstown estate and Somerville Adventure Playground in New Cross. They used a range of cameras, including miniature head-cams, to explore play with the children, and to find out how the two communities value their adventure playgrounds. We learnt about the issues they share and those specific to each context. We were particularly interested in the specific point of view of the children, using play and video to communicate.
The film was screened at both adventure playgrounds in late October and presented in a soapbox session at the 2013 engage International Conference in Birmingham on 7 November 2013. We are now looking for other venues to show the film, and are researching other ways to develop the project.
PLAYAWAY – Visit to Somerville Adventure Playground, July 2013 (Image: Abigail Gilchrist)
Tuesday 29 October, 3-5pm, at Somerstown Adventure Playground, Waterloo St, PORTSMOUTH PO5 4HS
Wednesday 30 October, 3-5pm, at Somerville Adventure Playground, Queens Rd, LONDON SE14
Join us for one of the premier screenings of PLAYAWAY: a film by Hannah Blackmore & Abigail Gilchrist, made with the help of children, staff, volunteers and families at two adventure playgrounds.
From June to September 2013 Delta Arts ran an exchange between two very different adventure playgrounds in Portsmouth and London. Hannah Blackmore and Abigail Gilchrist worked at Somerstown Adventure Playground on Portsmouth’s Somerstown estate, and Somerville Adventure Playground in New Cross.
Hannah and Abigail used a range of cameras, including miniature head-cams, to explore play with the children, and to find out how the communities value their adventure playgrounds. Delta Arts members Amy Lloyd and Oliver Sumner managed the project and supported the sessions, including coach visits between the two playgrounds.
A Delta Arts project supported by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund.
Using head-cams at Somerville Adventure Playground, Sep 2013 (Image: Hannah Blackmore)
Abigail Gilchrist and Hannah Blackmore are back at the Adventure Playgrounds after a short break from our PLAYAWAY project.
The head-cams are in high demand, and the children are enjoying experimenting with their movement around the playground while they are recording. When they are playing with each other the children sometimes forget about the camera, but it can sometimes be the thing that brings them together. The cameras are clearly becoming part of the children’s play, as well as a way of sharing how they play.
With only a few sessions left we are talking about our ideas for the edit of the film and are looking forward to the screenings at Somerstown Adventure Playground in Portsmouth (29 October 2013), and Somerville Adventure Playground in London (30 October 2013).
‘An architecture of play: a survey of London’s adventure playgrounds’, Nils Norman, Four Corners Books, 2003.
This small book by the artist Nils Norman greatly inspired our interest in adventure play.
‘An architecture of play’ records 59 adventure playgrounds in London with texts, photographs and drawings. Many of the playgrounds mentioned were first established in the early 1970’s, including Somerville Adventure Playground where we are currently working. Nils Norman’s introduction is followed by two short texts: ‘Towards a history of adventure playgrounds 1931-2000’ by Keith Cranwell, and ‘The vernacular of play’ by Paul Claydon. In the book Nils Norman describes London’s early adventure playgrounds as, ‘…embodying “the spirit of adventure play”, a phrase that evokes a creative, anarchic, children-led playscape’.
Somerstown Adventure Playground day-trip to Somerville Adventure Playground, July 2013 (Image: Delta Arts)
Today we took our group of children and playworkers from Somerstown Adventure Playground in Portsmouth to visit Somerville Adventure Playground in London.
They were welcomed by children, young people, families and staff at Somerville as a continuation of our PLAYAWAY project. It was a chance to explore the other playground, make new friends and learn about how the two parks are run. We enjoyed a barbeque, experimented with a head cam, and tried out some fun activities designed to map the park and share reactions. Somerville will make a reciprocal visit to Portsmouth in August. PLAYAWAY is supported by the Big Lottery Fund.
Thanks to a grant from the Big Lottery Fund, Delta Arts is running an exchange between two very different adventure playgrounds in Portsmouth and London.
We have asked Abigail Gilchrist and Hannah Blackmore to run a series of sessions at Somerstown Adventure Playground on Portsmouth’s Somerstown estate and Somerville Adventure Playground in New Cross. Abigail and Hannah are using a range of cameras, including a miniature head-cam, to explore play with the children, and to find out how the communities value their adventure playgrounds. Delta Arts members Amy Lloyd and Oliver Sumner are managing the project and supporting the sessions. We are all getting to know the children, families, volunteers and playworkers at the two sites, and looking forward to bringing them together with a coach visit to each playground in the next few weeks. The resulting film will be screened in London and Portsmouth later in the year.