Tag Archives: imaginate

ThinkArts films….

Here are a couple of films i made about the ThinkArts residency i recently participated in (see previous few posts).

island life…

Island: A multi sensorial experience for small children 

So our joint installation Island, came and went, the fruit of three weeks of talks, discussion, sharing, videos, music, walking, theatre, building, a lot of crawling about under things on hands and knees and…er donuts, a lot of donuts.

Anyway here is a glimpse of some of the things we made:


Most importantly it was the culmination of all these things finally tried and tested by the young audience for whom it was bespokely (is that a word?) created. It lasted for a couple of hours max as opposed to the week it took to conceive, assemble and install but then is that not one of the joys of art? an ephemeral moment that lives on in the memory rather than lingering on in the place.


For myself as an artist and practitioner it was a highly rewarding experience, working on a common goal and collaborating with people from other disciplines and backgrounds is as good as it gets for me and for sure i developed work i would not or could not have done on my own.


ThinkArts residency – artists from Kolkata and Edinburgh. Participants: Ruchira DasDana RoyMargarita Vazquez PonteYvonne BuskieNik Paget-TomlinsonThis Residency was funded by Imaginate and the British Council with partnership support from the City of Edinburgh Council and Edinburgh University.



the power of the group…

Whenever i am in a position of teaching, be it at Art college, with artists or school kids, i am always espousing “the power of the group”,  how much more you can get done, how much braver or more ambitious you can be…

Am reminded of that in this current residence i am undertaking. 5 or us are here, 2 from India, 3 from Scotland, from music, theatre and fine art backgrounds all with the common thread of making/creating/facilitating creative work for children and young people. We are spending 3 weeks together working thematically on the nature of work and installations for children and young people.We have no idea how the residence will end, hopefully we will be enlightened and maybe we will make a work, or instigate something that continues beyond our current geography and time frame…who knows…but one thing’s for sure, don’t ever underestimate the power of the group!!!


ThinkArts residency – artists from Kolkata and Edinburgh

Ruchira DasDana RoyMargarita Vazquez Ponte, Yvonne BuskieNik Paget-Tomlinson

ThinkArts residency…

About to start the following residency, v excited to begin!

Info below taken from the Imaginate website

ThinkArts residency – artists from Kolkata and Edinburgh

From 10th – 28th October 2016, we will be bringing together five inspiring artists – two from Kolkata, India and three based in Edinburgh – who are interested in exploring the potential of installations for children.  Each artist will bring their own experience of installation work, their ideas for working with children, their varied artform specialisms and their knowledge of the lives of children in their home cities to share, challenge and inspire each other to think beyond individual practice.  They will work together for three weeks, sharing and developing ideas at Edinburgh University and the City Art Centre.

The five residency artists are:

Ruchira Das – Ruchira has worked as an arts manager for over 15 years, working with several organisations across India. She is an ARThink South Asia Fellow 2015-16, a Global Fellow at ISPA 2016 and was invited as a faculty member for Interim 2015 at Srishti School of Art & Design, Bangalore.  Her belief that an engagement with the arts is essential for a child to grow to be sensitive, imaginative, and creative and experience their world in a fuller manner, led to the genesis of ThinkArts. In the last two years, alongwith several artists, ThinkArts has presented workshops & performances and curated several events that have innovatively engaged young audiences.  In Dec 2014, Ruchira conceivedElements; a tactile, sensorial, exploratory journey for children. This interactive exhibition, created with the help of 5 artists received an overwhelming response and was later hosted at the National Museum, Delhi for nearly a month.

Dana Roy – Dana works with theatre in schools and is a core group member of ThinkArts. An actor, singer, physical performer, production person, who loves to make with her hands as much as she likes to perform, she has worked with many theatre companies, including Tin Can, The Red Curtain, Limelite, Theatron, Theatrician and was a core group and repertory member of Ranan, a dance-theatre performance company. With Ranan she created and co-ordinated the Ranan SchoolConnect arts engagement programme.  With ThinkArts Dana hopes to contribute to creating an atmosphere in which children can explore and experience the world in creative, complex, curious and joyous ways.

Margarita Vazquez Ponte – Margarita is a Scottish/Spanish visual artist. She is interested in socially engaged art with a slant towards sharing knowledge and engaging with the community, often using film and photography as a medium. She has curated and lead workshops for children and young people in Medellin, Colombia, Biella and Venice, Italy and Edinburgh, Scotland.  For 9 years she has collaborated with the Italian Zegna Foundation curating and teaching  workshops in two orphanage schools in Andhra Pradesh, India with an emphasis on sustainable practice and the importance of the “self” in childhood.

Yvonne Buskie – Yvonne graduated from the School of Drawing & Painting, (Edinburgh College of Art). Her current practice is one of collaborating with theatre, dance and visual art practitioners. Having worked as a theatre stage manager for many years, she is interested in blurring the lines between gallery and theatre, performer and maker. Receiving the Imaginate Ideas Fund 2015 was a great opportunity to explore a cross art form idea, The Reluctant Boxer, involving drawing, performance and music. Emerging directly out of that experience came two live, durational artworks, Joan of Arc 603 for the Edinburgh Art Festival 2015 and D’arc:Lands for Unique Events 2016, both conceived and created with choreographer Christine Devaney and Luke Sutherland and produced by Curious Seed. Yvonne’s awareness, knowledge and appreciation of work for, and working with young people has increased greatly over recent years. This is most evident in the installation Hush, a commission to create a bedtime storytelling environment with Lyra Theatre, Edinburgh 2014.

Nik Paget-Tomlinson – Nik Paget-Tomlinson is a musician, composer, producer and sound designer working predominantly in theatre and dance in Scotland. From 2012 – 2014 Nik was artist in residence with Starcatchers, during which time he created the interactive sound installation Sonic Playground and the theatre piece Too Many Cooks. Nik is an Associate Artist with Platform Theatre and Starcatchers and was recently nominated for a CATS Award for his sound design work on Drift from Vision Mechanics & Nordland Visual Theatre.

As part of this residency, Ruchira and Dana will be leading a CPD session for teachers and interested artists on a ThinkArts project called Our History, Their Time.  This will take place at the Royal Lyceum Theatre on Thursday 13th of October.  Full details can be found here.

This Residency is funded by Imaginate and the British Council with partnership support from the City of Edinburgh Council and Edinburgh University.

dying guinea pigs…

A wee while ago my friend Francesco blogged about the joys and need to take kids to the theatre (see here). I don’t have kids, hey i don’t even like them that much!, but anyway, i end up at this children’s theatre production (a recommendation by a friend who works for imaginate,  a kid’s theatre festival). Anyway, to cut to the chase, it was really rather good…”Goodbye Mr Muffin” (a Danish production of a Swedish story) is the strangely moving story of the life and death of the eponymous guinea pig…i laughed…i cried (well almost) and i didn’t even have to take any kids with me….

the ibsenesque Mr Muffin contemplates his life during his final dying days…