‘The Works’ tour of ten schools in the Tees Valley is finally underway. Four schools done up to now. I have had a special adaptation of ‘The Works’ done for schools. It contains images and pictures which the children are really enjoying; though I’m not sure they believe me when I say we had no television and in answer to their question, ‘What did you do then?’ I tell them about so many games and activities. They all come flooding back; T-Mack, Donkey; memories of seasons – we had top-and-whip seasons, and skipping seasons; dressing-up days as well as all the fantastic indoor winter stuff of mosaics and cut-out figures and jigsaws and French knitting on cotton bobbins – the list is endless.
The faces of the children are so funny when I tell them that in the 1950’s, in Thornaby, pizza and take-aways weren’t on our menu, that we’d be more likely to be eating rabbit pie, or broth made from ham bones and they find it impossible to believe that the furthest I went from home when I was small, was Scarborough and even then it took a year to save up for it.
I took a straw poll in the last class I was in and asked how many of them out of 30 had been abroad. Only one child had not been abroad. Completely the reverse of my school days!
The tour continues…. but in the meantime I’ve been selecting text to be placed on huge metal leaves in connection with my residency in North Lodge Park in Darlington. I didn’t think I’d be quite so jittery about making the selections, but there’s something very scary about picking text for a permanent art display in a public place, the responsibility comes right into focus, especially as I have to to fit it within the confines of the space provided. I kept looking at the hugh body of work that’s been generated during the residency – the more I looked, the more difficult I found it to make the final selections.
Off to Liverpool next week to take the Adult version of ‘The Works’ to the Dead Good Poets Society at Everyman Bistro. If you’re in Liverpool, come along on 15 June, 8.30 pm.