Thursday, 13 March 2014

small worlds and little creatures... the story continues


create enchanting creatures
and surprising small worlds
nestled on tree trunks
clinging to logs
and growing out of sand

a gathering
for adults, children and artists
a place to create together
side by side
working with
gumnuts, clay, stones, sticks, sand...

with ken evans and ME rebecca russell

small worlds
began as a PITA project
and became the first
PITA - PATA project

k and i love doing this workshop
creating a space
responding to the space
working with terracotta clay
beautiful materials
and playing with fabulous kids and adults

collecting the natural materials
is fantastic in clunes and surrounds
such a variety of gumnuts!!!

The next

is at the
Daylesford Dharma school
Autumn Fair
Sunday 23rd March

In the best sand pit!!

more on small worlds here 

Thursday, 14 November 2013


NESTS - MusicPlay
A theatrical music installation for children
Created by Ken Evans, Gillian Howell and Rebecca Russell and featuring Tony Hicks

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

nests - when the light is right the sound is right


 rebecca russell - gillian howell - ken evans

a musical installation for 3-5 year olds

a project at artplay
coming soon


recording the sound

sometimes the light is right
then the sound is right too


the light was not so brilliant
and the sound not as vibrant
the birds were in flocks
the lone cricket in surround sound
the possums and wild cats
great what you hear 
right on sun down
when you stop and listen

NESTS at ArtPlay

Artists: Rebecca Russell, Ken Evans, Gillian Howell
A magical place filled with forest sounds…Three giant nests with enormous eggs inside…
Come to the nests and discover the music of the forest. Make your own sounds with the hidden musical instruments. Nests is a music installation for children Aged 3 to 5 years and their carers.
Age: 3 to 5 years
Dates and times: Friday 8 February, 10.30am to 11am; 12noon to 12.30pm
Saturday 16 March, 10.30am to 11am; 11.15am to 11.45am; 12noon to 12.30pm
Bookings essential: Book online
Cost: $15 per child
All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Le Gerche forest walk and fairy huts

it was cold
but the rain held off

what a discovery!
the landcare walk through the le gerche forest
remnants of a once thriving education program 
pepper this walking trail
a fabulous sculpture of one of the local inhabitants

signs and pictures
and colourful tiles in the ground
little surprises everywhere

we had some BIG girls 
and a BIG boy
with us
they are so inspiring 
when they get going with fairy huts

we had a kinder teacher/mum with us too
i love the opportunity to hear educators
particularly those with a natural ease
interacting with little people
it is especially lovely to hear 
them with their own children

i love the intonations
the questioning
the shared wonder

i learn a lot 
from this rich modelling
from one mother to another

once again i delight 
in being with the kids 
and parents
as they 
and fossick

the fairy huts

with outdoor dining setting!

in the dark bark forest
we came across a nest with a rock egg in it

looking forward to next week
back at the playscape 

creswick playscape term 4 2012

emerging from a harsh winter in central victoria
the fine green leaves appear
we gather again at the playscape

Term 4

During term four join one of our Friday gatherings in the playscape between 10am and 12noon.  This time is especially for parents and pre-school children to play and create together.
Drop in on a Friday for free play or book in for one of our special workshops with artists Rebecca Russell and Ken Evans

1. Friday 12th October 10-12pm
Fairy Huts and fossicking walk through the Le Gerche forest.
Meet at the Le Gerche track where we will stroll through the forest collecting natural materials for our playscape and build fairy huts along the way.  Everyone welcome parents, grandparents, friends young and old.  Dress for a big walk. Bring water and snacks.  Backpacks recommended for carrying very little people.

2.  Friday 19th October 10-12
Builder Boards Cubby – build, create, play
Come and put together our very own builder boards cubby. 
Feel like real builders as we create our own cubby, pathways, bridges and tunnels. 
Bring your own construction hats and let the stories begin!
$5.00 per family

3.  Friday 16th November 10-12
Sandpit Village
Sand, blocks, sticks, spades, rocks and loads of interesting natural materials are the foundations for a village that we will create together in our massive sandpit.  Make interesting dwellings with fences, gates, roads and pathways connecting our village together.
$5.00 per family

4. Friday 7th December 10-12
Things for the trees – decorations with a difference
Find beautiful shapes in wood, bark and other natural materials to make into decorations to hang up in the trees in our playscape.  Hammer and tie bits together to join the moon in the trees for Christmas decorations with a difference.
$5.00 per family

Thursday, 23 August 2012

sonic baby - reflections on the ArtPlay experience

sonic baby at ArtPlay and beyond

i love ArtPlay!
rare is the opportunity to imagine with others
to try out ideas
to push the boundaries
to fail
and try again
in the world of art, artists and children

this is what ArtPlay enabled me to do with
sonic baby

Calling All Babies
a series of workshops at ArtPlay
facilitated by Jen Anderson
and along with
Heidi Wetherall and Ben Goodes
we imagined and created arts based experiences
for pre-language and pre-walking babies from 4 months old

read about my sonic baby workshops here

a BIG thanks to Jeany from ArtPlay
for her technical knowledge and support

reflections on the sonic baby workshops
in the ArtPlay setting:

the difference between workshop and experiment

sonic baby workshops 1 and 2
were highly experimental in nature
(unwittingly they were more of an experiment than a workshop)
i realise that there were too many unknown elements
for me to create a workshop environment
of sharing some of my skills and knowledge
of creating an experience for parents and babies to share together
to take something new away with them

as an experiment they were highly successful...
i learnt a lot
i changed my thinking
i developed more questions
i discovered many small moments
and the participants provided insights that would not have been possible without them

as workshops they were lousy!
of course this was not my intention
much of what i had supposed might happen just did not
for a variety of reasons, technical and otherwise.

(i apologise again here to the parents and babies who bravely took part.
i can only hope that you experienced a small moment, a moment of awareness, a moment of joy or a consciousness of being present with your baby that may have made your journey into ArtPlay that day worthwhile... and to ArtPlay thanks for inviting me back!)

with time between the fist two workshops and the second two
and with the insight provided by the failed sonic baby workshop
(and the rich discoveries of the sonic baby experiment)
i wildly re-imagined sonic baby
but maintained the central ideas and framework

firstly i realised that the parents coming to ArtPlay
were coming to a workshop
they had not signed up for an experiment
there is a difference

participants in an experiment
knowingly enter into an experience
which may or may not work
it is the process and the journey
that is of interest
not knowing how things will turn out
is central to an experimental process

if sonic baby had been an experiment
that we all entered into knowingly
the parents would have been part of the discovery
which could have been a richer experience for us all

experiments are vital
but in the ArtPlay setting this time around
sonic baby was a workshop

for the second two workshops
my major rethinking was around
sound and

i recreated the space
redesigned the sound
and rethought the image
to create a more controlled theatrical experience

did it work?

as a workshop this was not the forum 
to delve into the experience for the parents and babies
so i really can't say

my observations suggest that a sense of theatre was created
a heightened sense of reality
which may have resonated back out in the real world
my feeling is that at least some of the parents
took away a consciousness of the sonic world
we all share with babies

ArtPlay are providing further opportunity
to explore baby workshops
with Jen, Heidi, Ben and others
i will be running another workshop in November


and beyond...

sonic baby at ArtPlay
was the first step
i am compelled to continue to investigate this work
inspired by the work of great artists Chiara Guidi and Sally Chance
and inspired by babies
who provide insights into what it is to be human
and compel us to be present in the world
to listen and see and feel

after the complete series of 4 sonic baby workshops
some of my questions are:

who is this work for?
what do the babies get out of it?
what do the parents get of it?

my thinking so far...

the experience is aimed at adults
but also engages babies
a heightened theatrical experience of the everyday

i am working towards creating
theatre for adults and their babies
an inclusive theatrical experience

the babies main benefit will be back in the real world
in the theatre of the everyday
experienced with their parents
who will bring some of their heightened
theatrical experience of the everyday into the everyday

as for experiments
i am working towards entering into
shared experiential space with
babies and artist parents PITA
to develop ideas further
to delve into the experiences of the parents and babies
with time to reflect and discuss

sonic baby is the germ of
pita ART
parents in the arts
artists and babies
engaged in exploring ideas in open artistic dialogue
a creative development process
to create art