Art in a Suitcase
Spring 2012, Nightingale Primary School, Hackney, London
The theme of ‘ Art in a Suitcase’ was devised specifically for Nightingale around the fact that the ethnic background of the school is very diverse and also the space available for the project was very small and reminded us of a railway carriage.
Over the course of three weeks, the Year 5 children transformed the space into a train carriage. Each child made their own suitcase that evoked a particular journey they had taken.
Each child's suitcase was unique and represented feelings, place, modes of travel, sounds and essentials, with children giving different emphasis to each.
The class was divided into three groups.
One group included a self portrait on their suitcase and enclosed significant items. They also enlarged views of the countryside to be seen outside of the carriage.
The second group worked with choreographer Susannah Rickman. Working one at a time, a child created individually a movement story of a journey which was performed in a suitcase. The sequences were filmed. This black and white film was later projected into the suitcase in a darkened room for the exhibition.
The third group worked again one at a time with singer and composer Katina Kangaris to develop a song based on their family country of origin or that reflected their journey. This was recorded onto a light sensitive box. When the child's suitcase was opened, delightful songs emerged and filled the 'carriage'.
RIVA particularly enjoyed the opportunity this project gave us as artists to work on a one to one basis with children, as well as creating a piece as a whole.