‘Changing Forms’, Judy Price

Pupils from Shacklewell School worked with lead artist Judy Price to create images that explored ideas around transformation and alchemy. The starting point for ‘Changing Forms’ was an investigation into talismans, amulets and ideas around protection. A visit to the British Museum provoked and stimulated the pupils prior to making their own talismans from clay.

Following an introduction to a wide range of images by contemporary artists exploring transformation, the pupils went on to create their own images and narratives, exploring transformation and things they would like to protect. The children were asked to think about their hopes and desires for themselves, their families and the world at large and how an amulet or talisman might affect their dreams, desires and fantasies.

An important aspect of the project was opening up a space for the children’s imagination, fantasies, hopes and desires. The ideas ranged from a super hero or prophet-like figure bringing rain and food to deprived areas of the world, to children singing and breathing over one of their peers transforming her into a butterfly. One child explored animal-becoming while another found rest and respite in a shell from his family’s homeland in Montserrat. A Dream Catcher catches good dreams and wards off bad dreams for one child becoming her talisman and pink roses are given magical powers to bring back life to a sleeping girl in a project devised by two pupils.

‘Changing Forms’ was commissioned by HS Projects and funded by the Insight Community Arts Programme (2002 – 2015).

The project ran from January to June 2007.