From September to November 2018 schools worked with artists and organisations on the following Commissioned Projects for Our Biennale:
Almondbury Community School working on Our Darkness & Light Animation project

Our Darkness and Light Animation

with The Children's Art School

Over 1,000 children from schools in Kirklees worked with a poet to create poems about their area. They also made large-scale collaborative drawings of the local area that were used as backdrops to their poems and created puppets to tell the stories.

An animation was produced with the children reading their poems and using stop motion animation to enact them.

The animation collectively presents a children’s view of Kirklees.

The schools involved in the project were Holmfirth Infant and Junior School, Marsden Infant and Junior School, Birkby Junior School, Hillside Primary School and Almondbury Community School.

Chol Theatre working with students from North Huddersfield Trust School on their production of Romeo & Juliet

Imaginary Communities

with Chol Theatre

Chol Theatre created performances with up to 120 young people as part of Our Biennale using their immersive theatre making experience Imaginary Communities. Directed by Vicky Sawka, the children’s own ideas about the festival content and theme Darkness and Light were explored.

The schools involved in this project were Ashbrow School and North Huddersfield Trust School.

Manasamitra & Duncan Chapman with Pentland I&N School pupils & parents performing Dark Skies at Dewsbury Museum on Sat 10 November

Dark Skies

with Manasamitra and Duncan Chapman

The Dark Skies Project saw composer Duncan Chapman explore the patterns of the constellations as they are depicted in astronomy with children and young people. They learnt shapes and movement within the drawings; working with imagined sounds and created a soundscape.

Manasamitra composed two new choral pieces with the children and young people. The process explored the mathematics behind the constellation patterns and musical notes. The children and young people performed the piece at Dewsbury Museum.

The school involved in this project was Pentland Infant School.

Transformation project with Zoe Robertson at Huddersfield New College

Transformation - Art and Dance Project

with Phoenix Dance Theatre and Zoe Robertson

This project was based around the central theme of Darkness and Light and was a collaboration between visual artist, Zoe Robertson, and Phoenix Dance Theatre.

Young people worked alongside Zoe who led a series of workshops aimed at creating drawings, sculptures and wearable objects in response to the theme. Phoenix Dance Theatre then used the work created by the students, as a stimulus to devise new choreographic dance pieces.

Phoenix worked alongside teachers and young people from across three different schools for a minimum of 6 weeks during September and October to co–create new dance pieces.

The schools involved in the project were Huddersfield New College, Ravenshall School and Meltham C of E Primary School.

Scholes Village Primary School creating a masterpiece for The Great Kirklees Railway Exhibition

The Great Kirklees Railway Exhibition

with The Children's Art School

School children produced 100 large-scale paintings that were exhibited throughout Our Biennale on the platforms at stations along the Penistone Line and at Huddersfield Station.

Working with a poet and visual artist, the children and young people created poetry and paintings exploring light and dark. They delved into the local history linked to the railways, geography, landscape and mythology, in particular the myths and legends of the dragon at Castle Hill.

The artwork on each station created a visual narrative for those travelling by train through the stations.  The poems created were also displayed on the stations for rail users to read.

The project brought colour and life to places that felt somewhat run down, placed art in public spaces and drew attention to Our Biennale.

The schools involved in the project were Honley Junior School,  Thurstonland Endowed VE First School, Netherthong Primary School, Farnley Tyas First School, Scholes Primary School, Royds Hall Community School and Holme Primary School.

Sofia & Phoebe © Heather Glazzard

Campervan Radio

with Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (hcmf//)

Working with Secondary schools and Libraries in Kirklees, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (hcmf//) delivered radio podcasting and DJ workshops via a mobile radio, set up in a campervan that toured the area over two months.

The young people who took part in the workshops had the opportunity to co-produce their own live radio and DJ night at a local venue.

The project was aimed at 13-18 year olds and offered a contemporary way of getting into music, which included technical, presenting and script-writing skills. The aim was to boost their confidence and ability to work in small groups, and to produce something exciting that hopefully gave the children the skills to continue further with radio production/DJ skills in the future.

Workshops were delivered at Upper Batley High School, Huddersfield Library, Dewsbury Library and The Greenwood Centre, Ravensthorpe.