Poetry & visual art with Birkby Junior School for Our Darkness & Light Animation

Our poet, Louise Fazackerely, visited 3 classes at Birkby Junior School.

She said  “In Birkby I was keen for children to experiment with the use of speech in their work.  I shared Michael Rosen’s poem ‘Chivvy’ and ‘Fishbone’s Dreaming’ by Matthew Sweeney.  This inspired groups to think about play, the passing of time and local history.”

In Birkby, near town, we are busy but small

We run, we run on roller skates round here

We slog and slaughter cricket balls like knights jousting

We are trampoline tricks, we are hedgehogs hiding,

We are park-squirrels running in the night

Everybody plays Fortnite

“Not babies!”

“Not girls!”

“Stop playing Fortnite and go outside”

Boys and girls racing cars not racing pigeons

Brightly-coloured, we are feathered like peacocks

We are free like flying kites in the sky

At night we hear babies annoying wailing

and wild dogs barking

Do you think we are right?

Written By 5A


Our directors from Almondbury Community School sent artist Chloe Williams from The Children’s Art school to Birkby Junior School to create backdrops of the world (featuring Birkby, Huddersfield in space).

“The children loved the process of making the giant mono-printed backdrops with the exciting reveal a ‘wow’ moment every time! We focused on grounding the ideas and narrative in locations familiar to the children, but they also explored the relationship between their corner of Kirklees to the wider world- our universe!

Each child also created a puppet of themselves using continuous line drawing, encouraging them to treasure the unexpected character that emerged and leading them to understand that they all have the potential to be artists”


The puppets were coloured in to represent each child with some real care being taken over colour blending using water soluble crayons.

The puppets were then cut out, each with a separate arm ready to wave in the animation, and each puppet placed in an envelope ready for the directors to animate.

Thank you to all your hard work Birkby Junior School and your willingness to have a go! The characters created were just lovely.

And a special ‘thank you’ to Mrs Greggs Art Club who made lots of extra characters and assets to be animated- which really saved the day!

Catch the world premiere of Our Darkness and Light Animation at Our Biennale’s Big Draw and Play Day on Saturday 10th November at Huddersfield Library.