Brighter side of life under canvas
A series of coastal encampments will give pupils the chance to explore art and love poetry. Emma Seith reports
Over 400 children and young people, from the Isle of Skye to the tip of Cornwall, have been working with poets and visual artists to create a portrait of their lives and loves in 2012. Their work is linked to Peace Camp, director Deborah Warner’s commission for the London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
Peace Camp is a series of glowing encampments that will appear simultaneously at eight of the UK’s most beautiful and remote coastal locations for four nights, 19-22 July. Visitors to the sites will explore encampments of tents softly illuminated from within, and hear “a soundscape”, which draws on great love poetry and the natural environment.
It is being produced by creative company Artichoke, which is also working with the schools to help them create their own Peace Camp installation. Each school has been sent books of love poetry, textiles and installation art, sponsored by Faber and Faber, to inspire them. They have also been given a bell tent, in which artworks will be displayed.
Working with poets and visual artists, pupils at each participating school have chosen a love-related theme, around which they have written poems and made immersive art installations. At Portree High on Skye, they have worked with artist Caroline Dear and poet Padraig MacAoidh on an installation representing love as a force with the power to transform. At Uig Primary, they have worked with poet Ian Stephen, and at Bracoden School in Aberdeenshire with poet Ken Cockburn.
The schools’ Peace Camp tents will be exhibited in venues and festivals local to the schools from 13 July. The tents will then travel to London’s South Bank in October, where they will be displayed as part of National Poetry Day celebrations.
Each school will keep its tent as a permanent reminder of the project.