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Gold Arts Award – Puppets!

Date Created: 24th Jul 2020

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Caitlin tells us how she adapted her Gold Arts Award to be online and how the project took on a whole new meaning.


Overview of your Gold Arts Award project?

I started my Gold Arts Award earlier this year and it’s been quite difficult to adapt my original ideas to the changes in circumstance that the Covid-19 pandemic brought. This introduces many new challenges and adapting my project to become purely online based. Originally my project was supposed to include a large group of young people for unit 2, and my leadership element would have been performed in an outdoor showing, but I had to adapt this to become something that I could make totally digitally instead, which for me, was a film. I had weekly ‘Zoom’ sessions with my group to help me create narrations for the film, so I taught them how to write and perform Monologues.

What art forms did you take part in?

Puppet Making, Puppetry and Film Making

What kind of portfolio did you create?

I created an online reflective journal where I put digital photos, diaries, logs of my meetings and other information which helped me create my Gold Arts Award. I found this to be the most efficient as wherever I am, I can add to it and work on it, whether that be on my phone or my laptop.

Catlin holding one of the puppets she made for her Gold Arts Award

What was most valuable to you personally?

To me, I think my project’s tone changed vividly when we went into lockdown. It would have been quite a light hearted project, creating a piece of drama with young people using the puppets I made to be shown at the Summer Social in Eastleigh. However when circumstances did change, my exploration turned to a deeper meaning of showing how isolation and a change in lifestyle affected some of the young people that I’ve been working with.

What are you going to do next – and has Arts Award helped you?

While completing my arts award, I was undertaking a foundation degree in Art and Design which was actually a very useful qualification to be working on alongside it. I structured my portfolios in a very similar way and this helped me to stay organised. In the next couple of years I plan to go to university and study Art so that I can move on to teaching it. My arts award has obviously been an incredibly helpful experience as I have been able to get an understanding of planning and running my own online workshops with groups of young people. Puppet making was a new skill to me and I’d be fascinated to try it again, perhaps for a proper live performance when all the theatres reopen!

How did you get involved with Arts Award?

I have only completed a Gold Arts Award qualification but I have grown up around many people who have completed Bronze and Silver. I was a member of a Youth Theatre and the leaders of the workshops have always been very encouraging of us to take part! My mentor, Emma, inspired me to take part and when we started discussing ideas it just got more and more exciting.

Who gave you the most help and inspiration?

2 people who I worked with during this project inspired me massively and helped my Gold Arts Award be the best it could be, especially under the circumstances. Emma Christie, my mentor, had meetings with me every Tuesday virtually, and this meant that we could catch up and discuss my work and ideas. This was especially helpful when discussing the Youth Theatres because of her immense experience in working with young people, leading workshops.

I’m also extremely lucky to have been working with an artist, Claire Harvey, who was the most inspiring and talented artist I think I have ever worked with. I was fascinated to find out about her career in making puppets but also puppeteering them, and she was more than happy to help me through my project which was such an incredible opportunity. Claire and I still speak and I hope to stay in contact with her and hopefully work with her again in the future!

In my project I also asked a group of young people to create lockdown flowers, which I created as a fun task for them to do within the comfort of their own homes or gardens, which will also contribute to my visuals in the film. I made this into a video tutorial and created my own one as an example- You can find this link here


Arts Award Arts Award Leadership Network For 15 – 25 yrs Youth Arts Leadership Network

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