There are echoes of dancing days, small people making big splashes, hidden treasures and half told tales.
Explore whispered histories in Victoria Baths, an expedition into sound and vision,.
An integrated programme of art, music, drama and philosophical enquiry was planned, revolving around the past, present and future of the Victoria Baths site. Students were challenged to discover and unfold the story of Victoria Baths and to research the physical and emotional fabric of the site.
The sketchbook attitude
Whispering histories; ‘the swimming classes’
This project took year 6 children into Victoria baths Manchester, recent winner of the ‘restoration’ program on bbc 1 where they were challenged to discover and unfold the social history. Physical and emotional fabric of the ‘Edwardian water palace’that remains a living record of the past 100 years
Through a process of drama workshops children were able to work in role, becoming immersed in a world where, for some, it was seen as improper to wash. They recorded initial written and pictorial responses in hand made books. As the project developed the children learned empathetically enabling them to understand the class system in Victorian England, continually reflecting on the historical context and architectural impact of the bath house.
The sketch books became layered with images and changing opinions, tracking their learning, they began to reflect the layers and partly hidden truths and features of the space they were working in; the sounds in the empty pools, the echoes of the almost forgotten, we tried to capture the essence of the building and freeze it in time for a short time.
The books were suspended, half sunk in the empty poolWe thought again, Transience, Change
Things I learnt about myself
- I learnt about my memories and have reflected on some past experiences. I have also thought about my identity and what it means to be me.
- What my reactions to certain things are and how I see things.
- I have learnt that I am very deep, actually I knew that.
- I have learnt that I can be creative
- I learned I can talk about things which I do not normally think about.
- I have learnt that I can achieve things and do things if I work hard and try.
- I learnt that sometimes I don’t think of others when I should.
- I have learnt how to use my hidden potentials.
- I have learnt that I like to laugh.
- I can see through layers in pictures and books. I have learnt that I can work as a group and listen and that other people’s memories can trigger mine.
- I have learnt about memories and that you are the only person that knows whether your memories are true or not.
Skills I have developed/ connections I have made
- I have made lost of friends and learnt how to make an atmospheric piece of music/art/drama. I have discovered a lot about Victoria Baths.
- The skill; to question why I think things and how to sit and think
- The skills I’ve developed are my art skill and emotive skills
- I learned about the questions that have not been answered yet.
- I have developed thinking skills and drama skills. I have made a connection with my memories and my thoughts and creativity.
- I developed skill about feeling about pictures. Making new friends.
- I have developed better listening skills, better thinking skills, better asking skills. I have connected with people and their memories have connected with mine and they have triggered some other memories