As part of our 2023 Arts Council funded programme we have five tiny delightful R&D moments happening across the country as a further development from our 2022 littletinySPACE artist incubator project.
For littletinySPACE 2022, we brought together 8 diverse established artists from a range of disciplines along with Anna, dramaturg and Performance Corp SPACE programme facilitator, Hanna Slattne, Production Manager, Ashey Smyth and internationally reknowned early years research scientist Dr Suzanne Zeedyk – and these facilitators continue their mentoring support into the 2023 projects.
The first of our littletinySPACE2 projects happened up North in Belfast and was led by award-winning writer, producer and educator, Shannon Yee who was joined by collaborators sound/visual artist Vicky Langan and performer/musician Cat Barter. Shannon, Cat and Vicky are all parents.
Together, they explored how mundane, often tedious, caretaking tasks (such as dressing, changing, feeding, negotiating car seats/buggies) can be opened up into mini-moments of connection to deepen the baby/caregiver relationship, rather than be transactional activities that are simply done to babies.
In early March 23, Shannon, Cat & Vicky tested out some of their ideas at a special South Belfast Sure Start gathering at Sandy Row Community Centre, and in the baby room of Wishing Well Family Centre in North Belfast.
Here’s some of the feedback from just the one session at the Family Centre:
“the impact that had on those children there was just amazing”
“I can’t wait to feedback to their parents to tell them, y’know ‘5 minutes at home if you can, this is what we done this morning and they loved it. If you’re finding it hard at home, take two minutes to do this, and it will help so much.’”
And some feedback from parents at the Sure Start:
“He’s been to sensory groups but this was better because I feel like it’s things I could do with him at home, not expensive equipment.”
“Whenever you do [the activity] yourself, it’s quite satisfying.”
Shannon is already planning how to take this unique project forward into 2024…
Four more mini moments of connection and creativity from our littletinySPACE artists are still to come before the end of 2023. Watch this space!
Photos by Neil Harrison