Artist Katy Wilson explains what the Expecting Something project is and what her group, based at Wester Hailes, has coming up over the summer
The Expecting Something project has been running since 2013 in Wester Hailes and 2014 in Lochgelly in Fife. The groups are for parents under 25 and their bumps and babies under 2. The Wester Hailes group has recently started again on Thursday mornings.
When you come along, you can bring anyone you like to begin with – so you feel more relaxed and confident – we have often had grannies! You can pop in and have a look, join in, have lunch and leave when you want to – all very relaxed! It’s a welcoming, non- judgemental, ‘ good vibes only’ atmosphere.
Katy Wilson (lead artist at Wester Hailes) and Hazel Darwin-Clements (lead artist at Lochgelly) both have their own little children. Having a baby can be isolating, lonely, difficult, exhausting, hard on your sense of self and identity- you can feel a little invisible and everyone has their own difficulties and challenges on top of that. This group offers support to help having a baby being an opportunity for a fresh start, a new perspective socially and creatively offering new experiences to feel more visible, to give a platform to interact together, to play, to make friends, to have fun together.
The group is aimed at parents under 25s – to create a peer group who are in a similar situation and might help each other along – in the past we have explored cabaret, break-dancing, song writing and spoken word, gigs, lots of paint, stories and sensory play. We also go on trips – to see shows for little ones, we’ve visited art college to see costume and fashion design. We are always up for new ideas and directions.
We have seen what an impact having this opportunity can bring for parents and babies–gaining confidence, making friends, feeling safe to explore, encouraging imagination and physical and emotional development, finding a creative voice and becoming a stronger little unit together.
You can read about how participants and other artists have felt attending the group on our blog by clicking below!
Expecting Something is run by Starcatchers who make innovative work for 0-5 year olds. For this project they are funded by Children in Need, Lloyds TSB, the Robertson Trust and Big Lottery to allow the group to follow their interests and try new things with their babies. It also helps Starcatchers to work with artists like Katy Wilson and Hazel Darwin-Clements who have previously made exciting work for this age and know how to inspire both babies and parents alike. Have a look at some of their work below!
Expecting Something at WHALE Arts in Wester Hailes
The group has huge potential, it can be a weekly chill out and inspiration time or it could become something bigger-we could make a show, a film, a children’s book, an original song … it’s down to the group and whoever turns up at the time – it is an amazing opportunity for participants and it is all free!
Summer 2017 programme:
During the summer holidays older siblings are more than welcome and activities will be geared to suit them too!
- Next Thursday @ 10.30 (27 July) we have Babies ❤️ light! This was inspired by a baby who comes along who loves lights. Artist Kirstin Cunningham will be facilitating the light session that was also tried out at our Lochgelly group.
- We will be at Calder’s day on 29 July from 12pm – 4pm with flyers and information and some making too if you want to pop along for a chat!
- Then we have Babies ❤️ bushcraft on 3 August 10.30am – we will have guitarist and singer Zac Scott as well as a tent outside at the secret wild area behind WHALE Arts. There will be a tepee, a fire pit (!) and obviously marshmallows. This was inspired by a mum who wanted to take her kid camping but found it hard without a car!
- On 10 August we have Babies ❤️ LIGHT 2 with artist Ewan Sinclair trying out projection mapping, like the photo below!:
- On 11 August we will be at Broomhoouse Street Festival with flyers and chats and making stuff too
- On 24 August we will have breakdancing with Claricia and Mark starting at the Plaza at 10 am and heading up to WHALE Arts at 11am where you can watch or join in. We will be at WHALE Arts at the usual time of 10.30am if you want to just come to that bit!
- On 31 August we have the fantastic band SPROG ROCK! We will start at the Plaza at 10am and parade up to WHALE Arts for a gig celebration at 11am – expect brass, drums, singing and an interactive gig feat. little microphones, keyboards! Little people and their bigger people can join the band and we will have a party lunch!
Textile Designer Jeni Allison – whose blog you can read here – and Photographer Kirstin Cunningham have also been working on the project and you’ll hear from them soon!
Hope to see you this Thursday or next . or the next! at WHALE at 10.30am!
Feel free to pass this on to anyone you know who might be suited, email us any questions at ExpectingSomething@starcatchers.org.uk and ‘Like’ our Facebook group Expecting Something in Wester Hailes to have a peek at what we get up to!