Lead Artist Hazel Darwin-Edwards reflects on her time with the groups as she prepares to leave to have her own baby.
I sit down to write my reflections on the last 8 months of Expecting Something, as I prepare to leave and take some time out for motherhood. I think the theme is about Transformation.
Here are a selection of the transformations I have experienced during this project:
A bump has turned into a tiny sleeping baby into an alert, upright cheeky personality.
An idea has developed into another idea before becoming a real life experience.
A singer who first quietly mouthed lyrics has grown in confidence and ended up belting out a solo harmony.
An experiment has become an interest and been practiced until it’s a skill.
A guarded glare has turned into a tiny smile then become a relaxed laugh.
A wish has grown into a few magical cells then into a tiny human inside me.
The rooms have gone from being blank canvases into colourful creative play havens.
Many actual blank canvases have become exciting works of art.
A worry has become a shared experience and turned into the cement that binds a friendship.
A discovery has become a game that’s turned into a nurturing play experience.
A sway to music has become a boogie and turned into a full on dance party.
There are more- I have run out of time. In a poetic way; for writing this blog post and working on the project.
It has been quite a journey all in all… I’m leaving feeling very grateful and full of the positivity that the project has generated.
I wonder if all the laughter, the music, the dancing and relaxing play will have had an effect on my baby? I believe it will have. This project has left me both politicised and filled with hope about parenthood and the life-changing joy having a baby can bring, in spite of challenges, obstacles and surprises. It has left me inspired by all the many artistic possibilities I can see for further developing work and arts practices for Early Years Audiences. There are plays, installations, books and experiences that are already beginning to grow from this in my imagination.
I have great admiration for the parents that I have met and am a little in love with all of their beautiful babies. I feel very lucky to have worked with Katy and Maria and all of the other wonderful artists who have supported this project so far (Hamish, Jenny, Zac, Jed, Jo, Bigg Taj, Geraldine, Liam, Lisa, Jassy, Nik, Jen, Skye, Kerry, Claire, Charlotte and EmmaClaire.) I am very grateful to Starcatchers, to Rhona, Jo, Amy and Claire… I don’t mean it to be an Oscar speech here, I just think it’s important to acknowledge and big up all these amazing people once in a while because it just wouldn’t have happened otherwise. And this is just the very beginning! The Expecting Something project is going to get more and more interesting over the coming months and years. Many exciting plans are in the pipeline, so I’m not saying goodbye or anything… just marking a little-big transition in my journey. Hope you don’t mind indulging a pregnant lady while she gets a wee bit emotional. Right, I’m off to have a baby now, wish me luck.