Kirstin Georgia Abraham
Stripy Nest was a pilot project in collaboration with Canal View Primary School in Edinburgh. Pre-school pupils worked with Starcatchers artists and a play worker to co-design and create an interactive playground installation that helped improve their experience of the playground as they made their transition into P1 in August 2019.
The playground can sometimes be an intimidating and anxious experience for younger children, particularly those with additional support needs. Stripy Nest gave the children the opportunity to take the lead in creating a physical space that helped overcome some of these challenges – somewhere that promotes inclusive play, socialising and relationship-building.
The inspiration for this project, and its name, came from lead artist Kirstin Abraham’s seven-year-old son who is Autistic and has, at times, found the playground a difficult place to be. “He’s a wonderful little boy fascinated by the stripe patterns on Zebras, which like children, are all different. He needed somewhere he could feel calm and safe – a nurturing nest”, added Kirstin.
The project took place between June and October 2019 and saw 13 creative art sessions take place with three early year artists working with children aged 4-5 years old during the nursery and school day. The two ‘eggs’ and a social ‘nest’ were then unveiled on the 10th September with Children’s Minister Maree Todd. Read more here.
The artists and children explored a wide range of creative arts-based activities including: creative gardening; sculpture using clay, playdough and plasticine; outdoor drawing and painting; weaving; positive destruction sessions with a range of materials; and building proprioception-focused obstacle courses.
Stripy Nest was funded by Ponton House Trust, Baily Thomas, The National Lottery Community Fund (Awards for All), Trefoil and Souter Trust.
“Creative experiences with nests and weaving was a huge hit. You could see how happy they were, everyone was really engaged in the activity.”
(Canal View Primary Staff)
“There are loads of kids who need it. It’s a great idea, and if you could build a Stripy Nest in every school which was a safe space for kids, that would be brilliant.”
“I liked it all – I wanted to stay for longer “
“I liked hiding!”
“I liked the nest, I liked building it”