Convent Kids presents: Books with Friends by Kids' Own Publishing
Kids’ Own Publishing’s creative arts and book making workshops are back! Get creative with new guest writers and artists in the October school holidays at Abbotsford Convent.
'Books with Friends' is a chance for children aged 5 – 10 to hang out and make books with the Convent’s creative community. There are five weekday workshops to choose from, each led by one of our friendly neighbours: photographer Helga Leunig (high above the heritage gardens), Polyglot Theatre and Ink & Spindle (from the Sacred Heart studios), writer Anna Walker, and drop-in storyteller Sharon (we do love visitors).
The Convent’s charming Oratory will be transformed into The Grand Imaginarium – a place that will amaze and inspire young minds. Let your imagination take flight and create a unique book which will be published on the spot for you to take home.
'Books with Friends' in The Grand Imaginarium is presented as part of Convent Kids – an exciting year-round program developed by the Abbotsford Convent Foundation for children and families to explore and create art together.
Proceeds from this public program directly support Kids’ Own Publishing’s creative arts and publishing projects with communities in need. Kids’ Own Publishing uses creativity and community publishing to increase children’s and young people’s literacy development, sense of identity and belonging in the wider community.
Monday 1 October: Photography with Helga Leunig
Celebrate the beauty of ordinary things with photographer Helga Leunig. Helga loves to look. Photography provides a curious and wonderful lens to look at the world, to be fully present wherever you are, and see the beauty in ordinary things. Learn the stories behind Helga’s pictures and discover the Convent through her eyes. Draw and collage your eye-catching encounters then create your own story to take home and share.
>> Our friend Helga Leunig has a studio on the second floor of the main Convent building. She is a documentary photographer whose work draws attention to the everyday beauty in people, places and communities – her work is often described as having a quiet and serene quality. She exhibits widely and her photographs are held in private and public collections including the National Portrait Gallery of Australia, Ballarat Regional Gallery and The National Library of Australia.
Tuesday 2 October: Printing and Patterns with Lara Cameron
Have a go at fabric design! Do you have a favourite t-shirt? Do you love the pretty pattern on your couch? Have you ever wondered how these patterns were printed? Explore the magical Ink & Spindle studio to see how they make their fabrics – and do a little printing of your own. Children will work collaboratively to choose the design and colours for some on-the-spot custom printing. We will then collage the prints to create your own illustrated book.
>> The textile artists of Ink & Spindle make beautiful things inspired by the plants and animals that surround us. Lara and her co-designer Caitlin have been making fabric for ten years, getting their hands dirty, mixing their own inks and printing all their fabrics by hand on a giant table! They like to get out into nature where they draw, paint and photograph their ideas before printing them onto fabrics in their vast, light-filled studio in the Convent’s Sacred Heart Building.
Wednesday 3 October: Paper and Tape with Polyglot Theatre
Come and play with Polyglot artist Nick Barlow. Using paper and other simple materials, create your own characters, shapes, costumes and anything else that you can dream up. You’ll then turn your wild creations into your very own book.
>> Polyglot Theatre is now based at the Convent! Yippee! Well-known to children all over Melbourne and beyond, Polyglot Theatre places children at the heart of its art. The company generates contemporary, engaging theatre experiences that take children and adults into unexpected artistic territory, using simple materials to encourage creative confidence and participation. Polyglot’s vision is a future where children are powerful: artistically, socially and culturally. What a great upstairs friend for Kids’ Own Publishing!
Polyglot Theatre’s workshop program is proudly sponsored by Lucas Dental Care.
Thursday 4 October: Tracking with Shazza
Who is hiding in the bushes? What’s made that little pattern in the dirt? Join Yamitji woman Sharon Hughes on a hunt for tracks and hear some stories about the critters around us. Wander through the grounds of the Abbotsford Convent uncovering secrets hidden in plain sight. Learn to read the ground you walk on for signs of animal friends, then make your mark in a book of your creation.
>> Shazza is the sort of friend who loves to drop in for a yarn. Sharon Hughes is a Yamitji woman born in Wongan Hills Western Australia. She is one of eight children in her Aboriginal family. Sharon has always had a passion for books – making, reading and printing them, in particular children’s books, and she loves making books with her neice Tahlia. She works as an early childhood educator, writer, storyteller, role model and artist. She is passionate about teaching children and wants every young person to believe that they can be and do anything. Sharon has co-written and published three children’s books with Indijreaders.
Friday 5 October: Anna Walker’s Creature Tales
Leave the ordinary behind and step into a world of imagination with Anna Walker and creatures of your creation. Anna will be sharing the process and techniques of making a picture book. Meet Anna’s own wooly, felt and knitted friends, see her original illustrations, and use this inspiration to create your own character and tell it’s tale in a book.
>> Anna Walker writes and illustrates children’s books. Crafted with pencil, ink and collage, Anna’s illustrations are inspired by the everyday details of life and the amusing antics of her menagerie. Anna’s book, as author-illustrator, Mr Huff, won the 2016 CBCA Book of the Year for Early Childhood and was shortlisted in the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. Together with Jane Godwin, Anna has also created many beautiful picture books, their most recent book being Go Go and the Silver Shoes. Anna’s latest picture book as author-illustrator, Florette, has been shortlisted in the 2018 CBCA awards for Picture Book of the Year.