The Village by The Kids is a project co-designed with students, artists and supported by educators. It seeks to supports a child’s right to play, to dream, to create and to lead. It’s a space where children use the power of imagination to curate, design and share their art experiences with the world.
In the first phase of the project, students from years 4 to 6 were asked to submit their interest in participating in the project. A group of twelve students were then invited to work alongside artists Alice Osborne, Claudia Chidiac and Nick Wishart to explore how storytelling, design and interactive art work together to create an outdoor art walk through Erskineville.
For three weeks, the group worked together, to design the walking tour inspired by the questions “what does a village designed by kids look, smell, taste and feel like? And what are the things you want us to see and how do you want us to hear them?” The second phase of the project involved the group of kids presenting their ideas to all the grade teachers and allocating each year group a site they will activate.
Each year group is spending three weeks in term two making work for their site, with a professional artist.
There is an entire school take over with artists and children working together, creating art experiences and pieces that will feature in the audio guide, in the parks and along the walking route.
Some of the artists are Luke Escombe using his musical expertise to co-create a musical treasure hunt in Burren Street playground , Alice Osborne has used a school craze of sculpted paper fingers and drawn on the history of a private residence to co-create a shadow puppetry film, Malcolm Whittaker, performance artist, poses the questions “What do you think adults are afraid of” and “What are the things that scare you?” to create a hide and seek performance in the Ellen Lawman reserve on Erskineville Road; Nitin Vergulekar, writer, creating tiny stories inspired by the Erskineville village.
The third and final phase is the event! Audiences will have to download an audio voice map app, bring their headphones and devices with an internet connection to be lead on an adventure tour of parts of Erskineville, stopping at various locations. The walk will lead attendees in groups of ten, every 15minutes, to sites in Erskineville where activities will take place.
How much history is in the work?
Erskineville has a strong migrant, industrial and convict history. Some of these elements were drawn upon and referenced to inspire the making of songs, shadow puppetry and creative fiction stories.
Historically the names of the streets were named after men who were councillors, priests. But what if they weren’t men but women disguised as men….? As explored by year six students.
Septimus Street Warehouse was once a site for print making, a shoelace and then candle making warehouse. The site is now a private residence.
Burren Street playground acknowledges Henry Copeland, a man who advocated for art galleries to be open on Sunday’s so workers can go to them on their day off.
Interviews with local business owners who have been in Erskineville for more than 20years:
- Simon. Dry Cleaner business.
- Michael. Fish and Chip Shop
- Steve Couri. Local resident since 1985.
The story of Gail (Mortensen) Foran who grew up on Burren Street in the 1960’s. We didn’t meet her personally. Her story was shared on an Erskineville Facebook page.
Why the audio format?
We had to create a way of presenting the work that was covid compliant, that presented the voices of children and showcased their ideas. This format allows the child to be present and to lead without having to be there, for the child to also maintain a strong voice in the work and to directly take participants to places they want them to experience.
The walking audio format is a familiar form, especially for adults because of listening trend with music and podcasts.
Ages: This event is designed for ages 5+
Walking Tour Duration: 60mins
Time: Walking tours leave every 15mins between 10am and 3pm
Location: Begin at 54 Swanson St,Erskineville
Date: 29 May
Bookings are essential – Please click here to book
This adventure has been created for you by The Kids from St Mary’s Primary Erskineville in collaboration with grown up artists, and with support from City of Sydney. With special thanks to our friends from Third Space and Shopfront Arts Co-Op.
This event is produced by Claudia Chidiac. More information please click here