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Designing a multisensory sculpture for Balsall Heath Library

July 6, 2023

Balsall Heath Library recently welcomed students from Calthorpe Academy special school in Highgate for a creative workshop led by Open Theatre.

Children and young people from Calthorpe Academy, Balsall Heath CATS and Uffculme School are helping to design a multisensory sculpture for the library for the upcoming ‘Imaginarium’.  The interactive sculpture, to be created by Intervention Architecture, will form the centrepiece for a programme of performances and workshops later this year.

Open Theatre, who specialise in non-verbal, physical and inclusive theatre for young people with learning disabilities, led the session.  They incorporated music, mime and movement into the workshop, nestled amongst the books in the children’s section.  School staff and students alike embraced the opportunity to cheer up ‘sad clowns’ with colourful hats and beanbags.  They were then invited to explore a range of objects provided by Intervention Architecture, who observed which textures and shapes were most appealing and could be incorporated into the final sculpture designs.

‘For most young people this was their first experience of Balsall Heath Library and it was just magical to welcome them in with such a playful and colourful workshop.  Mike from Open Theatre created a really fun and engaging space.  We can’t wait to welcome Calthorpe Academy to the ‘Imaginarium’ to see their sculpture realised!’ – Rachel Gillies, Moseley Road Baths CIO

The ‘Imaginarium’ is one of the creative pilots taking place in 2023 as part of Moseley Road Baths’ ‘Diving In’ pilot activity programme.  As part of considering how we use the library space, the team are inviting in groups to explore how the library can support storytelling and narrative for a broad range of audiences.

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