Guest blogger: Kim Glassby
Playbods is a collaboration of two Leeds-based artists, Bryony Pritchard and Kim Glassby.
Bryony is an interdisciplinary artist with a background in visual arts and movement. Her work brings togetherparticipatory events, interactivity, play, performance, installation, sculpture, film and dance, and she has delivered work for Grassington Festival, the Hepworth Gallery Wakefield, Artforms and The Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Kim is a community dance artist specialising in play-based work with young children, older people and people with learning difficulties, and she has delivered work for Jabadao, Yorkshire Dance, Creative Partnerships and York St John University.
Both artists have been working through the collaboration of Playbods to bring their multi-disciplined arts approaches together to create playful, interactive events and projects for people of all ages in unusual spaces. A strong aspect of their approach is that their events are equally involving and supportive of children, parents and grandparents, and offer active creative learning experiences with the focus on the whole family.
Playbods have recently been funded by Leeds Inspired to work in partnership with Leeds Libraries to deliver the Dance in Libraries Project during Summer & Autumn 2012. The project brought togetherdance, visual arts and storytelling in order to engage children, parents and grandparents in increased creative play and shared interactive reading time.
Within the project the artists re-imagined the library by creating multi-sensory environments in which families became physically emmersed in storiestogether and were facilitated to create their own stories using open-ended materials such as fabrics, feathers, hoops and paper.
As a result of the project, Playbods and Leeds Libraries recorded that library book loans increased, families spent increased time within the library, children and parents engaged more confidently in creative play and reading time together, and many families returned to the library to take part again during the project. Armley, Horsforth, Garforth and the Children’s Mobile libraries were involved and participants ranged from three weeks to eighty years old.
Playbods have also published a book and exhibition of the project which will be touring Leeds Libraries in early 2013, and have been invited to deliver work for future events with Leeds Libraries.