Glitterbird - Art For The Very Young
GLITTERBIRD – ART FOR THE VERY YOUNG is a European art project (2003 – 2006) for children younger than three years of age. The main contributor is the EU programme Culture 2000. The intention of the project is to create, present and gain experiences by presenting professional, high quality art for small children. The project is based on the experiences from the project 'Klangfugl-art for the youngest children' (1997 – 2002) initiated by the Norwegian Arts Council.
In late September, members of NAEN (National Arts Education Network) travelled to Oslo, Norway for their annual international study trip and were able to see this project in action.
||NAEN observed a rehearsal of ‘See My Dress’, a Glitterbird project currently happening in Norway, and met with the performers. A group of 15 children from a local kindergarten class were also there to watch the 20 minute performance. It was interesting to watch how engaged they were for such a young age, and how many mixed reactions to the piece there were from watching silently to inquisitive chattering to mimicking movement. |
In the Glitterbird project, artists should be prepared for children joining in and this was certainly the case with a few members of the young audience.
Much of the performance centred on the idea of silence and space. According to the artists, the world moves very fast and these 20 minutes give the children a chance to expand their playfulness. The performance presented something that was familiar, and natural reactions and responses from the children were encouraged. The close of the piece was open ended and the children were invited to move into the space and play. There was no formal drawing of the curtain or applause separating the children from the art. That way they are able to feel as though they were part of the exploration.
||Members of NAEN also spoke with Ellen Os and Leif Hernes, the organizers of the Norwegian Glitterbird project, who gave us a bit of background and showed us other examples on DVD. |
They believe that a modern view of childhood considers the children both as 'becomings' and 'beings', both as complete and incomplete - just like adults.
For this reason art is, both for children and the grown-ups, something that develops one as a human being and something that can be experienced as meaningful in the moment. Children under the age of three have the ability to enjoy and be challenged by art in a positive way.
Six countries are currently involved in the Glitterbird project: Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Norway and Hungry. In each country grants are given to the production and presenting of three to four art projects for small children within theatre and dance, sculpture and music. Besides art production and presentation nationally and internationally, the project gathers artists and specialists to annual seminars in Oslo (June 2004) and Budapest (October 2005). The project will end in October 2006 with a festival and a seminar in Paris.
|For more information visit the Glitterbird website|