The ripples from a rich and rare pebble

Having also attended the Roots and Wings finale event, I couldn’t have put it better than Mike White in his recent post! thank you Mike. As evaluator of the Chickenley Roots and Wings project for two significant stretches of its 10 year lifespan, I cannot praise highly enough the work of the arts team – which has presented an inspirational model for others across the North of the England as well as nationally, and for some international guests lucky enough to find their way there to visit and drink in the unique, vibrant atmosphere. Although the end of the project itself is very sad and marks the end of an era, the legacy of Roots and Wings lives on in the confidence and emotional maturity of the successive year groups of children who have made the art room their home. I have noted (and have recorded this as a phenomenon in my forthcoming thesis) the capacity for children’s experience within the project to return to them years later, and catalyse a deeply reflective process, through which they recognise the profound, positive effect (and affect) of the Roots and Wings experience on their subsequent personal and educational development. The Roots and Wings legacy lives on too in the projects it has spawned by example, in the practitioner skills honed there, which now move to other sites to walk alongside other communities, and in the exceptional work produced by children the art room, which if collected together could create a breathtaking retrospective, worthy of any art gallery.
This is a project which will never really end, and in fact in some profound ways, for so many people it is only just beginning. Thank you Mary, and the entire Roots and Wings team!

About anniRaw

Anni is a post-doctoral research associate with the Centre for Medical Humanities at Durham University. Her doctoral thesis (http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/7774/ ) characterises and theorises a core practice amongst artists working in community and participatory arts. The study incorporates an exploration of artists’ current practice in the UK and in Mexico, and suggests that a transnational core practice - conceptualised as an 'assemblage' of six consistent, multidisciplinary elements which together achieve a creative 'workshop ecology' - can be identified in this work. With a background in community music and the voice, and participatory evaluation of community-based arts interventions. An ethnographic anthropologist by approach, her current research interests include the nature and function of creativity, creativity and the arts in participation and activism, and international perspectives on participatory arts practices.
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