Our ‘geocache’ art-trail in Stamfordham, Northumberland is bringing communities together to share stories and experiences.
Working in partnership with the Army Welfare Service on Albemarle Barracks and with local children from Stamfordham Primary, Helix Arts introduced digital artist Nikki Pugh and artist and animator Sheryl Jenkins to co-create an online trail and ‘bird-boxes’ containing children’s artwork. Hidden Treasures was funded by The Armed Forces Covenant
The trail invites families to discover secret boxes, open them to view the art-work and use the online app to discuss issues and themes, including local history and heritage.
“We are delighted to share the striking art-work created by local children around universal themes that reflect life both in the army and outside. It has been wonderful working with exciting artists like Nikki and Sheryl to create this digital art trail which is unique in that it changes in response to your choices, a bit like geo-caching. It offers a personal look into the lives of children and families in Stamfordham and is a free activity for families to enjoy together.” Amy Mitchell, Producer
Each box contains artwork created by children from Albemarle Barracks and Stamfordham Primary developed in workshops with artist Sheryl Jenkins in response to themes about army life including jobs, hobbies and interests, friendship, housing and moving on. The art trail is free for families to enjoy and aims to bring visitors to explore and enjoy the local area.
There are two characters designed and voiced by local children – Rainbow Unicorn (who likes cake) and Gumball the Goat (who loves to dig) – to guide families along the trail, using an interactive app developed by artist Nikki Pugh, who works with technology, landscape and space.
“Army Welfare Service’s Community Support team wanted to develop a project that would raise awareness of Service life amongst local and wider military and civilian communities. In partnership with Helix Arts, we were able to achieve this through a collaborative programme using activities where technology, creativity, socialising, digital and the great outdoors meet. Since our very first discussions about Hidden Treasures, the project has changed and grown so much to fit our amazingly resilient and responsive community. It has been a privilege to support the delivery of this incredible and unique project, and to know that Service families have been able to tell their stories and be heard. The artwork they have produced has been so unique and expressive and it’s fantastic that Hidden Treasures has an inbuilt legacy that communities in the area will be able to enjoy” Lisa Robinson Community Support Development Worker