In our fourth session, Ligia Macedo guided us through some gentle creative writing exercises to support the group to express their thoughts, feelings and ideas through words. We begun with a couple of socially distanced warm-up exercises, spread across the PRIMEYARC venue space, before heading out on our local walk.
First, the group read and responded to nature writing and images; pinned to the walls were texts from Maya Angelou, Emily Dickenson, Tu Pac and William Wordsworth, amongst others, alongside images of paradise beaches, chips stalls, buildings and rivers from around the world. The group was invited to jot down their immediate responses anonymously on Post It notes, as a way to start tapping into expressing ideas through words. Then, Ligia invited us to think about the sensory experience of our own morning so far, from the moment we woke up to when we arrived at the space. We soon started to build up a collection of words connected to the senses and nature.
Ligia has a great approach that recognises that often people can freeze up when they are asked to take part in “creative writing”, so the warm-ups were a good way to get us thinking.
Noticing Hidden Histories
We set out on our walk mid-morning, from our base at Market Gates to the Medieval flint town wall. As with most of our walks to date, they’re slow, gentle and meandering, with lots of stopping points to share some local knowledge, take a photo or admire a building or plant. We noticed architectural features, self-seeded plants growing in the doorways, crumbling brickwork and spotted the same pink flowered hedge that we’d seen on a previous walk through Cobholm.
During our journey, we each had a series of coloured card sheets asking us to document different aspects of the locations, not just the things we could see but also the things we could hear, smell and touch. So, naturally, there was some brickwork-stroking, tree-sniffing and tree-hugging along the way!
The flint wall is visually stunning and enjoyable to touch, and it is also seeped in deep history. Ligia and the group swapped knowledge of the wall between each other. The group also thought more about the people involved in the construction, and we put ourselves in the shoes of the local communities building the wall for over 100 years. We wondered about the brickwork and structure, and how different generations would’ve brought different skills and attitudes to the project.
The group found a spot along Blackfriars Road, under a large candelabra-like tree beside the wall, to reflect on the sensory experiences of our walk so far. One of our group members shared that she felt anxious when walking through town as it was busy – which others in the group agreed with – but sitting under the tree, she felt calmer. As a final activity, before heading back for lunch, Ligia gifted us 5 minutes of silence simply touching, smelling, looking at and hearing the world around us.
After lunch (which tapped into our 5th sense – taste!), we brought all the ideas together from the day on a long sheet of paper, writing down our favourite lines or words from the nature writing examples, our morning sensory experiences and the sights, sounds and smells from our walk. From this, the group created a collaborative community poem, called ‘Uma escritor (a writer)’. I won’t share it here, you’ll have to visit the exhibition to read it!
It was brilliant to spend the day tuning into our sensory experiences. I was especially inspired to think about how the everyday locations – from the busy town centre to Great Yarmouth’s old wall, and the buildings and houses in between – are so rich with hidden stories. And how, with just a few simple accessible activities, an inspiring creative writing can blossom. Our group shared some thoughtful anonymous reflections at the end of the day:
“Today’s session was relaxed, creative and a good reminder of what we have to appreciate”
“Muito interessante, criativa, por causa da troca de ideias” / Really interesting, creative, because of the exchange of ideas”
“Every session has thus far been good. I have felt my creative side coming out more and am inspired after every group”
Events coming sooN!
Find out details of our upcoming events below. If you would like to stay informed of all of the latest information about these events, then you can sign up to our newsletter. Our first update will be going out this Friday!
EXHIBITION – WEDNESDAY 19TH MAY TO SUNDAY 20TH JUNE 2021
PRIMEYARC, Market Gates Shopping Centre, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2BG | Open daily: Monday-Saturday 12pm to 5:30pm + Sunday 12pm-4:30pm
Find out more on the Norfolk & Norwich Festival website
CONFERENCE – SATURDAY 22ND MAY 2021
PRIMEYARC, Market Gates Shopping Centre, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2BG | 12pm to 5:30pm, schedule tbc
Book your free ticket on the Norfolk & Norwich Festival website
FREE PUBLIC ARTS & NATURE EVENTS – JUNE 2021
PRIMEYARC, Market Gates Shopping Centre, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2BG | Timings and booking details, tbc |
We will be hosting a series of drop-in and bookable artist-led walks and events that explore creativity connected to the natural world
- Saturday 12th June: #MyJam Culture Sharing Lab, curated by originalprojects; – Facebook event
- …more to be announced soon!
All events are planned to follow and adhere to COVID-19 guidelines