THREADS is an original participatory installation exploring ‘thread’ as a symbol of human interconnection within community and with the natural world.
Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, we moved a 2020 creative development of our new participatory theatre work THREADS online and to an Australia-wide snail mail project. This phase of development was commissioned and originally planned to occur at ArtPlay, City of Melbourne. Scroll down to see some of the beautiful outcomes.
The Snail Mail Process
For the snail mail component we wanted the packs to be beautiful, curious and special. Children and adults in the household took part in their choice of the 3 playful prompts provided, and then sent the pack onto a new family. In this way, the art and experience created was an accumulative piece.
Families were also given a link to an experimental sound-score by Zoë Barry to heighten their experience. Click here to have a listen.
Prompt 1 - Drawing with String
The video below weaves together the responses from children and adults. Families across Australia responded to the prompt: If thread were the paint, what marks would you make? What stories could we weave together? SOUND ON for the beautiful score by Zoë Barry.
“Black and white thread, black and white pages. We noticed. She said "Black lives matter". Our play shifted. We moved from 2D to 3D drawings. She didn't want to cut the wool. We played tug of war. An accidental knot became a drawing. 20 minutes went very fast.” adult, WA
Prompt 2 - String Game
Children and adults played a game with string and blindfolds across Australia. How can we connect when we are apart? Who is leading, who is following? What worlds open up when we pay attention to our senses?
"I enjoyed the blindfolds. I know my house so well but the space became unfamiliar with the blindfold on" Adult, 71yrs, VIC
Prompt 3 - Stitching
This embroidery piece was created by adults and children from across Australia. Participants added their marks and then posted the work on.
Remotely we stitched together. Under and over, through and back. Constellations in a night sky.
“I loved the fact that I started out with no plan but as the shapes formed I could see a cat in my mind which led to me stitching a cat.” Child, 10yrs, NT
While it was, of course, not the same as doing workshops together in the same space, this development did give us new ways to look at connection. As we continue to make Threads into a full-scale, interactive theatre event, the moments of story and experience woven together through the online and mail tasks will inform many areas, from aesthetics, framing and scene structure, to facilitation and invitation.
A HUGE thank you to the children and families who took part in this development, as well as the creatives and those who worked behind the scenes.
Zoë, Goldie, Lilly, Twyla, Bec, Bo, Lucy, Julie, Matilda, Nancy, Pablo, Remi, Cat, Jill, Ela, Obi and Tanya.
This development engaged people from 8yrs to 71yrs, from Perth to Arnhem Land, from cities to regions and remote , from the tangible to the ethereal.
With warmth and love during a time of pandemic,
Cat and Nancy,
The Ball Room Projects
This creative development was supported by ArtPlay, City of Melbourne