4 April 2012

The redevelopment in a former 19th century convent on Belvidere Road into the UK's first eco-friendly homeless hostel is near completion. To coincide with the opening, FACT commissioned year nine students from The Belvedere Academy to work with artist Nicola McGovern and Liverpool Mutual Homes to create an artwork that would connect the Family Centre to the local area and its residents. Project facilitator Jonathan Browing told us more...

We kicked off the Golden Slumbers project by visiting the Belvedere Academy and carrying out some introductory sessions. We were able to work with a a group of year nine 'Gifted and Talented' students selected by their teachers for their passion for Art and English.

The team set about generating ideas and the girls were encouraged to think about local history and the areas surrounding Princes Park, Belvidere Road, Park Road and Aigburth. The girls began to think the importance of having the Family Centre in the area, and how the school, local residents and local businesses could help welcome new families to the area.

Local artist Nicola McGovern was brought on board by the team to develop the Golden Slumbers project which uses dreams as a starting point and explores how they shape our daily thoughts. Nicola gave the girls Dream Journals so they could capture their dreams by making a log of them. We thought this would give the girls a good starting point for the project. At Nicola's first session she read the girls part of her own Dream Journal from when she was 17 and still at school. This helped demonstrate how dreams can manifest themselves in very strange and undefinable ways.

Discussions, photography tours and interviews ensued as the team explored the local places  places made famous by well-known figures and celebrities. Did you know Ringo Starr, Courtney Love and entrepreneur Ethel Austin all lived in the area at some point in their lives!?

The final outcome from the project is a charming chalkboard animation called Silly Thoughts of Slumber, which pulls together all the research that the students carried out as well as some more surreal elements from their dreams. It even features the girl's themselves 'magically' appearing in and out fromt the board. 

Watch Silly Thoughts of Slumber on artplayer.tv or on the related media section.