an interactive artwork for all ages
STRETCH is an interactive artwork for all ages from artist Sophia Clist with Nick Burge. Stretch is a screen made of hundreds of strands of fine elastic stretching across a space. It is a sound sculpture and an interactive installation. It’s an invitation to everyone to come and play!
Art Week Exeter Monday 15th – Friday 19th May 2017 Stretch was installed across the nave of Exeter Cathedral using 12 miles of elastic. To accompany public sessions and a performance, Dance in Devon and Sophia Clist ran participation workshops for children, young people and adults of all abilities and interests. Participants were invited to explore Stretch and make their own improvisations in the sculpture and other elastic structures. We worked with 250 participants in our workshops:
- Children under 5 and their family/ carer at Stretch N Play
- Home educated children and their families
- Dance Students from Exeter College and Exeter Contemporary Youth Dance
- Disabled children from Exeter Deaf Academy and Ellen Tinkham School.
- Disabled adults with CEDA
- Older People with Westbank Memory Café
Dance in Devon Artists: Kay Crook, Pip Jones, Lizzie Swinford, Susanna Oxenham and Jane Mason.
Photography by Chris Jones
Film by Chris Jones
We witnessed parents flying babies around and enjoying the space, parents and children focusing and mirroring each other through the fibres. There was real warmth and enjoyment in the laughter when children were hiding in their parents bodies during warm up activities. We all worked together, led by Sophia, to grasp the fibres and pull back for a big ping. Everyone really enjoyed this moment of excitement and connection with the artist.
The workshop really appealed to us, a unique chance to get hands on with a work of art. It was much more [than expected], a really in-depth and highly inclusive workshops that was interesting, fun and thought-provoking. […] [I was surprised] Just how much everyone participated. It was great, an experience that we have been talking about a lot ever since.
Our students benefitted greatly from [this workshop]. Learning […] in an exciting and dynamic format that is impossible to achieve within the daily college routine. The session provided a unique community inclusion opportunity that brought the students in to the heart of the city to engage with a community wide project. […] Good access to the building [enabled] us all to be valuable contributors to Art Week rather than passive onlookers. The nature of the installation itself facilitated collaborative, student led interactions with both their peers and unfamiliar others […] In some instances, this was one of only a handful of examples over the entire academic year that students initiated and sustained engagement with a planned activity to such an extent. [….] It is rare that a single session can universally attract each member of such a diverse group. It can often be difficult to motivate students to be independently mobile. Stretch demonstrated the potential for such pieces to encourage physical activity that will benefit students Health needs. [….] Students with a range of physical needs were not restricted by a static exhibition and the expertise [the team] was evident in the creative ways the piece was moved to provide many different forms of physical engagement.
We witnessed a lovely game where the carer leant through Stretch towards a participant who was in a wheelchair. This had a remarkable effect on his levels of enjoyment – from being quite introverted, he was laughing and moving his torso. There was real attention to the sounds from 2 participants who stood really close with ears and hands reaching towards Stretch.
In the media
Stretch featured on BBC Spotlight
Contact Lizzy Humber (Project Manager)