Il-Ktieb Tal-Istaġuni

A co-creative journey in four chapters

2023- 2024

This project started off from a question by my son, Asking about why certain fruit are only available at certain times of the year, ensued into a discussion on seasons and what they are. This discussion and the fascination with creating books together, led to the development of this project. This was share with Ms Johanna Gatt head of the Child Educare Services at the University of Malta, who welcomed this project proposal.

The children of Il-Perla embarked on a creative journey in four chapters. Taking the book as a metaphor, creative tool, and curious object the children discovered the seasons that make up the year. Together we visited the Centre for Environmental Education and Research, Fawwara, Siggiewi, Malta to learn about how the seasons are the manifestation of natural cycles. Through an interdisciplinary approach, the children discovered Autumn, Winter and Spring together with the creative team and their educators.

Children explored nature through play, collecting, through their imagination and their senses. The visits to CEER were followed up with in-class sessions, where the children explored paint, sound, sculpture, book-binding and storytelling.

The creative team were attentive to their needs and their individual interests. The process was integrated in their daily routine, using Circle Time to allow each child to express themselves, from sharing adventures, to having the sniffles or recounting their visits to CEER, or their excursions with their parents. The creative team and their educators where supportive throughout the process.

Colour and paint were explored through intently observing, searning and touching. Children were free to explore paper and paint. Buzzing bees, wind, thunder and breeze, as well as the footsteps and the excited chatter was recorded. The children also invented sounds for their characters and explored layering of sound using a sound cake. The children created creatures using found objects and recycled material. Naming the creatures, inventing likes and dislikes, injuries and a variety of characteristics, they delved into storytelling.

The children also visited Glen Calleja at Studio Solipsis on two occasions, to learn how books are made. This opened up a new world and each tried their hand at folding and binding their own little books. The process culminated in the co-creation of a book, in four chapters, recounting the adventure of the creatures developed by the Children of Perla. An exhibition was held at The Mill – Art, Culture and Crafts Centre, on the 21st of June 2024.

Il-Ktieb Tal-Istaġuni is a project created and artistically directedby Raffaella Zammit, in collaboration with Il-Perla Children and Educators (University of Malta) Martina Camilleri, Esther Cuschieri Huy, Antoinette Borg, Glen Calleja (KotbaCalleja/Studio Solipsis) and Patrick Galea (Centre for Environmental Education and Research, University of Malta) supported by Arts Council Malta Art in Schools Scheme.