Helix Arts unveils free digital art trail for families in Stamfordham

Making connections – children from Albemarle Barracks and Stamfordham Village work together to create innovative digital art trail

Families from Albemarle Barracks and Stamfordham Village gathered to celebrate the launch of Hidden Treasures – a new interactive digital trail in Stamfordham that invites families to discover secret boxes.

Each box contains artwork created by children from Albemarle Barracks and Stamfordham Primary developed in workshops with artist Sheryl Jenkins in response to themes about army life including jobs, hobbies and interests, friendship, housing and moving on.

The art trail is available for families to enjoy until 2019 and aims to bring visitors to explore and enjoy the local area.

There are two characters designed and voiced by local children – Rainbow Unicorn (who likes cake) and Gumball the Goat (who loves to dig) – to guide families along the trail, using an interactive app developed by artist Nikki Pugh, who works with technology, landscape and space.

Senior Project Manager Amy Mitchell said: “We are delighted to open the trail and share the striking art-work created by local children around universal themes that reflect life both in the army and outside.

“It has been wonderful working with exciting artists like Nikki and Sheryl to create this digital art trail which is unique in that it changes in response to your choices, a bit like geo-caching. It offers a personal look into the lives of children and families in Stamfordham and is a free activity for families to enjoy together.”

Helix Arts has worked in partnership with Albemarle Barracks and Stamfordham Primary – with funding from The Armed Forces Covenant – to co-produce the trail.

Lisa Robinson, Community Support Development Worker said: “Army Welfare Service’s Community Support team wanted to develop a project that would raise awareness of Service life amongst local and wider military and civilian communities.

“In partnership with Helix Arts, we were able to achieve this through a collaborative programme using activities where technology, creativity, socialising, digital and the great outdoors meet.

“Since our very first discussions about Hidden Treasures, the project has changed and grown so much to fit our amazingly resilient and responsive community. It has been a privilege to support the delivery of this incredible and unique project, and to know that Service families have been able to tell their stories and be heard.

“The artwork they have produced has been so unique and expressive and it’s fantastic that Hidden Treasures has an inbuilt legacy that communities in the area will be able to enjoy for years to come.”

Artist and animator Sheryl Jenkins said: “During the project I worked with families from Albemarle Barracks and children at Stamfordham Primary on a series of art workshops and school-based activities.

“The children have shared their stories and ideas through the creation of a fantastic collection of artwork, character designs and animated films. Their completed art and film work is entertaining and thought-provoking. The project has been a great opportunity for Service families to develop links with the wider community. The children are incredibly proud of the work they have produced and they are excited about sharing it with others.”

The outdoor trail takes about one hour to complete.

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Children from Albemarle Barracks and Stamfordham Village explore the Hidden Treasures digital art trail. Credit: Dan Alecks - Locus Productions