Quirky Beasts Eco Art Space

Quirky Beasts Eco Art Space started off as a few pilot workshops in the lead up to the Garden of Delights Festival 2003 in Platt Fields Park Rusholme. Since then it has blossomed into a full- scale transformation of the area previously known as Pets Corner, a derelict, rather forlorn area. Last year we worked from the park to deliver a series of children's open workshops to create ideas for the space, which culminated in 'Wigglit'- our giant worm composting worm, living sofas and lots of planting workshops.

Most recently we have been helped by a group of young volunteers who have enthusiastically landscaped the area: building and mulching paths, creating a wildlife pond, choosing and putting in new plants and flowers and supervising the installation of art works. We feel our program creates a space where these young people can 'learn by doing' and can also attend workshops to build on their skills in the same setting that they themselves have created. Through the project they have had the opportunity to increase their awareness of their own local environment as well as broader issues surrounding it. They have created a space that has made them newly aware of their own capabilities and given them something to be proud of.

We plan to continue working on the space, thanks to a grant from HLF's 'Young Roots' and further develop the space with interesting sculptures, permanent art pieces, educational projects and a sensory garden area.

We are extremely grateful to all the kind support and funding received from Manchester City Council, The Local Children's Network Fund, BTCV's People and Places award, Living Spaces, The Community Foundation, Greater Manchester Police, B&Q and Hulme Community Garden Centre.

Sensory Geodesic Dome Project

We have constructed an educational installation geodesic dome. It is 7 foot high by 14 foot across, constructed with the expert help of Billy from Hebden Bridge!

It was constructed from broompoles and reclaimed water piping.

Children from local schools and youth groups have designed and created the outside panel coverings for the dome, working on issues of recycling, fairtrade, sustainable cities, transport and energy.

We would like to develop this project to its full potential, to create a curious and colourful sensory geodesic dome with interactive pockets and bizarre entranceways. The dome will be toured around events, festivals, schools and organisations, raising awareness of the individual measures we can take to lessen our impact on the environment. The outside covering panels of the dome will be vividly illustrated, innovatively using reclaimed and recycled materials with 'pockets' to feel inside; with interesting articles hanging out; with zips to pull and duffle coat buttons to unleash! The project has the potential to develop, attracting and involving various art mediums, including an indoor visual installation with music and photographic images, puppets and story telling popping out of the frame to tell a story, workshops inside like blindfolded emersion of hands in dark boxes, or 'sniff and tell' spaces and so on.