Chalk Dreams

Creating a new fantastical forest with people of Abbey Community.

Taking inspiration from the nearby chalk stream.

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Experimenting with chalk and watercolour in response to poems about the chalk stream, Abbey People Youth Group (age 11 - 13, May 2022)
Experimenting with chalk and watercolour in response to poems about the chalk stream, Abbey People Youth Group (age 11 - 13, May 2022)

We are working with groups across Abbey community to create a whole new Fantastical Forest collection in 2022 in response to a particular landscape in the heart of the community – the magical but fragile chalk stream that runs through Barnwell Nature Reserve.

Artists Hilary Cox Condron, Sally Todd and Filipa Pereira-Stubbs are offering inviting and playful ways for groups across the ward to explore these features of our local landscape which are so unique and of exceptional ecological importance – in workshops, through soundscapes and online. Starting with workshops for children at Galfrid School, ideas are being explored in many different groups across the summer, both in the community and with patients and staff at the Cambridge University Hospital’s Dialysis Unit, tucked away off Ditton Walk.

Follow this link to listen to the specially created soundscape for the project by artist Filipa Pereira Stubbs.

The final forest will be displayed at Stourbridge Fair on Saturday 3rd September and to mark World Rivers Day on Sunday 25th September at Barnwell Nature Reserve. All welcome. 

Chalk streams are compared to rainforests in terms of their environmental significance and value. They are incredibly rare across the world, with the majority of them (85%) found here in the UK and many in the East of England. One of these runs through the heart of the Abbey Community and will be our focus. Read more about this rare habitat here.

Working in partnership with Abbey People, Cambridge Canopy Project, Cambridgeshire Past Present and Future, and Cambridge City Council.

Funded by Cambridge City Council S106 Public Art Grant

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I am fast and show I am so glad that I am near I am glad of myself I am always here  By Amelia (7) Children from Galfrid School are inspired by visits to their local chalk stream, April 2022
Children from Galfrid School are inspired by visits to their local chalk stream, April 2022

I am fast and slow
I am so glad that I am near
I am glad of myself
I am always here

By Amelia (7)

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Volunteers, visitors and staff all enjoyed getting creative at an Abbey Coffee Morning, May 2022
Volunteers, visitors and staff all enjoyed getting creative at an Abbey Coffee Morning, May 2022
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Artists Sally Todd and Hilary Cox Condron invite create conversations at the Abbey People Big Lunch, June 2022
Artists Sally Todd and Hilary Cox Condron invite create conversations at the Abbey People Big Lunch, June 2022