Friday, 9 September 2011

Meet the forest spirits...

This summer a secret club prepared for a very special project indeed:
"Skovens Ånder", which is Danish for forest spirits.

Skovens Ånder

For a long time we had wanted to do a kids' event in a forest that had a sense of magic about it. Forests are connected to some of my most treasured childhood memories. Forests can be places for adventures and many of my most loved stories begin with a forest as a place of magic and wonder.

So aiming to create a playful and imaginative reality, a secret club set about planning an activity for children and adults to enjoy on a Saturday afternoon in July in a forest near Aarhus.

Skovens Ånder - on track 1

Skovens Ånder - on track 3

There were many things to plan and prepare and Kenn and I kept busy, e.g. there were the beautiful forest spirit masks Kenn designed...

Skovens Ånder - masks

... and the prizes we created for the kids to find.

Skovens Ånder - prizes

And finally in the two weeks running up to the event, two of our indispensable helpers, Jane and Line, joined me to make some costumes to wear on the day, involving lots of feathers and pine cones, Kenn and I had collected for weeks in anticipation. It was amazing how much the girls and I got done with some hard graft in a couple of days and in the end we had an outfit for each of us to transform us into proper forest spirits.

Skovens Ånder - on track 5

So then one fine Saturday in July a secret club met with a group of children and their parents in a forest.

Skovens Ånder - en hemmelig klub

Customizing their masks, they transformed themselves into amazing forest spirits who wandered the woods and picked up rubbish left behind by humans.
Along the way they were introduced to us, a number of other extraordinary forest spirits; some to listen to, some to talk to, some to play with, and some to discover.

Skovens Ånder - making masks

Skovens Ånder - on track 6

Skovens Ånder - collecting trash

As they made their way through the woods, the young forest spirits found themselves playing a game where they would win prizes simply by finding them.

Skovens Ånder - on track 2

Skovens Ånder - on track 4

Skovens Ånder - forest spirits

On the rainy Sunday following that fine Saturday, Kenn and I met the forest spirits again (this time also with Mio) at the cinema "Øst for Paradis" where we watched "Spirited Away" - a wonderful Japanese animation about a whole world of other spirits, after having drawn beautiful pictures of some forest spirits friends.
These drawings will be later made into a short film.

Skovens Ånder - at the cinema 2

Skovens Ånder - at the cinema 1

Skovens Ånder

was realised with help and support from Øst for Paradis, Camera Film, Børnekulturpuljen and The Danish Film Institute.

Thanks to the many friendly participants who signed up and joined us on Saturday and Sunday and of course big thanks to our fantastic helpers, Jane, Line and Sabrina, this event turned out rather magical!

Skovens Ånder

And of course as always there was bunting too...
Until next time!

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