Alastair K Daniel is a professional storyteller, educator and academic who visited our show and then posted a review on Twitter which prompted us to get in touch. After that followed a meeting at Hove Museum with Alastair and five other storytellers from the group 'The Surrey Storytellers': Trish Chiltern, Gemi-Iodanou, Belinda McKenna, Martin Hunka and Richard Trouncer.
|The Surrey Tellers and Fabula members next to The Story Cabinet at Hove Museum|
As visual artists we are always talking about stepping outside our comfort zone, trying new materials or subject matter to enliven our practice or take it in new directions. So imagine how enriching an experience it was for us to meet these very creative practitioners. They are storytellers like ourselves but with a completely different mode of delivery: storytellers in the oral tradition.
It was fascinating for us to hear how the tellers work. Each one in a slightly different way and, as you'd expect, with individual preferences for certain tales. Alastair Daniel spoke passionately about the need for storytelling and imaginative teaching in schools. He described his approach where he uses lots of drama with elaborate props to bring stories alive for children. This is a shared aim for many Fabula members, especially those who illustrate and run creative workshops for children. Belinda has an interest in more symbolic subject matter - telling stories that may be understood on different levels. Trish is a speech and language therapist who uses her story telling to great advantage in this work. Richard tends to tell autobiographical stories - with humour, and Gemi's work also has autobiographical elements that draw upon her Greek heritage.
|Dagmara Rudkin, in front of her work Henny Penny, explaining her activity sheet for children based on the story.|
Belinda had a wonderful, theatrical idea about how our exhibits could be made to interact with each other if they each became part of a bigger story. This got us thinking about potential ways to enable another layer of storytelling when we curate future exhibitions or events.
Since then, we are pleased to tell you that Alastair K Daniel has had an article published in Facts and Fiction Magazine - the UK's premier story telling magazine - giving much more detail about our meeting at Hove Museum during the exhibition.
Here is the link to see the article:
We very much enjoyed our afternoon with The Surrey Storytellers and we hope to meet with them again in the near future.