reflecting on children, shadows and light

I have been revisiting the childrens' interactions with light as I'm writing a proposal for Inlight Richmond, a festival of contemporary art that explores light.

Could we create a replica of the light studio that Sara set up in the school's basement? What would the atmosphere of the canal walk add to the experiment?  Imagine the possibilities- what new understandings might emerge when the city is invited to play with light the way the children do? How might the traces of the children's explorations inspire the audience in their own collaborative interaction with light? I want to share the fact that children use media and materials like contemporary artists do, to explore ideas and test theories. What if, by offering the tools of their play with light to the city, the children become catalysts for new discovery and joy?
*all photos by the Garden room Teachers Sara and Andrea

mixing colors, creating shadows, dancing with the light, manipulating it with translucent and opaque materials, shadows and projections... the teachers’ job is to provoke these rich interactions by arranging an environment that the children can’t resist investigating, and to document the children's interactions in many media.

Children have a rich and unique culture that is visible in the school. Not the ‘kid culture’ created by corporations and marketers, but rather a culture of interactions woven together with wonder and imagining. How can we share that culture? Could taking some cues from our youngest citizens make our city a friendlier, more creative and democratic place?



  1. Anna, what a great idea! It could be like the Urban Ateliers in Reggio: "The Urban Ateliers are playful places for research and invention open to all citizens of any age. They are often designed in collaboration with professionals in different fields (architects, pedagogistas, physicists, engineers, biologists, dancers, musicians, physicians, chefs) and promote an idea of knowledge as a process in which different languages interweave."


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