Rainbows Unlimited - Summer 1988

Submitted by root on Thu, 03/08/2012 - 11:20

Banner for Rainbows unlimitedThe Idea

Young people were invited to use rainbow-coloured materials to create 'something' they would like to find at the end of a rainbow.  These items were then displayed in a multi compartmented box ( a copy of the box originally devised for My Room).

The young people picked a compartment for their object. They then  had a choice of Rainbow coloured materials including felt, wool, ribbons, cottons, dyed pipe cleaners, paints and Pentel colouring pens. In addition there was PVA, cardboard, black felt and black paint.  The tools used included scissors, sewing and knitting needles, Stanley knives, and rulers.

The Tour

This was our 1988 summer arts-in-play tour around Merseyside. We visited 4 centres and spent 4 days at each. We went to  Croxteth Gems (2nd to 5th August);  Chadwick Mount Play and Community Centre, Everton Brow, (9th to 12th August); Gautby Road Play and Community Centre, Birkenhead (16th-to 19th August) and Kirkdale Community Centre (23rd-27th August).

At each centre a space was turned into a Rainbow Room for the week, with pictures, sketches and displays of materials to set the scene and provide inspiration. As the objects were made they were exhibited so that people could see what others had achieved. The finished objects were then taken on to the next centre.

Each young person was allocated a helper whose job it was to assist with making the object without taking the making over.  Below are pictures of Sally and Nicky at work with young people.

picture of sally working with two young lads Nicky Dewison working with a young lad on a rainbow

Some young people worked on their own, others in groups. In all some 180 young people took part in the Project. 

The aim was to fill the box which, by the time we had finished at Kirkdale, we had almost achieved. The unfinished objects were completed by young people visiting and completing them at the Blackie. 

The Exhibition     

Once the box was complete it was exhibited at the Red Triangle, Croxteth Sports Centre; The Municipal Buildings, Dale Street; The Williamson Art Gallery Birkenhead and The Birkenhead Central Library with the Exhibition ending on 11th January 1989.

We encouraged the young people who had made the individual objects to visit 'Rainbows Unlimited'  whilst it was being exhibited - sending them Christmas Cards which had a Christmas Greeting on one side and a picture of their object on the other.

The Team

The Project was devised by Sally Morris and led by her and Robbie Bushe with assistance from Nicky Dewison, Rie Kobayashi, Lucy Loyd, Sean Murphy, Simon Legge and the following for whom we do not at this moment have surnames: Ann, Danny, Jo, Kaye, Lie, Pauline, Sarah, Siggy, Sue and Will.

Rainbows Unlimited

Below are  pictures of the completed rainbow box plus close ups of some of the individual works. These as you will see range from the expected, Rainbow Roller Boots, to the slightly less expected, a train with Rainbow Smoke, to the surreal, a Rainbow Lobster with shades puffing on a cigarette.  The young people who made them ranged in age from 5 to 16.

picture of the completed box

          Water can pouring rainbow waterPenguin with Rainbow embroidered wingsRainbow Shooting Star plane with rainbow jet streambroom with rainbow bristles

             Surfer with rainbow wind sail Spider with rainbow coloured body

     Radio with rainbow coloured music coming out of it

                 Rainbow Iicecream Cone Christmas tree with rainbow decorations Clown with rainbow coloured costume rainbow diving off a high board Bunch of grapes each one a different rainbow colour

          Dinosaur with rainbow ridged back  Rainbow coke spraying out of a tin

    Goalkeeper in a rainbow coloured net saving rainbow coloured ball iTray with money each note a colour of the rainbow

  Roller boot with rainbow coloured rollers  rainbow coloured flyingsaucer witth passenger

Rainbow man in hammockPerson and pet  under a rainbow umbrella sheltering from rainbow rain

  Rainbow tiered cakeRainbow coloured skate board

           Witch on rainbow coloured broomstick         Rainbow typewriter next to flue with rainbow coloured out put

                   Train with rainbow coloured smokel

Rainbow  lobster with shades

The Funding and Thanks

The Project was commissioned by Merseyside play Action Council as part of their ongoing work in Arts in Play.  It was funded by MPAC. Wirral Play Council and Merseyside Arts.

Our thanks to those who helped us with donations or reduction in costs of materials.  Bollom;  Brio U.K.; Carter Parkes Ltd.; Coates Domestic Division; Edding; L.G.Harris & Co. Ltd.;  Pentel; Rowney; G.F. Smith;  and Tootal.