By Huckleberry Films, Nov 19 2012 12:24PM
Some of the students involved in the Pendle Witch project have had a full weekend residential stay at the Whitehaugh residential centre, set in beautiful countryside near the small town of Barley overlooking Pendle Hill. It was a great chance for the young people to spend longer together as a group, and have fun whilst learning about their heritage.
We went along to document the whole weekend, and to record some dramatic recreations of historical events with the group, and gather interviews.
After creating light graffiti photographs on Friday night, on Saturday morning the group worked together to creatively respond to their findings with artist Kerris Casey St. Pierre. With her guidance they began by designing temporary installations in the woods from leaves, twigs and whatever natural elements they could find around them. The installations varied from tiny ones of just a few inches, up to a massive one made of leaves spelling out ‘Malkin Tower’.
Using materials gathered in the woods, they then made mini witches from natural and found materials... and made clay work to attach to the witches. The clay had words etched in to it that were chosen to represent different reasons that the group felt the witches may have been persecuted. We hung them in a tree to photograph them, then took them down as these will form part of an exhibition later in the year.
In the afternoon we took a trip out with local historian Simon Entwistle, visiting the supposed site of Malkin Tower in Barley, and a statue of one of the witches Alice Nutter in her home town. Alice Nutter was quite wealthy, and we visited her location of her home to see it too.
On Sunday the group worked with drama specialist Steve Fairclough. They warmed up with some fun drama games first, then began to work in groups to recreate scenes from the story, and develop their understanding of the witches. They chose important scenes to dramatise, acting some out and representing other as freeze frames.
After lunch, we filmed the scenes, then worked with the group to gather interviews about the project to find out what they have learned/enjoyed so far. We also went back into the woods to film a few short sections to add to the film and headed home with memory cards full of great footage ready to be edted down to use in the film.