Supersmashers is an art and play project for up to 200 looked-after children aged 6-12 living in Southwark. Running since September 2012, the project brings together two interlinking strands: weekly after-school sessions and family trips every school holiday.
Artists draw from their practice to introduce the group to new materials, processes and experiences. These starting points enable the children to explore their own creative expression, following their own interests and working with others. In the past they have explored woodwork and powertools; filming and live digital projections; casting, dough-making and soap-carving; den-building and installations amongst other things. The programme is run by an experienced team, supporting artists to lead the sessions.
Until now there has been no long-term provision in Southwark for looked-after children aged 6-12 to meet one another socially, after-school or during holidays. There are about 560 looked-after children in Southwark, for whom the Council is providing permanency plans: through returning to their homes, adoption or long-term placement. Supersmashers aims to establish a safe, familiar place for local looked-after children to develop better social skills, equipping them with the tools to allow them to better express their ideas and feelings to each other, their carers and the world.
Artist Davinia-Ann Robinson is working with the Supersmashers until summer 2020. Davinia is interested in exploring the physical traces of personalities and emotions, through playful and skilled uses of different materials.
So far we have worked with clay, plaster, chocolate, paints and tin foil to develop both collaborative and personal sculptures, creating a catalogue of abstract Supersmashers self-portraits.
Supersmashers is run in partnership with Southwark Social Services, and as part of the programme we offer placements to Southwark Social Student Socialworkers to support their training. The programme builds on a number of creative play projects with Carelink (a therapeutic resource for looked-after children) and Southwark Social Services since 2008.
For more information, please contact Supersmashers Manager: India@southlondongallery.org
Supported by BBC Children in Need