The WanderHouse was Queens Park Arts Centre’s flagship visual arts community outreach project from 2013-2019. Led by interdisciplinary artist Pippa North, thousands of people took part in the project, inspiring schools and community groups across Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.
The WanderHouse itself is a bespoke, handcrafted mobile unit developed during a research and development artistic residency at Queens Park in 2013. It is filled with hand-held objects of beauty and curiosity created in collaboration with the Centre’s tutors and artists.
After launching in 2013 the WanderHouse led to a series of creative collaborations with local schools and youth groups, ranging from single workshops to whole-school projects resulting in beautiful unique art installations inspired and created by the school community.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
The WanderHouse formed part of QPAC’s transformative development programme led by artistic director Sarah Lewis. Funding was secured to create an ‘artist in residence’ role during 2013, in which Pippa North led a research and development project to create and build the WanderHouse, a bespoke handcrafted mobile unit.
Highlighting and utilizing the skills and expertise of the Centre’s tutors and artists, the WanderHouse is a collaborative, participatory, socially engaged arts project reaching into the community.
Through consultation with children and young people and in response to these findings, a series of handling objects was created for the WanderHouse.
Ultimately, the WanderHouse is a gift, a handshake, and as such, encapsulates the generosity of the community that is Queens Park Arts Centre.
The WanderHouse took flight in 2014, enabling children and young people to access high quality arts and crafts experiences and cultural engagement.
The research and development project was funded by Arts Council England through its Grants for the Arts Scheme and in memory of Amanda Burton.
“It’s great for the kids to work with an experienced and knowledgeable artist – someone who knows various techniques. The students have all worked with Pippa before and it gives them confidence to know the artist and create new work.”
Bedgrove Junior School
“Queen’s Park Arts Centre provided a fabulous Artist in Residence who helped us to create something that really reflects the character of my school. The Magic Carpet we created involved contributions from every member of the school community and now provides a beautiful resource for stimulating story and language work.”
Berryfields C of E Primary School
As well as working in schools and other community settings, we also hosted many school visits to Queens Park Arts Centre. This allowed us to inspire students by giving them access to our selection of fully-equipped studios, and also to gave them the opportunity to see our exhibitions and other spaces, including the Limelight Theatre, during their visit.
The WanderHouse completed its creative journey in 2019. Queens Park Arts Centre is currently planning a new multi-artform education project. If you would like to be involved please email Artistic Director, Sarah Lewis via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our thanks to the Paradigm Foundation, Arts Council England, Aylesbury Vale Arts Council and Aylesbury Town Centre for their support of the WanderHouse project.