The Ancestors Story comes to life in the Paper Garden

We have been continuing our workshops in the Paper Garden with children from Redriff Primary school. During our latest workshop, the children added their own expression to the stories we had been looking at together. Canada Water is on the migratory route for over 60 birds. Consequently, birds form the heart of many of the stories we have been sharing with children. It is the birds that fly from the forest to the city, reminding the people of the secrets of the natural world in which they inhabit.  In response to this story the pupils made their Paper- Mache birds, decorated and made homes for them. The children loved rummaging in our waste store for unusual pieces of wood and paper.  They were so engrossed, working in 3D, firing glue guns and electric drills, that they didn’t want to stop, even when it was time to go.

IMG_6063 (1).jpg

In ‘The Ancestors Story’ a small girl called Lucy, who has long dark hair and hazel brown eyes, wants to know the story of her ancestors. She wants to know this story because, she feels, it will make her wise. Wise enough so that she can make the right choices in her own life.   Lucy finds herself transported back into the past where she sees her distant relatives. However, she continues to travel back in time, hundreds and then thousands of years. Finally, she travels back millions and then billions of years until the time of the Big Bang……. when the Universe itself started!   

As an exercise in creative writing, we asked the children to imagine that they were the Universe itself and to write about their own journey – how they might have felt and what they might have thought. The writing they produced was startling in its depth and detail and a real pleasure to read. Here are 4 examples writing: -  

I am the universe. In the beginning before anything happened I felt curious and silent. But as I waited I saw something moving in the darkness. It was a speck and a speck so tiny that if it was black like everything else I wouldn't have noticed its shimmering beauty. But then it exploded. It was probably the biggest explosion of all time. As it exploded, I felt so powerful that I knew that I was going to create everything and everyone. It was very hard, but I did it. Star dust exploded everywhere. It clumped together to form awesome stars.

David B


I am the universe. In the beginning, I was strong and silent. Nothing existed. I was alone and still. A flash. A bang. I am not alone. Stars, billions of them form our galaxy. A cluster of stars, in a spiral shape, glowing. A star exploded. A supernova, it forms life. A red-hot ball, it is gigantic, glowing with flames, made of fire. Stardust gas in shapes to make the planets. A vibrant blue, rocks galore, green and white. It is this starting…


 In the beginning before anything happened I felt bored and a bit fearful for what would happen. I soon lost hope and thought that the blackness would continue forever. This mysterious little speck appeared out of nowhere and suddenly exploded and made thousands of spirals called galaxies. I couldn't believe it! Something finally appeared, and I waited for all the other magnificent sights of me, the universe. I saw that some tiny little specs started to form stars, and there was one particular star that I thought shined over the other stars and that was the sun. The sun created many magical things and that created life.


In the beginning, I was silent and peaceful. I wanted to be with something that could make my world less lonely.  The first vision I had was something bright and radiant. Out of nothing, a burst of brightness peaked out of the dark, and I saw a beautiful, blinding spiral of light flash right before my own eyes. After a while this glowing circle turned into an amazing spot of light. Now I was determined to find out more secrets of the still world I once lived in. Then, a great powerful ball exploded into a magnificent shimmering Sun.  



The Canada Water team are all really looking forward to working with the children so that they can perform so of their writing as part of our Winter Solstice Procession on December 21st. You are all warmly invited – please contact us if you would like to come.