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Pop Up Experiences are imaginative and interactive events, activities and art-works which we commission children’s writers, illustrators, poets and storytellers to create for our Pop Up Festival. Pop Up Experiences can pop-up anywhere: at other festivals, venues, parties, conferences, special events, indoors or out.

Explore a few Pop Up Experiences from previous Pop Up Festivals below. More to follow after the 2014 festivals.

Past pop up experiences

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Chris Mould’s Spooktorium

“I was delighted to be asked to contribute to the unique travelling festival experience. Behind the doors of the Spooktorium was a creative hub designed to get people thinking differently about the objects around them. Using paints and paper, cards and glue, whole host of everyday items were turned into objects of desire and used to stock the spooky shelves. It was great to turn from working alone at a small scale on the page to working in a large space with many people. Pop Up is a great way to engage communities of children with the concept of creative industries. I had many conversations with families about artistic and creative futures. Being able to provide this kind of information is a major positive to take away from the Pop Up Festival because schools are usually not privvy to the kind of information that we, as illustrators and authors, can provide.” Chris Mould

 


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Sita Brahmachari’s Kite Spirit

“Landscapes hold treasures for me in all my books – every landscape offers so much for the writer to excavate. The ‘Kite Spirit’ landscape is a re-creation of the mystical landscape of my own childhood, where the wind and the weather, the sighting of owls and kites as well as the more macabre findings of sheep’s skeletons, fed my imagination. It was wonderful to work with artist Grace Manning and the extraordinarily skilled makers of the Royal Opera House to create an immersive landscape and invite creative spirits of all ages to enter an imaginary land with its sound scape of waterfalls, rivers, wind, rain and visual imagery of flying. It was a real joy to see how again and again the treasure hunt of the imagination at each festival inspired new art in the form of sculptures, drawings and poetry.” Sita Brahmachari

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Jane Ray’s Mythical Beasts, Magical Worlds

“It was very exciting to work with Pop Up – to be asked to imagine something dramatic and theatrical and then have that  dream realised with the help of the hugely talented team at the Royal Opera House. My work as a children’s book illustrator is usually on a small scale, but Pop Up gave me the chance to create three big ‘toy theatres’, complete with curtains and sparkling lights. At the three festivals we created a mermaid, Pegasus and the Firebird, all glowing with colour and bathed in light. Children at the festivals covered the mythical creatures with silver scales, and golden feathers, listened to a wonderful storyteller and also made their own birds and fish to take home – altogether, an amazing project!” Jane Ray


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Candy Gourlay’s Fiesta!

Author Candy Gourlay recreated the ambience of a fiesta from her native Philippines, all the colour, the prizes, the bunting, the dancers and piñatas stuffed with sweets! All this against a revolving programme of picture book readings, exciting game shows starring lovely shiny authors and a brass band of local teenagers playing swinging jazz music. 

Candy’s film We Read was also shown at the Pop Up Festival’s Beanbag Cinema. Click below to watch the trailer!

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James Mayhew’s Picture Pavilion

“Imagine a magical gallery, where pictures come alive! This was the idea behind the Pop Up Picture Pavilion at the 2012 Pop Up Festival, inspired by my “Katie” books. Art students from Central Saint Martin’s school created wonderful interpretations of famous art… but much of the gallery was empty for children visiting the festival to fill. Four artists helped children create masterpieces from paper and crayons, drawing inspiration from Rousseau, Monet, Van Gogh, Da Vinci and Turner. There were storytelling sessions so everyone could share the experience of art and story coming together. It was a day buzzing with creativity and imagination and fun and ended with an auction of the wonderful art created.” James Mayhew


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Karin Littlewood’s Igloo

“Curating Immi’s Igloo was an amazing experience,” says author and illustrator Karin Littlewood. Based on her award winning picture book Immi, she wanted to make it feel as if you were walking into a giant story book, opening up a magical winter-wonderland world. Imaginary pages turning to reveal  dancers, performers, musicians, storytellers, illustrators, an art gallery, even  a real Immi. A chance for all ages to be creative, to amaze and to be amazed, to be a part of Immi’s World, to share experiences and to meet and make lots of new friends.

Click below to watch a fantastic film about the experience!

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Marcus Sedgwick’s Vampire Experience

“The event we created for My Swordhand is Singing was like nothing I’ve been involved in before. Adapting a section of my novel into an intense, immersive drama, with live music and singing, a recorded ‘soundscape’ and elements of stage craft and shadow puppetry was a huge challenge, but the outcome was plain for everyone who visited. We had lines of eager children and parents waiting to get into each performance, and some happily scared punters streaming out afterwards. Pop Up is a unique project, which produces unique results.” Marcus Sedgwick


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Supported by

  • Bloomberg
  • King's-cross