Crawling on all fours through thick undergrowth to photograph a family of clay hedgehogs and then being chased by a giant snake? All in a day’s work at the ‘Tread Softly Tracks and Traces’ event at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
The brief was to capture engaging photographs of young aspiring artists enjoying a day in the sunshine, painting on walls, moulding clay and running about with bird puppets trailing behind them to mimic seasonal migration. The theme was “magical trails, moving sensitively through different habitats in the YSP landscape, creating for others to discover.”
Those different habitats meant working in a selection of different challenging environments: baking midday sun, beneath cool dark trees and wide open spaces with fast moving subjects. Add excitable children who never sit still to the mix and you’ve got a real task on your hands.
Our little friends had to make cave paintings on rock, draw with charcoal and later stitch leaves together with thorns to make an eight foot long snake which was launched enthusiastically into a nearby stream.
The event photographs came out quite nice though considering the stifling heat and animated company I was in. Soon after the event finished I proudly handed over a nice representation of the day’s events including muddy hands, paint, baby hedgehogs and a delightful little photographic whim: some coloured flags fluttering gently in the summer breeze.