Splanna! exhibition panels designed and installed by Little Bird Creative

Splanna! An Exciting Project Connecting Young People With Museums

Here at Little Bird Creative, we have a long-standing relationship with the amazing people at Bodmin Keep.  The military museum has something for everyone and this year, they began an incredible project, entitled Splanna!

“Splanna” means “shine” in Cornish and the project itself was part of a wider Kernow G7 Cultural Programme, commissioned by Cornwall Council with support from Arts Council England and the National Lottery Fund.  The aim was to enable young people to access interactive learning experiences, whilst also exploring the collections available at local museums.  At Bodmin Keep, the participants focused on trench art and were able to take part in a variety of activities, from metal-smithing to axe-throwing!  The goal of Splanna! was to boost well-being, improve confidence and inspire creativity and connection amongst those who took part.  With mental health and creativity being two things we’re passionate about, we were thrilled to be asked to design a display and create a video showreel to celebrate the success of this incredible project!

The Splanna! display at Bodmin Keep Museum, designed and installed by Little Bird Creative
Splanna! exhibition panels designed and installed by Little Bird Creative
Splanna! quotes from participants, made into a display by Little Bird Creative

Creating the Splanna! Display...

Our first job was to find a way of visually representing such an exciting, important programme.  To help us really get a feel for the activities on offer and the enormous benefits they brought to the young people involved, we spent lots of time chatting to The Keep’s Learning and Participation Manager, Jo.  Her passion for Splanna! was infectious and we were keen to get stuck in!  We took our camera and lights to the museum and filmed some shots of the young people engaged in a metal-smithing session.  The level of creativity happening in that room couldn’t fail to inspire us!  Whilst there, we were lucky enough to talk to the young people about their experiences of taking part in Splanna! and their enthusiasm for it was palpable.

Since “Splanna!” means “shine,” our first thought was that the logo for Bodmin Keep’s own Splanna! project should look as though it’s bursting from the walls, sending rays of sunshine out into the world.  We didn’t want to be too on-the-nose about it, so a comic-book style was chosen, rather than a literal sun-burst, with purple constrasting with the yellow to add some “pop.” This comic-book effect then fed naturally into the whole design of the display panels!

Since many of the activities on offer during Splanna! had a distinct “DIY” feel – from wood-carving to jewellery-making – we decided the focal point of the display should be a huge cork board, with “Polaroid” photographs (each one designed and cut out by hand) pinned randomly to it, reflecting the “hand-created” nature of the project.

The Splanna! Showreel...

Once the logo had been designed and the look of the display had been approved by Jo and the team at Bodmin Keep, we were keen to ensure that the showreel representing the Splanna! project helped to tie everything together.  We stuck with the shades of yellow and purple and used the cork board effect, presenting text information on screen as notes pinned to a message board.  Comic-book style caption boxes also helped link the showreel to the physical display, keeping the theme fresh and modern throughout.

During our time filming at the museum, we were fortunate enough to interview some of the young people involved in Splanna! as well as Jo – who has spearheaded the project at The Keep – and some of the experts and teachers involved in the programme.  Their contributions helped us to realise just how special Splanna! has been and they are a highlight of the showreel.

Photographs of the various groups involved in different activities during the course of the Splanna! programme are included, along with some close-up shots of the jewellery-making session we attended.  We think the final showreel really does Splanna! justice, highlighting the incredible learning opportunities given to the young people who took part, as well as showing the huge benefits of having done so.

Emma and Lesley from Little Bird Creative installing a museum display they designed.

The Installation...

We love to be hands-on here at Little Bird Creative!  Once a design is complete, that doesn’t necessarily mean the end of our involvement.  So, we were happy to head off to Bodmin Keep to put up the display panels we’d designed and to painstakingly cut out each “Polaroid” photograph and each individual quote panel, before helping Jo put them all in place.

We’re absolutely delighted by the end result and we were thrilled to be told, following the official opening on Saturday, that the young people who took part in Splanna! loved the display and really enjoyed watching the showreel!  Even more importantly, they really liked the participation certificates we also designed for them!

We LOVE Big Projects Like This!

Working on something Splanna! is an absolute delight for us.  The opportunity to be involved in something that celebrates creativity and heritage in such a fantastic way is, quite frankly, the reason for everything we do!

From those first conversations – finding out exactly what a project is all about and why it means so much to the people involved – to the design and installation of a display, or the filming and editing of a showreel or short documentary, we relish the chance to take the stress out of our clients’ hands and create something completely bespoke.  We can’t wait for the next big project!

To find out more about Little Bird Creative’s in-house services for museums, events, heritage organisations, music groups, CICs and small businesses, click here.

Emma and Lesley from Little Bird Creative
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