‘MGSO4 Makes’ films help families get creative at home

Artist Jenny Lockyer holding a rocket

MGSO4 Epsom and Ewell Arts Festival is releasing a series of ‘Blue Peter-style’ creative craft films to be published online, in the week that should have been the 2020 festival.

Although our third festival has been postponed due to coronavirus, we wanted to produce something new that everyone could access in lockdown, and commissioned artist Jenny Lockyer to create three ‘MGSO4 Makes’ craft videos for children and families, on the theme of Journeys.

Jenny said: “I was really inspired by the recent Space X launch headed for the International Space Station and immediately felt that was something I could explore with the MGSO4 festival theme of Journeys this year.  

“Not only does the existence of the International Space Station mean astronauts are now routinely journeying into space but it heralds a new age of space exploration and discovery.”

In the films, Jenny demonstrates: how to design and build a rocket that separates in different stages of launch, an astronaut capsule with working parachute, and her own International Space Station with light-up laboratory.

Jenny added: “Bringing these incredible adventures into creative play is something I love to do; encouraging children to let their imaginations do the work. The ideas in these films are a starting point and can be adapted for different ages. They can be simplified or made even more elaborate.

“Whatever our age, it’s incredibly important to make and see how things work. It helps us understand the world and the more we find out, the more we can be inspired. So, look at what you’ve got at home and see what you can do with it.”

MGSO4 Epsom & Ewell Arts are partnering with Surrey Libraries to share the activity videos as widely as possible, and to let people know that even though the library buildings are currently closed, e-books, audiobooks and magazines can still be accessed free from Surrey Libraries online, to get some creative inspiration.

Maria Reeves, MGSO4’s chair of trustees, said: “It is a real shame that the live arts festival had to be postponed this year, but we are really excited that children and families can still access some creative activities online on our theme of Journeys.

“Jenny Lockyer is incredibly inventive and her space designs are more than works of art – they are creative engineering in action. For families with primary-age children stuck at home, these videos will provide many hours of fun – and learning.”

MGSO4 Makes videos can be viewed from 2pm on 22 June, 24 June and 26 June, on the Gallery page at mgso4festival.org and social media channels including Surrey Libraries Facebook page.

Watch Episode 1 of MGSO4 Makes with Jenny Lockyer

MGSO4 Epsom & Ewell Arts activities have been supported by the Co-op Local Community Fund and Arts Council of England National Lottery Project Grants.