Children from Spire Junior School, Sharley Park Community Primary School and New Bolsover Primary School have been working with artists to create a special immersive art piece for the Chesterfield Children’s Festival!



The artwork, entitled; ‘Garden of Imagination’ has been commissioned by festival organisers, Junction Arts and is being created by theatre practitioner Monika Johnson, musician Phil Pearson and visual artist Rachel Scanlon.


The exciting installation will take the form of a children’s bedroom and will appear at the festival for children to enjoy and engage with.   Visitors will be encouraged to explore the set, with lots of interactive elements for them to play with, including sound sensors and fantasy characters.


The group of artists recently visited the local primary schools to share ideas with the children about childhood and play. They collected stories from the children and rearranged them to create a performance for families that will run alongside the “Garden of Imagination” setting.



Artist Monika Johnson said: “We are excited to work with Junction Arts to create a new immersive and interactive children’s theatre piece. We have been so inspired by the children we have worked with; they have shown so much enthusiasm and creativity for the project and given us lots of brilliant ideas.


“For the festival, we are creating a bedroom outside! It’s a bit of a tipsy topsy dream-like setting with some strange items in unusual places. We hope that families will enjoy interacting and playing with our set, discovering they can change the music and sound effects themselves, and become part of our family-friendly performance.


“Myself, Phil and Rachel will be at the festival, and we are very much looking forward to meeting lots of children and families, playing creative games and seeing how the set changes during the weekend.”



About the Artists…

Rachel Scanlon is a visual artist based in Nottingham. She works with children of all ages empowering them through co-created projects following their lead. Helping them gain confidence and self-esteem through creativity.

Rachel is an artist at Nottingham Contemporary, a creative mentor for The Mighty Creatives, works with children in refuges with Platform Thirty1 and has illustrated a book with Monika Johnson.

Monika Johnson is a Nottingham-based children’s writer and storyteller. Previous work has been presented with Lakeside Arts, New Perspectives, Bulwell Arts and the Nottingham Playhouse. Monika runs ‘Super Sparkle UK’-an award-winning company that creates interactive storytelling, workshops and events for families; exciting and empowering children to find their own creative voices however that may be.

Rachel and Monika are currently artists in residence with Take Art and Derby Theatre.

Phil Pearson is a Musician, Theatre practitioner and videographer working across the Midlands. Phil runs the Theatre of Citizens theatre company for adults with learning and physical disabilities and works alongside the Level Centre, Derbyshire, running their theatre group for adults with learning disabilities.

Phil’s background is in composition, technology and working with young people who excel in using music and technology as a new way of expressing themselves.

The Chesterfield Children’s Festival is a Junction Arts event and will take place at Queen’s Park on the 29th and 30th July, from 10am – 4pm daily. 

The arts and culture festival event is free to attend and will have a number of family-friendly acts and activities taking place over the weekend, including a silent disco tour, an interactive game zone, a comedy club, circus skills, storytime yoga, tie-dye workshops, face-painting and live music.

Music and live theatre will also take place in and around the town centre during the festival weekend.  For more information click here.