Underpinning all Imaginary’s work are these five philosophical principles.
The cultural rights of children
“Every child has the right to relax, play and join in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities”
- UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The power of the imagination
“There are two worlds, the world of everyday and the world
of the imagination…Theatre should be the meeting place between these two worlds.”
- Peter Brook
The art of play
“Play is the highest form of research”
- Albert Einstein
“Because children have no preconceptions of what art is, they are open to the possibilities of what art can be”
- Dave Brown
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
- Helen Keller
For Imaginary, children are the ultimate audiences, participants, and collaborators. Through our practice, we know first hand that the space in which children and artists meet is dynamic, rich and full of potential. It is an unfettered world of mutual inspiration where anything is possible. It is a space for radical and transformative ideas, a site of deep complexity and reflection, and a model for intergenerational exchange. It is here, where childhood, creativity and community meet that Imaginary works. Generating significant artistic, cultural, social, and economic outcomes, our work demonstrates the value of arts and culture in the lives of children and their communities,
The notion that children have the same cultural rights as adults, and as such, are entitled to access arts experiences and the benefits of a creative life, leads Imaginary position children as sophisticated creators and consumers of arts and culture, and as key contributors to the cultural life of their communities. We recognise that equal access to the arts for many children may be compromised by geographical location, socio-economics, or cultural disadvantage. As part of our work we advocate for greater access to the arts for children and their communities.
Our greatest asset is the imagination of those we create for, and collaborate with. Imagination is a defining human quality that allows us to transcend the everyday and explore new ways of understanding. We know that children are deeply connected to their imaginations, and we are inspired by the freedom in which they move between the real and the imagined. We strive to embody this in our work. In this way, our artistic creations are genuine dialogues with children, aligning real and imaginary worlds in time and space. These dialogues enable rich shared experiences between children and adults that inspire new ways of thinking, being and connecting.
We take our cues from children, the experts in their own creative form: play. Play is an innate capacity, central to cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development. We accept children as ‘artists at play’ and sophisticated creative beings in their own right. In our creative processes, we rekindle and develop our own sense of play, using it to make work in languages that our audience tacitly understand.
The fluidity in which children engage in, and create art, inspires Imaginary’s multi-disciplinary approach. Not confined by cultural preconceptions and traditional art form boundaries, we find children open to the exploration of sophisticated contemporary forms. We are committed to making art that explores a full spectrum of human emotion, acknowledging that the inner emotional world of children is just as vast and complex as those of adults.
Imaginary’s strength is that it is not one person’s brainchild, or a copy of an existing model. Imaginary is a powerful idea and a set of ideals animating the space between art, children, creativity and community. Through our collaborative practice and artist development, these ideas are constantly being transmitted to and tested with newly emerging and established artists alike.