Case study: The Chancery of Lost and Found

The Chancery of Lost and Found - past

The Chancery of Lost and Found was the learning and participation programme for the 2015 Bath International Literature Festival.

Working with the Bath Festivals Young Writers’ Lab which Alice set up with the learning team and runs once a month, Alice designed a multi-dimensional version of Bath in her role as writer in residence  – a living immersive writing space where schools workshops could be run and members of the public could also visit and participate.

Each member of the writing lab had their own space where they could create a writing installation based on an imaginary version of Bath they had created. Alice then wrote a framing narrative where her character visited all the young writers’ versions of Bath via a magically appearing archive called The Chancery. The writing and art work was installed, along with found objects to inspire stories and old photos courtesy of Bath in Time and illustrations of the young writers’ Baths drawn by Perry Harris.

The Chancery of Lost and Found was open for the duration of the festival. Members of the public were invited to come and add to the Chancery by bringing in objects and photos and also by writing their own memories of or fictional version of Bath. Schools workshops were run by Alice throughout the week, where local school children explored the space and each created their own imaginary version of Bath. These were written on leaves and added to a painted oak tree that grew throughout the festival, creating a family tree for the Multi-City of Bath.

The young writers’ lab’s work was also performed at The Egg Theatre and at The Cafes of Europe event at Komedia, where Alice also chaired a Q&A with young people about utopia vs dystopia and the future of spa cities.

The young writers’ lab still runs on a monthly basis for secondary age students. Please contact Bath Festivals if you are interested in joining!

Interview with Alice about the project