I was lucky enough to work with students from the Language Unit of John Ruskin School to devise a story for the Gnomes Unearthed Project at Hampton Court Palace. The project involves a number of gnomes hidden around the gardens of Hampton Court Palace and is to be unveiled in July 2016.

Each gnome has been commissioned by Wild in Art and will feature a design and narrative created by artists in tandem with local community groups.

Together, the students and I explored the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and feel of the Kitchen Garden at Hampton Court Palace. This is the area of the garden where our gnome will be hidden. Through various literacy exercises we developed the character of Umbriel the gnome (our narrator) and those of the animals featured in Umbriel’s story.

I gathered the children’s ideas together into one cohesive narrative and then presented this back to the children in the form of a shadow puppet show.

Once the gnome is in place, the story will be revealed whenever a visitor activates the sound button on Umbriel’s arm. I was privileged to work alongside the talented visual artist Valerie Osment who has designed a bright and bold gnome for the Kitchen Garden.