Paper making workshop developed at Cove Park delivered at Artica Svalbard as part of pedagogy programme

Cove Park’s paper making workshop, developed and delivered by Abdereen-based artist and former Cove Park resident Caitlin Dick took place in February 2023 and taught young people aged 7+ how to transform an everyday paper recycling pile into beautiful hand-made seed paper.

After learning the basics of paper making, participants experimented with a touch of nature by adding leaves, flowers and colours – making each piece of paper unique. Caitlin also led discussions about the climate crisis and climate anxiety by asking the students prompting questions such as:

  • Where does paper come from?
  • Why are trees important?
  • What happens to the paper once we have finished with it?
  • Which small and large animals live in trees, or depend on trees?
  • If we use a lot of paper, what happens to the trees?
  • If we use a lot of paper, what happens to the animals and birds?
  • Does anyone know what the words ‘habitat’ and ‘biodiversity ‘mean? 
  • How would habitat and biodiversity be affected if we cut down trees?
  • How does that make you feel?
Cove Park, February 2023

In August 2023, Artica Svalbard delivered a bespoke version of Cove Park’s paper making workshop with artist Floortje Zonneveld. Prior to the workshop, she visited Svalbard’s recycling station and shared images of the paper waste, showing the children just how complex recycling is on Svalbard.

The children were really great, they already knew lots about it from school. They also asked lots of questions. They enjoyed making the paper, and experimented with different textures and thickness. We are going to host the workshop again for adults and try to use the paper for Lino printing. After our visit to the waste centre, we were so shocked by how little recycling happens in Longyearbyen because people put things in the wrong bin which then contaminates all the other things! So we decided to invite the waste centre manager to come and give a lecture about it at Artica!

Artica Svalbard, August 2023

Images courtesy of Charlotte Hetherington for Artica Svalbard and with consent of the participants.

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