As Summer draws to a close (are you as sad as I am about that?), I’ve been thinking about all of the exciting stuff and creative mess the Creative Activities team have been up to for the past six weeks or so and let me tell you, it’s not been boring.

"A creative mess is better than idle tidiness" - Michael J Fox

 I have thought a lot about creative mess over this summer and how we get all of the ideas, stories and feelings out of our heads. Don't get me wrong, I love nothing more than a label maker and a Marie Kondo clean house, but when it comes to telling a story or painting a canvas, we need to get messy

One of the things I love about our holiday programme is Art Club. They are one-off sessions, when we get to spend time looking at a specific artist and then creating our own ‘inspired by…’ artwork. Our Yayoi Kusama day was a highlight for me this summer - who doesn’t love getting creative with dots, circles and lines! Yayoi Kusama currently has an exciting exhibition entitled You, Me and the Balloons at Factory International in Manchester. I recommend that you give it a google. We also looked at Matisse's paper-cutting along with Jean-Michel Basquiat. With all of these, making a mess was a top priority especially when we looked at Basquiat. It was fun seeing all the young people and sometimes even the parents getting messy.

We had lots of creative mess during our Play in a Week based on a script created by young people who attended Macrobert weekly classes back in 2019. The performance was called Party and let me tell you the young people definitely made a creative mess during this performance with a poor Pinata ripped apart and the sweets devoured by audience members. 

In 2022, we partnered up with the Play team at Stirling Council for the first time with 'Play in the Park'. I’m sure everyone who works at Stirling Council is nice, but the Play team are my favourites. They’re fun, energetic and never fail to make me smile, so spending time with them in parks across Stirling is a real joy.

This year, we had our bubble guns loaded up with food dye and bubble solution so that young people could create their own mini masterpiece. It never fails to amaze me when young people say things like “I’m not arty” or "I can’t draw”, and then seeing them come to life with a bubble gun in hand was a real privilege.

The weather hasn’t been too miserable this year but we definitely had some rainy days. When I’m not visiting the Filmhouse at Macrobert (wink wink!), I love nothing more than a movie day with my own homemade film mix.

If you want to whip up your own, you’ll need:

Microwave popcorn (sweet and salty is my favourite)


Chocolate pretzels

Chocolate Caramel Buttons

When the popcorn is still warm, throw in everything else and mix it up. It’s as easy as that - gooey, crunchy, sweet and salty goodness. If you need a movie recommendation (or an excuse to make my film mix!), I vote for Spirited Away, a Japanese animated fantasy film by Studio Ghibli.


Daniel Livingston

Creative Activities Artist