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Dunster storyteller wins prestigious national award
3:00pm Saturday 26th October 2013 in News
AN IMAGINATIVE storyteller and artist in Dunster has won a prestigious national award for his ‘Storywalks’ around West Somerset.
Christopher Jelly won the Trailblazer award at the recent British Awards for Storytelling Excellence (BASE) in Milton Keynes.
The accolade was to be awarded to someone, not necessarily a storyteller, who has championed storytelling in a new and challenging environment and/or developed new audiences in an exceptional way.
Chris was nominated for the award by Somerset ArtLife’s Tracey Roberts, not just for his storywalks but also for his work along the Coleridge Way.
Chris said: “I was so surprised to be nominated for the award and it was amazing to be shortlisted – I really didn’t think I was going to win.
“I was the first person up to get an award so I felt a little bit green but it was good fun.
“It’s a stunning accolade to have and I want to thank everyone who voted for me.”
Chris worked with ArtLife earlier this year on three different projects including a poetry one along Coleridge Way.
He worked with pupils and walked along the way, thinking about what they could see and smell before writing poems.
Then he made QR codes on slates and positioned these along the way so that when the codes are scanned the poems come up.
He added: “I think we should embrace all of this new technology we have and that’s what I try and do with my work – it’s so simple yet so effective.”
His Storywalks are stories which are downloaded on to a smart phone or tablet device which are site-specific.
They make use of the GPS signal and can only be read in the locations Chris has specified.
Once downloaded, the Storywalks don’t require a phone or internet signal and are free to download.
Talking about his Storywalks, Chris said: “They’ve been really popular and I’m now going into schools getting children to create their own Storywalks.
“There’s one child at the school I’m at currently who never used to read at schools or out loud at home but they’ve been reading out loud with their Storywalk and that’s what it’s all about engaging people.”
Chris currently has four Storywalks located in Exmoor and West Somerset.
For more information about Chris and his work visit www.poetrypin.info
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