Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Middleton’s Youth Make Mosaics

If you go down to the woods today you’re sure for a big surprise... in fact, you’ll have four!  Four huge ceramic tile surprises no less!  Because the youth of Middleton have been working hard to spruce up their woodland and park to create four awesome mosaics to make their estate sparkle.

On 27th, 29th and 30th July over 20 kids from local youth groups Burnside and Riverside came together on a mission; to make mosaics illustrating the fantastic features of Truffet Park, Langley, and they came up trumps!

To kick start the project the kids took part in a creative nature trail around the park’s four key areas, collecting arty artifacts which might stimulate some smashing designs.  Back at the base kids worked well weaving their artifacts into their willow stick frames.  From bark rubbings to branches, wild flowers to baby frogs! (The frogs were quickly taken back to their habitat I hasten to add!), no artistic evidence was turned away until it had be analysed by the young artistic eyes.  

Inspired by the trail the kids then took part in the big draw, a mass picture making activity, the most vibrant observations captured down on paper.  One young warden said:

‘We found lots of baby frogs in the pond, I enjoyed collecting big strands of bull rush to draw in my picture’.

After an energetic health and safety talk ‘goggles on intrepid illustrators, these here tiles are as sharp as shark’s teeth!’, Thursday saw kids identifying their pictures in the mosaic designs, could you spot a bee buried in the wild flower meadow? Then one, two three and smash!  The hard work started with a bang, a crash, a wallop!  As each team member got hands on with their tiles and elbows high in adhesive, working together to form sensational displays for their park.  As eager young artist Aran suggested:
‘it’s like making a massive jigsaw, but this time we get to make the piece using the hammer, it’s great!’ glad you think so Aran, so do we!

By Friday morning the mosaics were well on their way thanks to the nibble fingered youngsters and, with one last surge of energy the pictures finally took shape.  Youth Worker Paula Amos from Burnside Community Centre noted:

‘The kids are really engaged, you’ve done a great job reaching some challenging kids.. They’re all working as a team, it’s good to see’.

So, a few finishing touches, a smothering of grout and this time next week Truffet Park will be proudly displaying four awesome artistic mosaics created by their estate’s own young hands.  As hard working Park Ranger (he also makes ‘well sick ham butties’ apparently!)Mike Cunningham said:

‘The mosaics will brighten up our park and the hard work of the kids has really paid off, we’re all looking forward to seeing them up and displayed’

I couldn’t agree more Mike, but hard work, nargh, it was just a walk in the park for those kids...