Sunday, 26 September 2010

Kentmere Kids Prove a Challenge to the Roman Masters

We all know those Romans were a productive lot, while the Celts were busy applying the mud and manure to their out houses the Romans were busy creating geometric stone walls, taking part in vigorous army training and creating marvellous mosaics.  

But, in truth, were their designs as animated and colourful as the kids’ from Kentmere?  I think not!

Because this week, inspired by the lifestyles of their industrious iron age forefathers, Kentmere pupils slaved over four fantastic Roman mosaics.  The masterpieces will be displayed in their new school building, due to open in January 2011.

After an animated assembly introducing the topic, I received over 50 entries from the creative key stage two, each depicting elements of Roman life.  From shiny sword and shields to fruit bowls filled with ripening fruit, the pupils designed picture representing their understanding of Roman life.  Many of their designs were then transferred onto four huge mosaic boards key stage two all helped transform into colourful caricatures from the past.

It took a whole week of smashing, crashing and creating, but by Friday the hard work had finally paid off as the children put the finishing touches to their magnificent mosaics.  Never have I had the pleasure to work with such animated, enthusiastic pupils and I’m looking forward to putting the grout between the lines to unveil their amazing Art.Works.

And good news!  I’m chuffed to bits to be back at Kentmere very soon indeed.  I start my ‘artist in residency ‘in October and can’t wait to get imagining and  inventing once again to create some sumptuous designs with the pupils to make their new school sparkle.

Interested in having your very own artist in residence?  Or creating a mosaic with your group?  Just drop me a line to find out more.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Falinge Comes Alive with Art

Ever used the phrase ‘come up against a brick wall’ and felt frustrated, fruitlessly lacking inspiration? Not the people of Falinge!  They saw their brick wall as a creative opportunity, quite literally!
So I was pleased as punch when they invited Art.Works to come on board and make their creative ideas a reality.

Over the summer months Lower Falinge Housing Estate has been awash with poster paints, sticky palettes and plywood as six community groups from the estate got to work transforming a dull brick wall into an animated artistic space.

Over the course of eight weeks each group designed and painted three gigantic murals to represent their groups’ ethos.  From scurrying rabbits on a veg patch to a football match on an urban kick-pitch each group created amazingly unique art works which positively gleam in the late summer sun.

So, what kind of funky designs did each group come up with?  In no particular order:
L play: a comic strip illustrating a monster on the run from the mischievous kids, look out behind you!

Women’s Group: inspired by the paintings of Beryl Cook, a beautiful painting of their group enjoying a arts session on the estate, also featuring Percy the Cat!

Boy’s Group: an amazing mix media mural featuring football photos, speeding cars and towering skyscrapers

Girl’s Group: stimulated by Andy Warhol a photo-montage of their beautiful faces block printed and painted so brightly they make Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe look comparably dowdy!

Gardening Group: an animated illustration of their allotment including squirrels, foxes and even chickens! So meticulously painted it could have come straight out of a children’s picture book!

Young Wardens: all the kids of the world celebrate! The young warden’s design commemorates the vitality different cultures bring to Lower Falinge Estate.

Thursday 26th August 2010 saw the launch of the murals, now perfectly placed on Cartmel, Lower Falinge.  The launch was attended by each group along with their friends and family.  There were many ‘oohs’ even more ‘wows’ and lots of looks of amazement as the artists showed off their talented display of work.

The afternoon was brought to life with the Dancing Group’s performance along with face painting, henna painting, a bouncy castle and scrummy cakes.  A fantastic finale to a fabulous project on Falinge.
If you’re passing through Rochdale so make sure you check out the group’s work: Cartmel, Lower Falinge, OL12 6RQ