Monday, 23 May 2011

Stories behind the School’s Silks

So does art really offer a therapeutic release? If you came to Brownhill Learning Community last week you may have thought so.

Brownhill is a small specialist school, based across three sites in Rochdale. It works with pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties. According to the school’s mission statement Brownhill:

‘Tolerates a wide variety of behaviours (but does not accept them as inevitable and unchangeable)’

And yes, there may have been secure fencing, there may have been aggressive outburst from beyond the art room walls, some disgruntled looks as the lads entered the room. But once inside pupils participated and produced some amazing silk painting.

Last month pupils across each learning site explored themes of UNICEF’s ‘Rights and Responsibilities’, and they animatedly illustrated the conventions. From
dripping clean water taps to secure and safe housing, the charter was brought to life through their considered depictions. I had the daunting task of sieving through the images, selecting pictures to draw onto six delicate silks.

And last week we brought the simple silks to life, they simply bound with colour and texture! Each fragment of the silken canvas’ painted with such care and consideration it makes Michael Angelo look like a cow boy decorator!

So don’t just mar each ‘bad lad’ you see hanging round the street corner with the same brush, he might just be a dedicated artist committed to creating some sensational silks...