So the school holidays don’t necessarily mean day to day sunshine, indeed in these northern valleys just a glimmer of the sun’s rays causes a flurry of excitement. But the damp dreary days of a Rochdlian summer couldn’t put a downer on the Art.Works summer if it tried. And just as well as there was far too much animated play to be had.
From jumping in and out of character to entertain families at Touchstones to painting the people of the borough to celebrate a fest of festivals it’s been an action packed month from start to finish.
To set off the summer I ran art sessions in Rochdale’s Broadfield Park using nature to inspire some amazing artistic displays which we exhibited outside for passersby to enjoy. Families had great fun as we discovered the magical beasties that inhabit Broadfield Park’s willowy trees and deep dark hedges. Weaving magnificent materials together with our beautiful branches and wild flowers we created the most enchanting of creatures to ever crawl the planet.
Throughout the summer I hopped back and forth in time on a time travellers’ yoyo as I took families on a journey into mysterious myths of Ancient Egypt. From gruesome green gods to fantastical adorned pharaohs families were ready and raring to go, delving into Egypt’s beguiling past.
Jump forward a couple of hundred years and I invited the families of Rochdale to hop on board the Touchstones Express and chug along train tracks back in time to the Victorian era. We fantasised about riding donkeys along beaches, we booed and hissed at the Punch and Judy Show and we dipped our toes into the fresh waters of that well known holiday hotspot Hollingworth Lake. Come again? Why, the Victorian bank holiday Mecca of Hollingworth Lake of course! Back in the day it was a hive of activity, the leisure line bringing visitors in their hundreds to soak up the atmosphere of Littleborough’s well loved lake. And all this without leaving the comfort of an education studio...
And back to the present day Hollingworth Lake played hosted to yet another Art.Works activity on a rare sunny Sunday. Rolling back my sleeves and squeezing my sponge I painted more tigers, lions and spider men this side of the Hollywood skyline, helping raise funds for Friends of Littleborough Station (FOLS). Children were transformed from little angels to menacing monsters as their faces were painted and their new persona unleashed, with a little helping hand from yours truly. Luckily those who missed their chance I ran several sessions for different organisations across the borough throughout the summer, so, if you did happen to see a tiger prowling down the high street there’s a good chance I’d seen him too!
So who needs the sun to shine when there’s so much colour and animation in an Art.Works summer of fun. If we’d had the heat too this blog would be so sunny, you’d have to read it wearing your shades!