Eco Mural with Year 2 at Petersfield Infants School
Petersfield Infant School are working towards re-instating their Eco Schools Green Flag Award https://www.eco-schools.org.uk/about/howitworks/the-awards/green-flag-award/ , and were organising a week of activities focussing on our planet and its resources. As part of this they asked me to design and facilitate an art project for their 100+ Year 2 children. The project also fitted perfectly into the 2020 Big Draw theme, ‘A Climate of Change’, so was registered as an official event. There was a large, empty brick wall in an area of the playground and I worked with teacher, Abbie Towler-Brown, to plan an eye-catching project to fill it. We wanted to focus the artwork on the incredible range of animals that live on the Earth, and the different habitats they need to thrive. With so many children of the same age contributing to one final piece, it was the perfect opportunity to create an image full of variety and lots of elements that were a feast for the eyes. It was especially important that the artwork of every child was included, so a collaged mural fulfilled the project aims brilliantly.
Work in progress…
We were so proud of what the children achieved, working together on this mural project. It was celebrated within the school community, but we wanted the world to know about it! The children wrote to Sir David Attenborough and to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, and were thrilled to receive written replies from both.
Froxfield Primary Peace Pole Project
Every year the Diocese of Portsmouth devises an art project for the Year 6 Leavers in the Church of England primary schools. The challenge this year was to design and produce a Peace Pole, and I was delighted to be invited to Froxfield Primary School to help their 14 Year 6 children to make their pole. What started as a humble fence post was transformed into a bold and beautiful Peace Pole which now stands proudly in the school grounds.
The only requirement was that the words “May peace prevail on earth’ should be included. The children worked together to identify what ‘peace’ meant to them as young people in the 21st century. Every one of them can point out their drawings and ideas in the final design, and they painted it with great care and diligence.
Peace Pole… from humble beginnings to finished pole!
Armed Forces Mosaic Project
In Autumn 2019 I had the pleasure of working with 9 children at Herne Junior School, who all have a close relative in our Armed Forces. I talked with the children about what our Armed Forces do, uniforms, peace, safety, land, sea and air…. and they put their thoughts and ideas into drawings, which we then bought together into a design for a mosaic. We worked together every week for 12 weeks to cut and glue glass tiles to produce this beautiful finished artwork for display in the school grounds. It was great to see the mosaic emerge and the children are rightfully proud of what they achieved together.
The Big Draw 2019
I was delighted to collaborate with artists Tom Barnett, Charlotte Staniland and Michelle Puddy to bring ‘The Big Draw’ to Petersfield in October 2019. This global festival started as a one day event in 2000, and is now marked by thousands of drawing celebrations all over the country and around the world. For 3 days in half term we offered brilliant activities and workshops in St Peter’s Church, and exhibited a beautiful schools project involving seven local primary schools. This event was made possible by our fabulous sponsors whose support subsidised every workshop place and funded the schools project. Thank you 6A Vision Homes, Academy Art and Crafts, Churcher’s College, Gander Tax Services, Petaprint, The Art of Healthy Living and The Townhouse!!
Flowers at The Townhouse
These beautiful flowers were made to adorn the tables at The Townhouse in Petersfield. Made out of single-use plastics, rescued from the bin, they are the work of 12 children who attend after school art club at Herne Junior School. Plastics are a hot topic amongst the children, and they approached this project with great enthusiasm and determination.
Art at St Peter’s Church
In May and June 2019 St Peter’s Church, Petersfield hosted a collaboration between Treefrog Art and 341 children (aged 4-7 years) from Petersfield Infant School.
The project was site specific, inspired by the stained-glass windows in the church. Using glitter, transfer foil, sequin foil and pipe cleaners, every piece of work incorporated an element of sparkle, mimicking the way the sun shines through the stained-glass, and reflecting the importance of light in the church. Each black picture frame shape, within which the work was mounted, was chosen by the children and could be found in the leadwork.
The project was introduced in an assembly, where we talked about the long history of craftsmanship in the church. I told the children about Michelangelo’s four-year commission to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling and invited them to work together to fill St Peter’s with their own artwork. Each of the 12 classes produced their work in specially timetabled workshops. Year R ‘painted’ with brushes, cutlery, spools, sponges, candle holders, lolly sticks and biscuit cutters, Year 1 explored wax resist with oil pastels and watercolour, and Year 2 were challenged with weaving; one colour, many textures.
Each piece was named. They were hung in the ‘empty’ spaces between the pillars to encourage visitors to look up and to notice the architecture of the building. Moving through colours from red to orange to yellow, green, blue and purple they related beautifully to the vibrant stained-glass, and really came to life when they caught the light.
It was a life-affirming collaboration, deliberately hung in the church after the traditional time of emptiness that precedes Easter. It gave the community an opportunity to see and celebrate the creativity of young artists first-hand and encouraged the children to be proud of themselves and their achievements.
The project was made possible by funding from an EHDC community grant, supported by District Councillor Ben Bentley.
Exhibition of Children’s Artwork
A stunning exhibition filled the Physic Garden room at the end of March. For two days the work of 40 young artists, who had attended Treefrog Art holiday sessions and After School Art Clubs, was on show in the exhibition room.
Cards for Vera
This intergenerational project is dedicated to the memory of Vera Carter, a very special lady who became a good friend to my children at the age of 91. We visited her regularly at the nursing home where she lived, and when she wasn’t well enough for visitors the children made her cards, which stayed on her window-sill longer than any others she received.
With funding from an anonymous donor I worked with 30 Year 4 children making birthday cards for the elderly residents in a local residential care home. I also worked with the residents, making birthday cards for the children. Over the coming year, each participant received a birthday card in the post.
There is nothing quite like the creativity of young people. It is full of energy, confidence and vibrancy, and it has the power to brighten lives. Creating art work with adults inspires conversation and evokes memories. Linking the youngest and oldest members of our communities builds valuable bridges.
Christmas Cards for Vera
An extension of the intergenerational project ‘Cards for Vera’, funded by the EHDC Community Grant Scheme. I worked with 26 Year 5 and 6 children at Froxfield Primary School, and the residents of Downs House and Stroud House care homes, to make and exchange Christmas cards.
Froxfield Primary School Mosaic
In autumn 2018 I worked with the pupils at Froxfield Primary School to design and make a mosaic for the school playground. The project was introduced in an assembly and children were asked to draw pictures to describe what makes their school a special place. Through workshop sessions we turned their ideas into a design, and all 103 children then worked together to cut and glue the glass tiles in place.
Funded by a community grant from East Hants District Council
Year 2 Art Club Rainbow
The most beautiful rainbow has been gifted to Winton House Tearoom for permanent display. This is a celebration of the creativity of nine 6-7 year old artists who have attended after school Art Club at Petersfield Infant School.
Family Fun Day at the Physic Garden
On Bank Holiday Monday 28th May I collaborated with Dawn Nelson ‘DD Storyteller’ and Louise Grimwood of ‘Grow It’ to host a brand new Family Fun Day in Petersfield’s Physic Garden. Storytelling, art, plant potting, glorious sunshine and lots of families all combined to produce a great atmosphere in the garden.
When the centre manager at Winton House asked if I knew of any artists who would like to exhibit their work, I didn’t hesitate to say ‘Yes!’. I have the pleasure of working with nine Year 2 children at an after school Art Club at Petersfield Infant School. I have watched every one of them grow in confidence as they try out new materials, and explore different ways of making. Even when they think they can’t do it, they never hesitate to give things a go, and time after time they are proud of what they produce. So… ‘Chickens’ is an exhibition of… chickens!, and it celebrates the fabulous creative energy and talent of a very special group of artists.
Art at Winton House, Spring 2018
Paint, glue, tissue paper, straws, buttons, pens, paper, coffee filters and egg boxes! I loved working with all the children of Petersfield Infant School on another whole school project, which was exhibited at Winton House Centre on Petersfield High Street. Every child participated, and all their work was on show. Year R made flowers for the tearoom tables, and Year 1’s self portraits adorned the walls. Year 2 filled the garden with butterflies. On display from 19th March until 13th April.
Tearoom open Monday-Friday 10am-2pm
Funded by a community grant from East Hants District Council
A Brilliant Day, June 2017
As part of ‘Wellbeing Week’ at Petersfield Infant School, I designed and delivered a project for 36 Year 2 children. We played drawing games and talked about what makes a brilliant day. I then gave each child a heart shaped template and asked them to draw their own ‘Brilliant day’ inside it. These hearts were displayed in The Townhouse bar in Petersfield, alongside a drawing that all 36 children worked on together.
Funded by Petersfield Infant School
‘Art in the Physic Garden’ Spring 2017
For this project I worked with all 350 pupils from Petersfield Infant School. Each child produced two decorated stones; on one was a drawn self portrait, the other was painted with a restricted colour palette. The stones were laid out in the entrance of the local Physic Garden, making a vibrant display. The work was in place for a month before being dismantled and handed back to the children to keep.
Funded by Henry Adams Estate Agents
‘The Very Best of All…’ May 2016
Using ‘All Join In’ by Quentin Blake for inspiration, I worked with 24 Year 2 children finding out what they could produce when they all worked together. Over three consecutive afternoons we learnt how to tie dye, and explored lots of different ways of drawing individually and collaboratively. The children’s work was brought together in a sewn cloth, which was given pride of place in their school hall, and a short film.