Monday, 19 December 2016

Peace Painting at Priory Witham Academy

From "Fighting Walls" exhibition at New Art Exchange, Nottingham
 Saturday 10th December was a trip to Nottingham, and a visit to New Art Exchange and the "Fighting Walls" exhibition.
Banksy - style imagery by artists working in Iran and Egypt.

From "Fighting Walls" exhibition at New Art Exchange, Nottingham

From "Fighting Walls" exhibition at New Art Exchange, Nottingham

From "Fighting Walls" exhibition at New Art Exchange, Nottingham
Monday 12th - Tuesday 13th were the first two days of Peace Painting at Priory Witham Academy, with Year 3.
After an initial introduction about Peace Painting, I didn't want to influence their thoughts with any reference images, I spoke about Peace Painting, and invited the children to think about their own ideas about peace.
Some of these were monsters doing dancing, wrestling (Internet meme John Cener), and devilish images. Which are fine, as long as the kids think about how to resolve any conflict that may arise from such ideas.

Existing artwork at Priory Witham Academy
I have reflected on this period, and decided to source images relating to peace and conflict, to ask the children to choose which are peace and which are not peaceful for future workshops. I'd like to see them progress beyond obvious images such as hearts, rainbows and flowers to develop some interesting paintings.

White dove on a banner
 Sketching ideas on paper gave the children a chance to brainstorm their ideas, and then choose specific aspects for their painting.
Good ideas were a peace tree with words relating to peace written on the trunk, such as "agreement", "treaty", "friendship", "love" etc.
Other good ideas were a fairground ferris wheel, which developed into balloons with messages of peace being sent around the world, however, this became Oakley's fairground painting.

Unicef quotes at Priory Witham Academy
On Tuesday evening, after arriving home after a day of Peace Painting, news of the terrible situation in Aleppo was both terrible and confusing as to what was really happening. Thinking about peace, and doodling a sketch of Bana Alabed.

Bana Alabed in Aleppo from Twitter, with quotes 
Friday 16th the best ideas were chosen for a selection of Peace Paintings.

Autumn's Peace Garden
Autumn had a strong idea and drawings for a Peace garden, then spent so long mixing various colours that she took ages to finish her peace garden painting.

Peace Mermaid

Saraa's Peace Tree with hearts and stars
Oakley developed his idea of a ferris wheel and fairground theme to include balloons with words on the theme of peace, however, the balloons are less obvious in his finished painting.

Oakley's Fairground
Esmerelda had the same idea as her friend to start with - both did rainbows with a waterfall underneath, but Esmerelda's developed into a rainbow river with two swans.
Esmerelda's rainbow river with swans

Amy's heart with hands and stars
I have since reflected on the weeks' Peace Painting workshops, and have thought about how I can improve on them for the next sessions, depending on the age group I'll work with and the time we have.

I dreamt that whilst working on this, Magne Furuholmen came along to work with us, which was nice, and would be nice in reality, if he isn't too busy. He did only speak briefly before being engaged in conversation about music with a manager - type guy that was with him.

The Peace Painting project will be launched properly at the Art & Design Conference at The Collection on 10th February 2017.

Wishing you all peace at Christmas and a peaceful New Year!!

Monday, 5 December 2016

Peace Painting workshops in Lincoln

A meeting with Paradigm Arts has been very positive, and I will be working with them again to develop the Peace Painting project following on from my previous after schools comics workshops last year for my Illustration practice.

Next week, I'm running 3 days' Peace Painting workshops at Witham St. Hugh's school, with groups of Year 4 children, working with and funded by Paradigm Arts.

In February I will be taking part in an annual Art & Design Conference, which will launch the Peace painting project within a network of over 50 schools within the Midlands area, so this will be delivered in a wide area.

The Peace painting project is an ambitious and exciting project, and with this initial match funding, along with the research trip, it is planned to work on a funding application with support next spring / summer for the next academic year.