The 2021 workshops were greatly appreciated by schools as they emerged from a difficult year in 2020 dominated by Covid. Four experienced artist teachers were able to deliver 10 workshops – thanks again to our generous sponsors. They included a wide spectrum of methods and media – using natural materials, wire, withies, photography, cardboard and collage and more to explore the theme of ‘renewal’. The work produced was varied, imaginative and colourful. The children had a lot of fun as well as learning new skills, using unusual tools for painting and responding individually to a given task.
The four excellent and experienced artist teachers working under the Purbeck Young Artists’ banner this year were Fran Quinlan, Helen Biles, Dr Rehan Zia and Darrell Wakelam. Between them they delivered ten PYA workshops to Purbeck schools. They included a wide spectrum of methods and media, helping teachers to broaden their knowledge of ways of working in art.
Artists such as Fran demonstrated to children the process of taking a simple starting point and developing it to explore a range of interesting outcomes. She began by showing the children how to use natural materials to make inks and dyes. They experienced the smells, colours and textures of natural inks made from leaves, beetroot, berries, turmeric, sumac, avocado, earth, paprika, coffee and tea. They made berry ink by crushing berries with spoons and their fingers, looked at cave paintings and discussed ways of working with feathers, stones, shells, brushes, twigs, fingers and blowing. The resulting work was beautifully sewn together and displayed on specially dyed fabric panels by Fran to create giant wall hangings which we displayed in the PYA byre.
Helen worked in wire, withies and tissue paper with schools to create 3D work. Darrell, constructed giant phoenixes out of carboard and collage with children to capture the theme of ‘Renewal’ , and Rehan who teaches computer animation at Bournemouth University, taught children aspects of composition in photography. Teachers and visitors to the PYA show were delighted with the quality of the work produced which was varied, imaginative and colourful. The children had a lot of fun as well as learning new skills, using unusual tools for painting and responding individually to a given task. Every outcome was valid and a genuine response to the children’s understanding of their place in the natural world.