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Waste Creative starts

Woodend Artists have started the Waste Creative project with a series of workshops making  animal sculptures from recyclable materials.  Working with three different groups of young people from the New Charter estates in Mossley, artist Richard Dawson and myself, Jacqui Symons used milk bottles, plastic pop bottles and cardboard to create group sculptures of a wolf, a giraffe and an elephant and smaller individual sculptures.

The next part of the project is a visit to the Recycling Centre in Sharston, Manchester and then we’ll start to create an information booklet that will be for New Charter residents and will include information about recycling and what can and can’t be recycled.

The Big Green Recycled Queen

Myself and Richard Dawson worked with local kids to make this amazing sculpture to celebrate the Jubilee in Hyde Park, Manchester.  We made it in one day and everything is made from recycled materials (except for cable ties, brown tape and plastic tags).

The milk cartons mostly came from The Flying Teapot Cafe at Woodend Mill and the bottles from New Charter Housing Association.  A few of the group worked all day on the sculpture with others dropping in and out throughout the day.

Here’s the finished Queen after we had a mini-coronation…

Big green recycled queen

 

Manchester Day Parade

It’s all go at Woodend Mill today with a large number of the artists getting ready for Manchester Day Parade, which is on Sunday 11th June in Manchester City Centre.  I didn’t go last time but as a lot of my fellow Woodenders are working on something for the parade this year, I’ll probably go and have a look…

Salvage! the ‘junk sculpture project’ will be there parading their amazing kinetic fish and bird sculptures built from scrap and salvaged materials by young people in Failsworth.  Last seen at the Illuminate event, both sculptures need bikes to power them but they were static last time – I’m interested to see how they will be moved along during the parade. See my fellow blogger CatalystJunkSculpture for some background and great photos of the project.

For more info about the Manchester Day Parade click here.  It starts at 2pm this Sunday and follows a route along Deansgate and then back along Cross Street and Peter Street via Albert Square.

RHS Tatton – Withy Sculptures

The withy sculptures for New Charter’s show garden at RHS Tatton are starting to come together.  Here’s a couple made by the young people I’ve been working with but currently perching on the sofa in my studio…

Johnson Fold Lantern Parade

Three weeks of frantic lantern making ended on Friday with a brilliant lantern parade on the Johnson Fold estate in Bolton.  During the three weeks leading up to the event I worked with holiday clubs, Johnson Fold Primary School, a mums and tots group and the Youthopia Youth Club to create a multitude of lanterns.  Most groups made the traditional pyramid lantern – we had almost 80 of these at the final count!

Youthopia also created some large-scale lanterns – the only rule was that they must be small enough to get out the front door of the youth club!  Everyone really got into it and worked really hard to make some amazing shapes and characters out of withies – we had a fish, a shark, a dress, some headphones and an ice-cream amongst others.

I had to have a few late nights in the workshop (music as loud as you like once your neighbours have gone home – yippee!) tweaking, securing fastenings and adding LED tealights to get them all ready for the big day.  I then had a tense couple of hours on Friday bringing the lanterms down on our (outdoor) hoist whilst the wind and rain raged but finally got them successfully delivered to Bolton At Home’s newly finished UCAN centre on the estate.  Here’s some photos of the parade and the lanterns with the children and young people who made them.

Lantern Parade and … it’s suddenly become Withy Central

For the next couple of weeks I’m working with lots of groups in Johnson’s Fold, Bolton to create withy lanterns for their lantern parade, organised and funded by Bolton at Home.  Here’s one I made as an example…

I’m also about to start making some withy / willow sculptures with a New Charter group in Mossley, Tameside for the RHS Tatton show garden.  One of them is going to be an enormous snowman, which feels entirely appropriate after the snow we had last week!  I’ll be using brown willow for this so I’m currently soaking the withies in my lovely new ‘water trough’ – a perfect shape and size for the job.  I’ll post a picture when I remember to take one…

Hyde Orchard Creative Sessions – Day Three

Block printing and paper mosaics on the menu today…

We had a school gardening group in the morning and trainees from the Park Cafe in the afternoon.  The Cafe provided us with a lovely buffet and afternoon tea and cakes!

Hyde Orchard Creative Sessions – Day Two

Beautiful sunshine for our second day of creative sessions for the Hyde Park Community Orchard artwork.  First, a game of Fruit Salad outside with a massive parachute, then inside for workshops with two consecutive groups of 30 children from Flowery Field Primary School.  The groups created lots of mosaics – made from fruit (and veg) and also paper.

RHS Tatton – mosaic workshops

This year I’m working with New Charter on their show garden entry for the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park.  New Charter works with residents and young people from their ‘Dream Scheme’  groups to create a garden for the Flower Show – two years ago their entry won a bronze medal so the pressure is on!

I’m working with young people to create different pieces of exterior artwork for the garden including mosaics, withy sculptures and painted pebbles.  For the past three weeks I have been working with a group to create bug mosaics to make paving slabs.

We started off doing some designs and drawings of bugs and insects and also practicing how to make mosaics.  We’re using the double indirect method, so the group are sticking their designs onto brown paper ready for transfer.  I have found this is by far the best method to use when working with young people as it removes the need to use potentially hazardous grout and cement adhesive.  Have a look at the work in progress…

Hyde Orchard Creative Sessions – Day One

We did our first creative workshops to generate ideas and work for the Hyde Park Community Orchard artwork this week.  Our first victims were 30 Year Ones from Godley Primary School, who enjoyed working out the seating arrangements for the outdoor classroom before playing a game of Fruit Salad in the Orchard.  We then took the group inside Bayley Hall and used The Park Cafe for lots of art activities including mono printing, still life fruit drawing and making bird mosaics out of fruit.

In the afternoon a smaller group from Hyde Technology School attended to do some similar sessions, using local birds including Jays, Blackbirds, Blue Tits, Great Tits and Wood Pigeons as inspiration for their artwork.  Both groups created lots of brilliant work, some of which you can see below.