Promoting arts workshops in schools across Teignbridge is at the heart of THF’s mission to offer creative and inspiring experiences for the widest range of young people. THF works closely with Daisi, the Devon-based arts charity, itself dedicated to fostering “arts inspired learning for young people and communities.” Each year, THF offers schools subsidies that pays artists’ professional fees for particular arts projects for their young people, whether in music, drama, art, sculpture, dance, textiles or printing.
This spring has seen a number of workshops across Teignbridge. Here is a flavour of some of them.
KINGSKERSWELL PRIMARY SCHOOL
With support from the Helen Foundation, Kingskerswell had a lively 2-day workshop led by artist Anna Boland to work with their entire cohort of Y6 students to create five mosaics to be permanently displayed in the school.The children had entered a competition to design a coat of arms for their school house teams and they wanted to translate the winning designs into some artworks. Five mosaics were created during the workshops, one for each of the four house teams and a fifth mosaic which is a collection of all teams.
THF trustees visited this workshop which was very absorbing and busy! These finished mosaics will grace the school for a long time. It was a pleasure to see just how engaged the children were.
“At the workshop, I enjoyed cutting the most. I liked glueing the mosaic pieces too, but it wasn't easy as you had to make sure they were in the right place with the right amount of glue.”
“It was really fun working with Anna. I loved doing the mosaic, it was so much fun! I've never done anything like that before, so it was a lifetime experience. Thank you so much for an amazing time.”
"The cutting of the tiles was fun but pieces went everywhere. The paste was very irritating, sticking in between my fingers but I had so much fun out of it.”
“It made me forget all the bad things that have happened in my life and I wish I could do it again. It was one of the best days of my life and when I cut the tiles it was very satisfying.”
Terrific work, Anna and Kingskerswell! A really engaging workshop with great outcomes.
SOUTH DARTMOOR COMMUNITY COLLEGE
South Dartmoor College said:
“The college would like to express our gratitude for the ongoing support that The Helen Foundation and Daisi ("arts inspired learning") provide for creative activities at South Dartmoor. The Foundation facilitated a wonderfully creative, printmaking experience for our Year 9 and Year 12 students.
Thanks to the funding, Simon Ripley, a local printmaker, led the workshops. Simon introduced work of abstract art and guided students through the complete creative process of developing abstract motifs and original prints. Simon's work can be viewed at Simon RipleyWithout the foundation’s generous financial support, it would have been impossible to run such an activity. It was eye-opening for our students to appreciate the high level of artistic enterprise and expression that is happening in the local area. This will be motivational for our young people who are interested in expressing their creativity within employment after leaving the college. We are extremely grateful for the support from the Helen Foundation in introducing students to a different area of art, with amazing outcomes.”
Students said afterwards:
“I really enjoyed learning about the process and different methods involved in making the artwork. I did find the dry point technique difficult as it was much harder to control the shapes you were making. Before I did it, I didn't know that much about printing - but I now know a lot more!”
“I enjoyed the activities a lot because we got to use our imaginations to create pieces of work.”
“I found the inking difficult whilst doing the dry point, but enjoyed carving my designs.”
“The workshop today was absolutely amazing and so fun. I'm super grateful that I got to do this today and it is something very new for me to experience. The workshop consisted of experimentation with three different printing techniques ranging from super approachable to more complex skills that required more learning.”
Visiting THF trustees found the level of engagement of the young people most impressive. They worked hard throughout the day and were clearly deservedly proud of the outcomes which surprised even themselves. Terrific work by the consummate professional Simon Ripley to run such a complex and demanding workshop for a large number of students.