After such a busy summer, we can only present you with a brief sample of the many workshops that took place.
Artist Steve Buckler was invited by art teacher Emily Parr to visit the college to lead painting workshops. He writes:
"When we see artwork, usually in a gallery or on the internet, we don't see the sketches, studies, practice pieces, experiments - all the "failures" that artists make on their journey to a finished outcome.
So some very enthusiastic and talented year 8 students and I spent a day exploring how artists break down the ‘big’ complex challenge of creating an artwork into much smaller, more manageable tasks before they reach their finished outcomes. So the finished work is just the tip of the iceberg. What we rarely get the chance to see is the other 99% of an artist's work.
"I thought that the art workshop went on for a good length of time in which I was able to learn more than I knew before. If the opportunity came up for us to get the chance to do the art workshop again I would happily do it because it helped me paint from a different perspective that I wouldn’t normally paint with."
Exminster invited in Double Elephant Print Workshop to run a print-making workshop for their Year 6 leavers to create t-shirts with a logo that is personal to them, as a memory of their time at Exminster Primary School. What a fantastic project! The day was really busy and there was an excited buzz as the work progressed until each pupil was able to print their own t-shirt.
"My favourite part of the printing was seeing the end product as it looked cool. I learn that you need to press hard on the squeegee for the pattern to show. I found it a bit hard to push down on the squeegee as I'm not strong." (Lily)
"Before, I had no idea how to print a shirt. I didn't even know how it was possible. What I found really fun was just looking at the finished shirt." (Maria)
'"We had lots of fun and I learned how to screen print. I would love to do it again. We were very grateful for the experience." (Marcus)
Haytor View invited artist Monica Shanta-Brown to run school-wide workshops taking participants through different approaches to drawing in a series of exercises which explored how we use our bodies to draw and how mark-making expresses and communicates emotion.
"I found the bit when we were doing the painting of our emotions absolutely hilarious and enjoyable. I learned how to express my emotion to make a masterpiece." (Talulah)
"I had a fantastic time with Monica last week. The table-painting was my favourite part. What I found hardest was the "drawing conversation" but I think I've learned to pick a sensible partner so we could focus." (Summer)
"I had a fantastic time painting with Monica last week. My favourite part of the day was choosing the emotion colours. I struggled on the table paintings at the start but in the end we made a good one." (Ryan)
Musician Lyndon Forster ran a series of truly inspiring drumming workshops at Starcross School for the whole school, class by class. What an effort! Growing up in West Africa, Lyndon brought both his love of music and a huge range of different percussion instruments for the children to explore and to make rhythm with. Just brilliant!
"I really enjoyed making our own rhythms and music. It was a bit hard to do the beat but it was still such fun. I learned that you can make music with anything and you don't need an expensive drum set to make rhythm." (Theo)
"The workshop was fun but I missed PE - but I liked it but some of it was too loud . Thank you." (Chloe)
"I loved listening to the music that was played with all the other instruments and I loved having a go at playing some of them. It was really fun." (Rose)
Following the workshops, Musician Lyndon Forster wrote:
"I played the children a piece of music called Blackbird (which I told them nothing about before playing it to them), but just asked that they tell me afterwards if it made them feel anything in particular. One little boy put his hand up afterwards and said, "It sounds like saying goodbye to someone".
"I was totally blown away by this and had to fight back the tears. I based this piece of music on two experiences - the first of which was a blackbird landing at the feet of my wife and I as we were getting married. After this, I looked into the significance of the blackbird in folklore, and discovered that it is a "herald of change and significant transitions in life" . I actually wrote the piece at my mum's bedside in her final days with us, just before saying goodbye. What an incredibly perceptive little boy! "
Such a moving account, Lyndon!