Monday, 13 January 2014

Inspired Responses 9 - Introduction





















Tracing Journeys
St Chad's High School Runcorn, Year 10 students
3 workshops | group exhibition

Inspired Responses is a programme which engages artists with school & college groups within the Halton area.  This is my third year working on the programme and my first year at St. Chads.
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I was keen to explore the local area where the students would be familiar.  I wanted them to sense their familiar place using new ways of exploring and researching as they move along a journey.  The changes in the area around the school in the past 50-years from a Lodge surrounded by fields and views to the castle, to the now densely housed less greened area it is today. 

In our first session I introduced the students to some of my walking journeys, artists’ books and other ways I engage with people and place, I led the first session to encourage the students to think through ways of representing personal journeys.  We had a practical session to try different paper folding and cutting techniques to produce simple books and considered how we could represent a journey through a space and represent that using paper and other materials. 

Our second session was a chilly blue skied November day.  We set off up to Halton Castle armed with clipboards, paper, pencils, cameras, plastic bags for collecting found objects and most importantly, maps!

The students walked the perimeter of the castle, taking in long distance views and the close-up intricacies of moss in walls, fallen leaves and the odd sweet wrapper.  We were lucky enough to be allowed into the castle grounds for a quick exploration, which was very much appreciated.  We gathered lots of evidence; drawings, describing words, found objects – both natural and man-made and took plenty of photographs too. 

For the final session we met in early January to see how the work had progressed.  Most students had by that time brought their ideas to near-conclusion and the session was focussed on finishing work and how it should be displayed within the gallery setting.

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