Our latest newsletter is out. Highlights include the British Art Show 9 exhibition by attendees on the Alex Vann / RAW sessions.
Also, the start of our #CommonwealthConnections project sponsored by British Council and administered by Birmingham Arts School. Watch this space for developments in the 2 schools we are working: Northfield Road Primary and Thorns Collegiate Academy. And Easter HAF activity in Wolverhampton.
And...if you are reading this before 15th May - you can get involved in our song project for Mossley Jubilee Day of Culture. We're writing a brand new song on the theme of 'Cultural Togetherness' and have put a call out for lyrics for the verses. Get in touch with your ideas!
Amazing Art by young people - Wolverhampton Easter HAF 2022
We [Real Arts Workshops] were delighted to be awarded a grant from City of Wolverhampton Council to deliver 2 weeks of art, craft and BSL (British Sign Language) experiences for young people in Wolverhampton over Easter school holidays 2022. The HAF (Holidays Activities and Food) Programme was rolled out by the government in 2021 and provides free holiday provision including healthy food and enriching activities for low-income households.
We worked with some children who have additional needs and were able to adapt our activities to make them accessible. Having Deaf staff and staff with mobility issues shows young people that adversity can be overcome, and a sense of achievement is for everyone!
But don’t just take our word for it! Here are some photographs of their creations and examples what the young people told us in daily ‘Thought of the Day’ slips and weekly online surveys:
“The staff are very kind, they are great at making things enjoyable”
Looking at the the feedback received from the young people our work falls into these categories:
DOING SOMETHING NEW
Trying out something new. Learning new skills. Experimenting with new ideas. Doing things for the first time. Making new friends.
Being challenged by the materials and projects and enjoying that challenge. Doing things that they don’t get to do elsewhere.
BEING ENGAGED IN REWARDING ACTIVITY
Getting out of the house. Working in a group. Sharing experiences. Doing art as an activity that combats boredom and being sedentary.
FEELINGS of WELLBEING
Having fun. Feeling safe. Feeling excited. Feeling happy. Feeling included. Feeling supported. Feeling calm.
Making new friends; working in a group; working with others to make art; collaboration.
Free* activities for families registered for HAF in Wolverhampton
We are delighted to announce that we are providing free (*HAF funded) Art, Craft and BSL experiences to young people aged 10-16 in Wolverhampton over Easter Holidays (see the poster above for details).
To qualify for our sessions, families must have already registered with City of Wolverhampton Council for HAF scheme and have an email or letter with a barcode that we can scan at our sessions.
Download a consent form (below); or call/tx/WA 07882 685923.
Thank you, Alex and Gary
(Please spread the word)
BRITISH ART SHOW 9 - Public Engagement Ambassador Project
Alex Vann, a director of RAW, was delighted to work as Public Engagement Ambassador for British Art Show 9 in March and April 2022. In a project sponsored by University of Wolverhampton, Alex worked with Social Prescribing link workers and adult participants in Wolverhampton and delivered 5 workshops, across 2 locations: the University's School of Art and Wolverhampton Art Gallery.
The British Art Show is a landmark touring exhibition that celebrates the vitality of recent art made in Britain. Organised every five years by Hayward Gallery Touring the exhibition brings the work of artists defining new directions in contemporary art to four cities across the UK.
BAS9 is curated by Irene Aristizábal and Hammad Nasar, and presented in collaboration with the cities of Aberdeen, Wolverhampton, Manchester and Plymouth.
These themes were agreed prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and the global recognition of racial injustice sparked by the Black Lives Matter protests of summer 2020. All three are even more relevant now.
34 artists showed in BAS9 in Wolverhampton to look at how we live with and give voice to difference, while also extending our understanding of identity to beyond the human. Their projects often blur the boundaries between art and life, and imagine alternative futures. Through their works, they propose alternative economies and ways of living together that emphasise commonality, collaboration and care. They do so through film, photography, painting, sculpture, and performance, as well as through projects that don’t sit easily in any one category.
Alex chose to focus on the work of one of the artists exhibiting in Wolverhampton: Michael Armitage.
Workshop # 1: Introduction to Social Prescribing Link workers
Michael Armitage's work
Photos © Graham Everitt: Showing the 'imperfections' in Armitage's canvases. These so called 'imperfections' become integral and beautiful parts of the paintings. In the same way people have 'imperfections' but these are an important and valid part of who they are.
In this first session, as well as giving a background to British Art Show 9 and Michael Armitage's work, Alex encouraged the link workers to create their own artwork, using a 2D style to echo Armitage's style at the same time as doing a 'Post-It' note activity about possible practical activities their participants might enjoy and the impact the project might have on them.
Workshop #2: Asian Women's group
Facilitated by Ros Manasseh, this session focused on the use of lumbago bark in Armitage's work. The video above shows the process of the bark being made into a cloth and its importance on the culture of the Baganda people in Uganda.
Alex did his own example paintings and encouraged the participants to make their own paintings on specially sources bark board with the possibility of making Rangoli style designs to put their own culture into the artworks.
Beautiful artworks made by the participants
Workshop #3: Art 'Novices' (i)
For this workshop, Alex wanted to provide an accessible art technique which allowed the participants to create 2D artworks influenced by Africa and decided to use the African Dot Painting technique.
This simple but effective technique uses either acrylic paint and cotton buds or paint pens on black paper / card to paint pictures either of the participants own designs or using templates. Below are downloads of the resources used.
All the work above has been made by 'art novices' and we think it's fantastic - what do you think?
Workshop #4: Experienced artists
Alex focused on the use of animals in Michael Armitage's (and other artists') art. Animals can have many significant meanings and the participants used this as a starting point to create a piece of work which combined an animal that has meaning to them with another aspect which tells us more about their own personalities. Alex's example was a lion with a vibrant Pride flag backdrop.
Workshop #5: Art 'Novices' (ii)
In the final workshop which included some of the experienced artists from the previous session as well as the group of 'novices' we looked at 'newspaper mosaics' as a way of created 2D art - like we'd done in the very first session with Link Worker staff.
Some people chose to create dot paintings and it was nice to see some digital art too - from a talented participate who preferred to use an Apple Pencil and the ProCreate app in iPad Pro.
1. The Influence of European Art on Michael Armitage
2. Armitage's painting style
This was a highly rewarding and fulfilling project all round and some of the participants' artworks will be featured in an exhibition of works by other British Art Show 9 Ambassador projects at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, 24th April - 15th May 2022.
#YES SUCCESS! February Half Term 2022
We were grateful for funding from City of Wolverhampton Council to run Holiday Activity over February Half Term week, 2022.
We delivered a wide range of creative activities for young people ages 10-16, SEND and Deaf friendly.
The young people created some fantastic pieces of art including:
Alongside the creative activities they also learnt some British Sign Language
Here's what they told us:
“I enjoyed them because I liked making the cool monsters”
Our February Half Term activities for 10-16s in Wolverhampton
We're delighted to be funded by #YES (Youth Engagement Strategy) to deliver creative and BSL (British Sign Language) sessions over February Half Term for 10-16s.
The advert is shown below with more details and the consent form can be downloaded by clicking the link below.
We've been able to expand our offer and have some new places available. We welcome some SEND and Deaf young people.
These sessions are free to attend, include all materials and a packed lunch and are held at ASAN Workspace, All Saints Road, Wolverhampton.
Please share with families / colleagues in Wolverhampton and ask families to complete and return the consent forms as soon as possible as places are limited.
A busy start to 2022!
It's probably too late to say 'Happy New Year' - but we'll say it anyway!
Please see our latest Newsletter below and you can download the PDF from the link above - this has live URL links to videos. The start of 2022 has been unusually busy at RAW HQ - we've been involved in several high profile projects including British Art Show 9 in Wolverhampton.
Alex Vann from RAW led an online music and singing workshop as part of the 'Creativity After C19' ACE funded project which features several creative arts practitioners discussing ways to tackle long covid type symptoms. He sang 4 of his own songs, talked about the importance of breathing and even managed to compose a new song using lyrics submitted by attendees in the chat window! The session was recorded and you can watch the video on YouTube.
Please do get in touch with any queries / feedback on any of the articles or if you think we can work with your organisation on some uplifting and engaging creative projects.
Alex, Gary and the team at RAW
Mossley Community Arts Club - 2021 showcase
We made a video to showcase the wonderful artwork created by residents of Mossley Big Local in 2021.
We have been delivering a weekly Community Arts Club funded by Mossley Big Local since April 2019 and most of 2020 and 2021 were delivered via video app but thankfully we are now back face to face.
In 2021 we celebrated our 100th session, worked in partnership with East Coseley Big Local and produced a wide range of visual arts. Some of these sessions were done as 'takeovers' so members of the group will lead a session on a subject they are particularly passionate about and share their skills and knowledge with the rest of the group.
Christmas Half Term Activities are 'educational and fun'
Real Arts Workshops (RAW) were pleased to be awarded a grant from City of Wolverhampton Council to deliver arts, crafts and BSL activities over Christmas Half Term. The funding is from Department for Education for young people who are eligible for the HAF (Holidays Activities and Food) programme.
Alex Vann, a director of RAW said: “This funding required RAW to incorporate some education about healthy food choices for young people and we did this in various creative ways such as still life drawing, poster design and decorating pots containing fruit and water. We worked with a fantastic group of young people aged 10-16, some with very complex needs so we needed to ensure our activities were engaging and fun as well as educational.”
Here's what the young people told us:
We are delighted to be able to offer 4 days of free workshops to 10-16s who are eligible for the HAF (Holiday Activities and Food) funding in Wolverhampton over the Winter Holidays in December.
We are running the sessions on Monday 20th, Tuesday 21st, Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th of December (no session on Wednesday 22nd of December), a mix of art, craft and British Sign Language. Please scroll down the home page to learn about the benefits of these types of activities.
See the poster below for more information.
Places are limited to please get in touch today to reserve your place(s).
Either send us an email to email@example.com or text / call / WhatsApp: 07882 685923.
Alternatively, click to download the consent form below and complete and return it to us to the above email address.
Alex Vann is an all round creative. He formed RAW in 1997 out of a University project and restarted it in 2018 after working as a graphic designer for agencies and in-house for many years.