We're Stronger Together!
We were grateful to City of Wolverhampton Council and Department for Education, for funding our 2 week Summer HAF(Holidays Activities and Food) activity.
8-16 year olds (25 with an EHCP) participated in a wide variety of art activities and we included some BSL (British Sign Language) teaching too.
We also worked with our friends at Stratton Street Community Centre for 2 days of sessions. We made woodland creatures out of pine cones, deisgned ceramic tiles, totes bags and performed our original song ‘We Shine Together’ – in sign language! The children learnt all the signs to the song in one morning, and then performed in front of an audience – amazing. You can watch the video on YouTube (or scroll down to see it).
Feedback from our sessions was very positive. We've included young people's feedback and results of online surveys for the 2 weeks below.
Here is a snapshot of what they did in Week 1….
Giant Newsprint Mosaics
This is an effective and accessible way to make art very quickly. Instead of using paint we use magazines and newspapers to gather a palette of colours. Normally these are A4 size but we decided it would make a great day 1 activity to encourage team building and getting the young people to meet new people. The 2 designs with hands are from original artworks by our Deaf director Gary O'Dowd. The other 2 images are synonymous with Wolverhampton: the Man On The Horse and the Wolf face.
BSL (British Sign Language) and Ceramic tile art
Our Deaf role model and company director taught the young people some basic sign language and then played some games including BSL bingo. The afternoon session was a ceramic tile design session.
Superheroes and Affirmations
Our newest team member, the wonderful and vivacious Jen, led a fantastic session which encouraged the young people to channel their inner superhero! They made boxes in which they could place 'treasure' - reminders of why they are so fantastic on those days when they don't.
Drawing day incl Still Life studies
The young people did a range of drawings, using a variety of media to create superb artworks. In the afternoon they made still life drawings of fresh fruit and vegetables which they then took home.
Bark board art inspired by British Art Show 9
Michael Armitage, one of the British Art Show 9 exhibitors in Wolverhampton last year was the inspiration for this session. Our volunteer Wayne then led some drawings in a circle, with the assistance of one of the young people.
Here's what they did in Week 2
"Who do you think you are - Van Gogh?"
Yes! We used acrylic paints mixed with cornflour to replicate Vincent's impasto style. We love how these are all unique, despite being the same subject.
Clay print making and Negative drawings
This was done in the same way as linocut printing but instead of using lino we used clay because it's a softer material and you don't need dangerous sharp tools.
WE HAD A CARNIVAL!!
The lovely Jen led another session for us - this time she taught the young people (and us staff!) about the history of carnival and the various cultures that celebrate carnivals around the world. Then they crated fabulous masks, fans and headpieces. See our Facebook page for a video of their conga dance!
Qigong and dot drawings
Sue, a registered Qigong tutor, led a fabulous session of this gentle Chinese martial art movement technique. Then The children made wonderful dot paintings inspired by African / Aboriginal indigenous art.
RAW started originally as a final year project by Alex Vann. He wrote a book called 'Joseph The useful Cardboard Box' all about the uses of a discarded cardboard box. So...we had a cardboard ox day, why? Because children absolutely LOVE cardboard!!
Healthy Eating Activities
Part of the funding for HAF is about educating young people on healthy eating choices. We integrated this into our art activities, as well as the fresh fruit and veg still life drawings we did these....
RAW at Stratton Street Community Centre HAF 2023
We love working with our colleagues at Stratton Street Community Centre. We delivered 2 days of arts and BSL experiences. See their creations below and watch the video of our own song: 'We Shine Together' which includes some lyrics written by Gail, the manager of the Community Centre.
Views of the Young People
'THOUGHT OF THE DAY' slips
Survey Results - Week 1
Survey Results - Week 2
Quotes from the Young People
It was very amazing
Real Arts Workshops is an independent arts company based in the Black Country, providing bespoke workshops for various organisations and groups.