Commonwealth Connections: Netherton Anchor Sculptures
Commonwealth Connections is a joint project from the British Council and the Birmingham Organising Committee for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
60 schools across the West Midlands were twinned with 60 schools in 10 Commonwealth countries, meeting online to begin a collaborative journey of discovery and co-creation.
The Arts element is led by Birmingham Arts School. Wolverhampton based company REAL ARTS WORKSHOPS LTD was commissioned to work with young people in Northfield Road Primary School and Thorns Collegiate Academy.
We worked with the children on many practical aspects of creative arts, linked to the NETHERTON ANCHOR which was made in the area and used on the fateful maiden voyage of the TITANIC.
The young people were encouraged to consider issues of marine pollution and recycling and we hope the final anchor sculpture will have a purpose as a recycling centre in school as well being a piece of fabulous art, designed by the children. Thank you to Onboard Corrugated for the donation of cardboard for this project.
Northfield Road Primary School
We worked with pupils from different year groups who have in interest in being a part of the project on various creative activities based around the Netherton Anchor. The sessions led uptown to creating a 6ft tall cardboard anchor, decorated with their work which also doubles as a recycling centre.
A few photos are shown below and you can see more on the 'current projects' page.
Watch a slide show here:
Thorns Collegiate Academy
We worked with art ambassadors at the school, with fantastic support from Mrs Sutton head of art.
Here's what the students said:
During the summer term, Thorns Collegiate Academy partnered with Real Arts Workshops Ltd to create a large, cardboard sculpture inspired by the Netherton anchor that was used on the Titanic.
Watch a slide show here:
Alex Vann from RAW did a 2 day of art workshop at Spring Vale Primary School, Wolverhampton on 30th June and 1st July 2021. The focus was on plastic pollution and the effects on Marine life. Working with a Year 6 student bubble, Alex encouraged every student to draw a stingray using soft pencils, create an origami stingray, and think about recycling using drawings and statements.
Oh and of course they built a huge sculpture using recycled materials the children brought in from home and the children named it 'Stevie'!
Alex also did a series of assemblies to the whole school and talked about his career as an artist, designer and workshop leader and as a lead artist on the Wolves in Wolves public art project.
It was a great way to use creativity to address serious issues and also have lots of fun creating colourful and interesting new work.
Here's what the school said:
This year we decided to celebrate the Art curriculum by holding an arts week in which the whole school could enjoy.
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.