High Quality Art Materials gifted to RAW
Leigh 'Finlee Russell' Saunders was an extraordinarily talented Birmingham based artist, sculptor, musician and film maker. He was a good friend of Alex Vann, founder of RAW and the pair worked together on music and video projects and met through mutual friend, Birmingham singer song writer Rich McMahon, who passed away in 2015.
Leigh created an army of plasticine characters called 'The Smiley Dudes' which spread a message of fun and positivity around the globe. Below is a video of him delivering a hundred Smiley Dudes to children at the Rare Disease Summer Party in 2017.
Unfortunately Leigh lost his battle with cancer in March 2021. We were overwhelmed when heard from the family that they'd like to pass on his art materials so that we can use them with our groups and in that way keep his creative legacy alive.
We'd like to publicly thank the family and will continue to post examples of work on our social media channels using his materials using the hash tag #FinleesLegacy
Above are just a few examples of work Alex has created, either as examples on virtual art sessions with various groups including British Deaf Association, Deaf Plus, Mossley Community Arts Club, or face to face at Percy Shurmer Academy, Birmingham or commissioned work. The Pop Art painting of The Man On The Horse is on show at The Chindit pub in Wolverhampton until August 2021.
Doors 4 Thought at St Martin's C of E
For a week, beginning on Monday 1st October 2018 we worked with all the pupils at St Martin’s C of E School in Tipton to create large scale artwork with a difference.
The aim of the ‘Doors For Thought’ project was to decorate 17 of the classroom doors with the key values of the school.
Each year group had 2 doors to decorate, one for their own classroom and one for another internal door in the school. Each door has it’s own ‘theme’ based on 17 of the school values or ‘character strengths’ such as ‘respect’; ‘humility’ and ‘creativity’.
We have been delighted that the children were so enthusiastic about this project. It is a unique way to represent the values of St Martin’s and engage learners with art activity.” Alex Vann, Founder of RAW
British Sign Language (BSL) was also integrated into the art sessions which were held in the main hall of the school. A member of RAW, Gary O’Dowd, is profoundly Deaf and uses BSL to communicate. BSL translations of the theme words are printed onto the doors both as signs and as fingerspelt words.
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.