I’m very excited to have been chosen to work as a creative practitioner in a local primary school as part of the Lead Creative Schools Scheme, an extensive five-year plan to embed the arts and creativity into the Welsh curriculum.
I and a fellow practitioner, Lowri will be working with a group of about twelve Year 2 learners to create a storytelling and outdoor art project, taking inspiration from the rich local history of the area surrounding the school. The artwork created in response to the stories will be installed in a small wooded area in the extensive school grounds.
Lowri, who grew up in the local area, and whose first language is Welsh, told us about the Tŷ unnos (one night house), an old Welsh tradition that claims if a person could build a house on common land in one night with a fire burning in the hearth by the following morning, the land then belonged to them as a freehold. The squatter could then extend the land around by the distance they could throw an axe from the four corners of the house. Old axe and spear heads were discovered in the back gardens of local houses, and as they can now be viewed in the National Museum in Cardiff, we considered taking the children on a field trip to inspire them for their stories and artwork.
One aspect of the artwork will involve making prints from the children’s stories – both monoprint and cyanotype – onto material which will be hung as an installation in the wooded area. Clay and willow may also be used to create structures and sculptures…who knows how things will develop and grow as the children become immersed in the tales…I’II be posting regular updates as the project unfolds.