The outside meadow has fallen silent. Seeds fallen to the ground slumber. Decaying stems and deteriorating leaves occupy space once rich in flower and beast. Where have they gone, the spiders, the butterflies, the bees – the bugs of plenty for the habitual birds. The tiny wren and the bold robin mere songs from deep within the evergreen honeysuckle – eyeing the movement of worm or beetle.
The studio is cosy and work is abundant. Masterclass finished for the day, students merrily on their way. Brushes still react to the paint and press of the artists departed. Work drying in situ. The outside feels distant – barriers of warmth cosset the body within this space.
As the paint eases on the paper, the scent of oil and varnish soothe the air, take a step back and ruminate. There is time in doing nothing but observing. Look with mind open and loosen the orders of your own command.
A small but highly personal exhibition of a small number of Grayson Perry’s tapestries at the wonderful Ty Pawb gallery in Wrexham. The children from a local primary school were invited to work alongside Wendy in creating a response to the work on exhibition. The results were quite stunning and demonstrate how important the visual and creative arts are in fostering confidence and resilience in the next generation of budding creatives.
The environment is under constant attack from our actions. No bigger an issue is that of plastic in our marine environment. Heartbreaking images of dead or dying sea creatures succumbing to our careless waste are gaining in coverage. The depth of the issue is only now being realised.
During the summer of 2018 RAW-i Studios was approached by an organisation proposing to redevelop a much maligned underpass into the heart of the historic city of Chester. Turning the space into a talisman of environmental awareness was to be the central focus. We have been commissioned to produce a mural along the entire length of one (of three) of the underpasses. The theme being ‘Water’. The images below are work in progress. Wendy has worked alongside a number of local primary schools to develop these ideas. Members of eco-committees were invited for a workshop where they were encouraged to think about and use a range of everyday plastic products to mimic the marine creatures common to the region. The results were inspiring.
Exciting workshop working with the students staff at West Kirby Residential School for the annual Big Draw – this year focus on Mental Health is timely. More often than not the news will be filled with alarming statistics about the rise in numbers of young people suffering with mental health issues. I was delighted to be an invited artist to this thriving and very important school.
We discovered the use of coloured tissue paper to create relief work on a huge scale. The bright colours reminded one teacher of the ‘inner workings of a students brain’. A cacophony of divergent thoughts and mesmerising creations resulted in a gigantic mural of over 10ft long by 4ft wide.
All the students had a wonderful time creating within the boundaries of the materials and the brief. I tried to echo the vision and values of the school
It is a priority to provide a structured, supportive and controlled learning environment for each pupil. By actively encouraging children to develop their inner control and social skills, staff can help them to overcome their own individual behavioural difficulties.
Pupils are able to learn and grow in situations that will help them achieve their maximum potential. Staff are specially trained to assist pupils in developing an awareness both of themselves as individuals and within a group, increasing their respect for others, their self-esteem, emotional stability and acceptability.
Happy children, happy staff and what education should be about.