Tuesday, November 29, 2011

'Nature and Art’ Key Stage 2 Study Day

Dorchester Abbey Education Department in conjunction with the Hurst Water Meadow for the first time launched a joint full day art workshop initiative to create a ‘Nature and Art’ study day for our local St. Birinus Primary School in October 2011. Over 30 Key Stage 2 children were able to take advantage of this exceptional experience where they spent half the day in art workshops at the Hurst Water Meadow and the other half at Dorchester Abbey. At the Hurst they were able to create artworks using natural materials inspired by the work of the famous 20th C British artist Andy Goldsworthy. The artworks they created used leaves, acorns, twigs and other found objects arranged to evoke innovative patterns ranging from spirals and undulating lines of leaves to carefully arranged acorns ‘lids’, thus introducing the children to the role of colour, pattern and line in art and nature.

At the Abbey the pupils were introduced to the fantastic range of art and architecture dating from the 12th to 20th C originally inspired by nature. The architectural and decorative progression of which was best seen in the Abbey’s Cloister Gallery displays, as well as throughout the Abbey with its rich sculptural, glass and painted decorations. Children were introduced to this rich fabric of history and encouraged to find inspiration from these original medieval craftsmen, for example to create their own version of our remarkable Jesse Window.

It is hoped that this small-scale pilot project will develop into a much larger programme involving many more of our local Oxfordshire schools taking part in the not too distant future!

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