A speedy art activity for under fives between performances of The Big Red Bath at the Theatre Royal. We brought along a multitude of red materials and a vast quantity of red dough and invited the children to create a small red creature that might live in the big red bath. Bubble wrap was a great substitute for bath water and someone even added shower fittings to their creation.
We really enjoyed running this activity which felt process driven, visually appealing and really easy for the children to engage in, with or without their parents.
After so many people enjoyed the mosaic session we decided to use this medium again. This time we gave each participant a large tile as a base and a plate of different textures and colours of mosaic tiles to work with. Most people immediately started arranging the tiles into very precise patterns and asked for colours as they needed them. One lady experimented further by stacking tiles on top of each other to create a relief pattern.
We were very pleased to have some gentlemen join us today and one of them very carefully cut tiles for us.
Liz started drawing up the panel for the back fence and attracted a few spectators enjoying watching the process. This session felt lively and stimulating and everyone enjoyed a visit from Bury Free Press, EADT and Bury in Bloom.
This week we took along mosaic tiles in a range of colours that the participants had said that they liked most in the garden. We gave each person a plate of mixed colours and surface textures and spent a while just chatting about how they looked and felt and how we might use then to make art.
Because the glue for outdoor mosaic work is not particularly kind to the skin we suggested that people could just lay out the tiles without fixing then we would photograph them to replicate with stronger materials. They laid out the tiles following the lines of cardboard templates based on the shapes they had cut last week.
The materials and process seemed very accessible and most people were very keen to handle the tiles and take creative decisions over the layout. Other participants enjoyed looking at finished mosaics we brought along and joining in the conversation about the garden plans.
This week we encouraged the group to think about shapes of flowers. These would be used to inform the cut shapes for mosaics and metal flowers for the outdoor garden. Initially we let people handle the fresh flowers for inspiration but it was interesting that we soon found ideas closer to home such as the poppies on one lady’s tapestry and the woven flower design in the curtains. We all enjoyed seeing these aerial views of the flowers taken on my phone so next week we’ll be taking along the ipad so that people can see their artwork without having to stand up.
This mosaic was made as a community project by Risbygate Arts about 10 years ago and has been hidden away on a wall by the loos in the Abbey Gardens. Bury in Bloom were brave enough to move it to a new prominent location overlooking the Magna Carta flower bed and asked Rojo Art to look at doing some renovation work on it for the Anglia in Bloom judging.
My first inspection of it wasn’t very positive: there were about 200 tiles fallen off and a good coating of mould in parts. Strangely though, once I got started this turned into a very addictive and satisfying process. I also had the added entertainment of explaining the mosaic’s history to interested park users.