Richard Shilling’s Residency

Our ‘Sense of Place’ Exhibition marked the end of Land Artist Richard Shilling‘s two week residency with us here at Boundary Way. We managed to achieve a lot in two weeks and today we are going to share with you some of the things that Richard did and created during his Boundary Way Residency, responding to our site.

Richard teaching Land Art at our 'Sense of Place' Exhibition

Richard teaching Land Art at our ‘Sense of Place’ Exhibition

Over Richard’s stay with us he spent over two weeks creating Land Art and delivering workshops that responded to our location and site. He spent a lot of time foraging and investigating the wonderful natural materials available here and working outdoors in the Community Garden to create ephemeral artworks that integrated with the surroundings. This included a magnificent, spiral ‘Sunflower’ Sculpture made from foraged dogwood (the dark red), weeping willow (the yellow) and other willow from around the site, as well as many intricate boxes made from leaves, held together with thorns. The wealth of natural art materials that Richard discovered at Boundary Way was amazing and his time with us really opened out eyes to the potential that natural materials have when it comes to creating art.

Richard creating Land Art at Boundary Way - 'Sunflower'

Richard creating Land Art at Boundary Way – ‘Sunflower’

Students from Penn Fields School exploring the site at a Workshop

Students from Penn Fields School exploring the site at a Workshop

Alongside creating art around the site for out ‘Sense of Place’ exhibition, Richard spent a lot of time running a series of sessions and workshops exploring the magic of autumn colours and textures with infants, juniors and sixth form pupils from Penn Fields School. It was the infants first visit to our Community Garden and it was a huge success, with nature walks around the garden being followed by natural multi sensory exploration in the polytunnel. Richard helped many of the groups to experience the sights and sounds of the community garden through foraging and nature exploration and it was brilliant to see so many students enjoying all that nature has to offer in the autumn. The sixth form took this a step further with Richard teaching them how to create a land art Mandala on one of the raised beds in the polytunnel. They gathered beautiful natural materials of all colours from the site and Richard helped them to create a true autumn mandala in the earth. Our team also had a go at this brilliant activity and it really showed us how much colour there was to be found in the garden.

Sixth Form Students from Penn Fields School creating their Mandala with Richard

Sixth Form Students from Penn Fields School creating their Mandala with Richard

Penn Fields Sixth Form's Finished Mandala

Penn Fields Sixth Form’s Finished Mandala

Richard didn’t only carry out sessions at Boundary Way he also travelled to local community hub, Gatis Community Space, to deliver some brilliant workshops for both the staff and a group of home educated children & their families. In the staff development session Richard taught the Gatis team members some of his land art skills so that they can pass on the techniques to the groups that visit the centre and they had a brilliant day exploring their site for natural materials to make into art. The group of children who are home educated also did some exploring in the garden and areas surrounding the centre, finishing the session with some brilliant creations.

Land Art at Gatis Community Space from Richard's Workshop

Land Art at Gatis Community Space from Richard’s Workshop

Happy Land Art Creation at Gatis Community Space

Happy Land Art Creation at Gatis Community Space

As you heard in our previous blog post, Richard also carried out a brilliant Mandala creation workshop both indoors and outdoors at our Open Weekend. Members of the public visiting Boundary Way for the workshop and for the exhibition loved what Richard was doing so much that he actually continued the session to help people to learn his skill and create willow spirals and leaf boxes. It was a truly brilliant sight to see so many people so involved in natural art, and was a fantastic end to a successful weekend and exhibition – in which Richard’s work proved very popular.

Children creating an outdoor Mandala at our 'Sense of Place' event

Children creating an outdoor Mandala at our ‘Sense of Place’ event

Without the following funders, Richard’s residency wouldn’t have been possible… Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, Penn Fields Special School, Gatis Community Space and Arts Connect. Richard’s residency was such a  unique and fulfilling opportunity for Boundary Way and we really enjoyed having him here.

If you would like to know more about Richard and the work that he does you can visit his website by clicking here. Enjoy!

Richard's Land Art in progress

Richard’s Land Art in progress

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