As part of our new project, funded by the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage, the Boundary Way Project has created a Virtual Artist Residency exploring accessible ways of learning using digital platforms. We are delighted to be working with participatory artist Hannah Ayre, who is exploring creativity, nature connection and wellbeing with Key Stage 3 pupils at Penn Fields Special School. And with the project already underway and making an impression, we are excited to share more about it with you today!
Hannah is a participatory artist, educator and creative producer. She works with audiences to create socially engaged artwork, ranging from small-scale crafts to large-scale installations and events. She works with a wide range of materials and techniques. With a degree in ceramics, clay is her first love, with a focus on alternative outdoor firing processes.
Photography has always been a crucial part of her work, in order to capture her ephemeral art works and events. She has an interest in alternative, camera-free processes which harness the natural power of the sun to develop her images, and we worked with her around this interest during our Postcards from the Plot project. This saw Hannah sharing the process of creating Anthoypes with the Boundary Way audience through online film and workshops with fantastic results. We are delighted to be welcoming her virtually once again to Wolverhampton to continue to share her skills with the pupils of Penn Fields School.
Through their work with Hannah, the children are able to explore her Edinburgh based studio space on the classroom whiteboard using Zoom. This is a really exciting opportunity and one that would not have been possible without the virtual nature of this residency. Over the past few weeks, Hannah has begun sharing a range of creative techniques with the children. These techniques include making nature mandalas, creating sunprints, taking Richard Long inspired nature walks with photography and working with clay. The engaging sessions will support children’s learning for Arts Awards and have already made a big impression on the class.
Art teacher Shelley Cooper explained:
‘It’s an exciting opportunity to work with artists wherever they are and explore their workspaces and ways of working even in lockdown. The residency provides an excellent opportunity for pupils and teachers to learn new skills from artists that inspire learning and continued professional development.’
We are delighted to be working closely with Penn Fields School, especially during these challenging times, to bring fresh opportunities for artistic connection with nature. We look forward to seeing the outcomes of the finished residency, as well as the future development of this programme. A showcase of the pupil’s artwork from their sessions is planned to coincide with the British Art Show 2021 in Spring next year.
The project has been made possible with a funding award from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage helping Boundary Way Project to reimagine it’s cultural programme.
The work is part of wider research to develop digital resources to support nature based creative learning. Teachers can contact Moya Lloyd, Boundary Way project lead via email if they would like to be involved.