On Monday, I taught an art workshop to a class of year 5 (age 9-10 years) artists. It was the first in my week of workshops in the school on the theme of ‘recycling’ and so it was important to start as I meant to go on and create an impact. The subject for this class was the plight of the British Bumble Bee. This class of children had recently been on a week long residential trip where they had found out all about bee keeping so it was lucky coincidence that I could continue this theme with them.
We created a colossal picture – over 12 ft wide and 4 ft tall, made up in separate panels. The rules of the piece were that it was to be created out of collaged materials and that these materials were to be recycled domestic rubbish, similar to my own Rubbish Pictures. I wanted to show the children that art could be made out of anything. They were enthusiastic but a little doubtful at first – it soon became apparent however, that this piece was going to be colourful, and vibrant and even the staunchest of doubters was soon converted.
32 ‘assistants’ is a lot of children to keep an eye on, fortunately I had a squad of lovely helpful parent helpers and classroom assistants on board so I was able to split the group into teams. Whilst one team was working on collaging a background of green and blue food packaging, another was creating a ‘hive’ out of used brown packaging cardboard, another was creating a swarm of bees out of squashed drinks casn and bubble wrap, and the last team was making flowers and shrubs, again out of squashed tin cans.
The air of excitement and fun in the room was just lovely to be a part of and whilst it may have appeared somewhat chaotic, as the picture came together, the children became more focused, determined to finish and totally enthused about the project they were all a part of.
Once complete and hung in the hall to be the first exhibit of many that would be created during the week, this piece drew many appreciative comments and looks simply wonderful. I’m very, very proud of all the artist involved, they did a fantastic job. Lucky Bumble Bees to have them on their side.