Skip to content

Green Town Group – Wearable Art, Wood & Willow

by James on April 21st, 2016

squirrel maskSince my last post on progress within my Green Town Group residency, I have run a wearable art session with families at the MK Gallery called Collaborate: Becoming An Animal (inspired by theĀ  book Becoming Animal by David Abram), and the first two sessions for St Thomas Aquinas School, Bletchley at Howe Park Wood.




Phi's wings

cat costume

Families joining us for the Collaborate session at the gallery, were asked to create something to wear based on an animal that lives or might live in Milton Keynes. Together we made winds, tails, feet, whiskers, masks and head dresses. I am running further Collaborate sessions at the gallery within each school holiday this year, so keep an eye on their website for details and book in to join us.

group with masks

rabbit mask

My first session with the Year 2 children from St Thomas Aquinas school was planned to provide them with ways of exploring, noticing, collecting, recording and making. We were using our senses and different media to come to know the wood and its inhabitants more fully.

writing about the woods

researching different artists

The children used drawing, printing, and writing to record what found, heard and smelt. They chose images of site-specific artwork made by other artists, and explored how they might have made them, before working in groups to create their own simple artwork from found materials.

web of sticks

wood and leaf construction

Our second session was yesterday, a beautifully sunny Spring day, with birds singing and bluebells carpeting the more open areas of the wood. We talked about the role of coppicing in managing the wood and increasing biodiversity, and the children used a willow framework with other organic materials to create more complex sculptures of animal and plant-life which benefits from this kind of management (see here for more photos of the children at work).

constructing a centipede

Willow and hay bird

willow butterfly

Within both sessions Project-Assistant and sound/spoken word artist Alice Boland-Rhodes led the children in exploring the sounds of the wood, using their own voices. I’ll add a little taster to a future post, the effect of the words and sounds shared together and in sequence by the group was lovely, and echoed the richness of the soundscape around us all day as we worked.

Listening to the sounds

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Note: XHTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS