Drawing on inspiration from the Henry Moore exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and with help from Oakham and St Peter’s School, along with some creative parents, Aysgarth’s Artsweek 2015 was quite a spectacle.
Stuart Smith, Head of Art & Design Technology, said:
“Right from the early stages of planning this year’s Artsweek I had a sense of something good developing. Maybe it started when Dr Canning and I were discussing the concept of trying something new for this year and coming up with the idea of hiring a chainsaw sculptor to come into school and to produce a long lasting piece of sculpture for us all to enjoy. Then, having booked to go to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park to see the Henry Moore exhibition a theme of sheep was arrived at through Henry Moore’s own sketchbook on sheep.”
Blessed with good weather all week, the whole school visited the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Inspired and raring to go, the boys were then given a choice of fifteen different workshops back at school. These ranged from a sheep painting workshop, 3-D pens, wire sculptures, maths pictures, big picture paintings, felting, tapestry and of course, Mr Atherton’s Bell Tower Scrap Heap Challenge.
We were very fortunate this year to have been able to enlist help from some very creative parents and also help from Oakham School and St Peter’s School in running our workshops. Tim Weston, Head of DT at Oakham and one of his DT colleagues ran a fascinating class on making sound reactive bugs. Simon Poppy, Head of Art at Oakham and one of his colleagues, ran a very inventive workshop themed around sculpture.
Jon Whithouse, Head of DT at St. Peter’s came along on the Wednesday and ran a very popular and successful metal work class. Each boy making a scrolled metal plant pot holder, including heat forming the trays to hold the plant pots.
Andris Berg, a local chainsaw sculptor from Hawes, happily agreed to come along and work on the Tuesday and Wednesday to create a unique piece of art for us all to enjoy. His sheep shaped seat is a fantastic success which the boys enjoy sitting in on the bank as they watch the cricket. Andris worked in a specially marked off area and the boys were allowed to watch him work and question him about his work. Archie Whitworth and Tom Roe won a special prize by producing super drawings of sheep for Andris to work from.
We also had a few of our regular artists along to help out once again. This year Sue Godden brought along her daughter
Harriet to help her with a giant puppet workshop. Sue Ison returned with her successful animation class. Lee Cartledge of Bentham Pottery ran a successful thrown and coiled pot workshop and Penny Thompson of Richmond ran a group creating soap sculptures themed around Henry Moore’s work. Hazel Canning took a group of boys into the woods to create some very rustic ‘nature explosions’ which looked great hung on display in the DT room.
Dianna Philpott, one of Aysgarth’s most creative ‘Mum’s’. Dianna led an imaginative card workshop making very inventive folded cards which were illuminated from the inside by a tiny light. Another creative mum, Bec’s Lawson-Tancred, was an enormous help to Anna Tomlinson with the felting workshop.
Stuart Smith said: “2015 has seen one of the best Aysgarth Artsweeks yet! It is all down to the team of visitors as well as all of my colleagues. They were tremendous in running a whole range of workshops and then tidying up with the boys so well. How will we top this in 2016?!”