In 2013, Salendine Nook High School won the Guardian Newspaper’s ‘School We’d Like’ competition and was awarded £5000 in prize money to revamp the Blue Tunnel, which is a key linking walkway between different buildings in the school. See the initial post from The Guardian… The Guardian – Salendine Nook: graffiti art project transforms old walkway.
I was approached by the school in the summer of 2013 and was asked to facilitate a creative project consisting of a series of workshops based around the title ‘I CAN’. These workshops began in autumn term 2013 and ran through to March 2014.
The initial workshops explored the history and culture of street art and graffiti and looked at the myriad of artists whose work adorns the street of the world’s urban spaces. Particular focus was placed upon methods, techniques, colour use, image placement and characteristics concerning each individual artist’s approach and style.
We looked at everything from the huge typographic scrawls and intricate lettering styles of graffiti and the continued development and evolution of graffiti culture, to Wheat Paste posting, the Knit The City phenomenon, Banksy, The London Police, Shepard Fairey and many more.
The creative workshops were designed to produce a range of strong graphics, which were either hand drawn, painted, developed from photographic elements, made using collage techniques and indeed a mixture of all these modes. Strong emphasis was placed on different drawing techniques designed to loosen up the creative process and produce an unexpected quirkiness in the resulting graphics.
Students also explored the use of the light box to trace images in order to develop quick and strong graphic styles and to experiment with composition. There was also an emphasis on the significance of mark making, constructing textures using paint splats, printing with inked bubble wrap and other interesting found materials.
Sponged ink marks and small hand drawn elements like arrows, swirls, cross-hatching and all sorts of shapes and patterns were created in the exploratory process.
Out of the mass of graphics that were produced in the workshops, the students started to get a real and definite idea about which images they wanted to use in their final artworks.
The imagery was then scanned at high resolution and prepared for layering and colouring using Photoshop CS6. This allowed the creative process to be further investigated resulting in the impacting and beautiful graphics that were produced in the student’s final pieces.
The project was a wonderful journey of creativity from beginning to end and a lot of fun was had along the way.
I think the resulting artworks speak for themselves.
Check out the Guardian article here… The Guardian – How street art can boost learning and community engagement in schools.
This was a super project commissioned by the Guardian and funded by Zurich Municipal.