Mill Lane Primary School

Project name: 3D Textiles – Hanging on a Thread
Participants: 28 Year 4 and 5 children
Partnering with: Hyrstmount Junior School and Lydgate J & I School
Artist: Fiona Goodwin

We will be looking at the interaction between ourselves and our environment and exploring issues around climate change – the fragility and the vulnerability of the wider world and our world within, as we’re all interconnected.  Through our interpretation of the Change theme we hope to create a sensory installation piece that tells a story that will be designed to inspire thought and provoke curiosity.  We’ll look to nature for inspiration and hope to develop our piece using paper and experimenting with techniques such as layering, coating, laminating, and manipulating.  We will learn more about recycling issues and reflect on how we can nurture and change over time.

Our partner schools for the project are Hyrstmount Junior School and Lydgate J & I School – have a look at their project pages here and here too.

Session 1: 12th March 2014

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We began our story with excitement, discussion and research, looking for information and sharing our thoughts on climate change and our changing environment.  We’ve started to note down and explore our ideas in smaller groups focusing on the fragility of our world, its beauty – looking for inspiration in our natural and built environment, its destruction – natural disasters and the impact of man and machine.  We’re a team working together looking to explore and learn more about materials and processes, some biodegradable, some not, as we hope to create a piece that provokes thought and discussion and hopefully inspires change in all of us.  We’ve had a fascinating morning full of inspired discussions, thoughts, words and drawings. Can’t wait now for Session 2.   Fiona (artist)

Session 2: 2nd April 2014

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Wow, what a dynamic session and so much achieved. We’re all really engrossed in the project and arrived to the session brimming with more ideas and lots more work to show each other too. The plans for our piece are beginning to shape quite naturally around our two central themes of beauty and destruction.  Keen to start and work with our exploded views from our drawings in the previous session we quickly got started.  The photocopier was a brilliant tool, allowing us to enlarge and reduce our work immediately and view it on a different scale, giving us more time to experiment with media as we worked into our drawings.  Patiently and painstakingly we embellished our “precious” elements with silver, gold and copper leaf, with very small brushes and tacky adhesive, taking care not to blow it everywhere as we worked.  The end result was fabulous!  We have clear ideas now about our use of colour and where it will occur within the piece, in fact we could probably make lots of pieces, I’ve a feeling this is just the start!  It was fabulous too to have the Headteacher working alongside us sharing her ideas, thoughts and expertise too.  Fiona (artist)

Session 3: 9th April 2014

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At the start of the session we reflected on our ideas around climate change and the themes we had focused on to develop creatively.  These still remain central to the design of the piece and we spoke about how we might incorporate all the elements together and how they may finally be displayed.  There was a real sense of urgency and much needed pace to get through our jobs list. We all split into teams, some continuing to create whilst others were laminating and labelling our work, still focused and guided by our thoughts on climate change.  We hope to show how much we appreciate our environment and demonstrate some knowledge of what is happening in the world around us.  There are some real gems of work created and captured thoughts and ideas to guide us through the piece.  This was sadly our final session today but will hopefully remain with us in our thoughts and actions for a long time to come.  Fiona (artist)

A final word from staff…

All our learning aims were met extremely well.  The children were able to make a very strong link between what they were learning in their Geography topic – climate change and natural disasters – and the Change project.  Fiona linked this extremely well and the children had a clear understanding of the  vocabulary linked to the beauty of the world and contrasting words linked to the destruction of the world. The children could visually see the two contrasting worlds – beauty and destruction – through the media used.

The children absolutely loved the different media and methods that they used done within school. Both children and adults have been taught skills and methods that they hadn’t used before. The children were particularly enthusiastic about hammering gold and silver and using chalk and a ruler. This could be used in the future and it would also be beneficial for other staff in school to be taught these methods so that the whole school benefits from the project in some way.

Abbey Newton