Start with Art! with some Awesome Owls, Swirling Otters and very Creative IMPs

On Tuesday 27 October, The Corn Hall hosted its latest ‘Start With Art!’ (SWA!) event aimed at encouraging children to express their creativity. The SWA! programme is the brainchild of Rachel Baker, of Imps Creativity, and this month’s session took inspiration from the Corn Hall’s current exhibition, ‘An Arkful of Animals.’

Many of the activities drew on the techniques employed by the artists involved in the exhibition. Children moulded wires onto pebbles to create rock bugs in mimicry of John Ogden’s sculptures and created monoprints out of polystyrene to replicate printmaker Deborah Vass’s work. The SWA! event was also fortunate to benefit from the presence of exhibited artist Emilia Symis, who shared her bold acrylic painting expertise with the children.

Other tasks allowed children to empathise with their animal subjects, being part of the picture when creating owl masks to pair with wings and soar through the reeds, or creating a camel’s desert environment in the sand pit.

Each activity was child-led, placing the emphasis on the children’s own imaginative impulses. As a result, the children interpreted the tasks in their own unique way, ultimately creating a diverse range of beautiful artworks.

One parent said, “Thank you Rachel again for such a brilliant event. We love all your events and the children really do enjoy every second.”

Another commented, “A wonderful event as always, a real hands-on opportunity for the children to explore and enjoy.”

The Corn Hall’s own Jean Grocott was part of the volunteering team at the SWA! and supervised the watercolour painting activity inspired by painter Lucy Hiscox.

Jean said, ‘“It was a joy to see the response that the children had when experimenting with watercolours. Thanks must be given to both Rachel’s organisation and the quality of the work in the exhibition. As a volunteer, the whole event was a great pleasure to participate in.”

Matt Kirkum

Corn Hall volunteer

29 10 2020