Artist workshops encourage Flintshire students’ creativity
Art GCSE students at a Flintshire high school had an opportunity to try working with a new material as part of a project for their course.
The GCSE Argoed High School students successfully completed a willow workshop at the school, led by artist Sarah Gallagher-Hayes, owner of Twigtwisters, after their teacher, Kayleigh Over, had heard about the company from a colleague.
Students learned various techniques to weave, knot and twist the willow into sculptural forms, working towards creating a seed pod in reference to their Organic Forms project.
Mrs Over said: “I loved the idea of learners working with natural, sustainable materials and couldn’t wait to book the workshops for students. Sarah is such a talented artist, and the students loved hearing all about her experiences working on large scale projects all over the world.
“It has been fantastic to see the students take on a brand-new material and set of techniques; overcoming their doubts and learning to control the willow. To have the students praised by Sarah for their ‘brilliant’ approach to the sculptures was lovely.
“My favourite part of the workshops has been seeing the pride in the students when they saw their creations come to life towards the end of the day. It really has been a wonderful experience for them, and all their work will contribute to their portfolios.”
Amelia Wallis said: “It felt very therapeutic to weave the willow. I enjoyed learning lots of new techniques and working with a different material. I didn’t know ‘willow weaving’ was something I would enjoy until today.”
Sol Cheshire, newly appointed head boy, said: “I enjoyed making a 3D sculpture where I could choose from a variety of methods and features to build my outcome,” and Lily Roberts remarked that she found the workshop to be “a very relaxing experience that helped to calm my anxieties as it felt like quite a mindful activity.”
Based on the success of the artist visits, Mrs Over said she plans to keep the willow workshops in mind when designing projects for future year groups.
Sarah was impressed with the work produced. “The Argoed students have worked brilliantly. It has been great to see them challenged, working outside of their comfort zone with the willow. It is also great to hear that the workshops have helped their mental health, too,” she said. Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com