Given the uncertainty around large scale events, we decided to host our very first ‘Arts Week’ – a series of small scale, socially distanced pop-up events held over the summer half term week, along with our usual programme of pre-event workshops in local schools.
Prior to the week itself we held 3 workshops in schools with artists Jo Foley and Fiona Smith making flag & bunting, later displayed in Darnhill Library during the week itself. Laura Sutcliffe-Tasker delivered two mask making workshops with reception children from two schools.
Fifty pom-pom and knitting packs were created by Alison Cooper and distributed to older residents of Darnhill, allowing participants to create a woollen star which were then used in the library window art piece, revealed during Arts Week.
Sandra McCracken devised 30 ‘bug’ art packs, and an accompanying ‘make-along’ film for year six children at St Margaret’s school, allowing them to create window art to display in their homes during Arts Week.
We were still able to work with Travelling Light Circus & Yan Tan Tethera and they worked with Darnhill youth group to build a ‘Wonderwall’ - an interactive 'random compliment and eco-challenge generator'. This was exhibited by the young people on the last day of the event for the public to have a go. This is currently displayed at Darnhill Library and will move to One Riverside, Rochdale in November, where it will be displayed underneath Luke Jerram’s Earth installation, ‘Gaia’.
THE ARTS WEEK WONDERS:
NOURISHMENT - During the week, we ran a holiday club at the library where referred children worked with artist Caroline Daly to make ‘Wonder of Nourishment’ art.
COMMUNITY - The Poetry Miles – a mile long poem by Reece Williams inspired by the words of local young people and jet washed by hand onto the streets by Sumit Sarkar – launched on the Monday, with a live poetry reading by Reece. Argyle Parade was adorned with decorative flags made and installed by Wendy Meadley.
LEARNING – Laura Sutcliffe-Tasker ran two mask making workshops for the public where children and their carers made a mask celebrating the ‘Wonders of Learning’
IMAGINATION – Sow the City ran an imagination garden workshop where children and their carers made mini-gardens to take home.
NATURE – Mitchell Robinson hosted a rainbow drawing workshop, allowing participants to create colourful nature scenes.
YOUNG PEOPLE – The Wonderwall was exhibited by the young people, alongside a popular climbing wall.
CELEBRATION – The library window art piece, by Alison Cooper, Sandra McCracken and Caroline Daly was revealed at a small launch event, accompanied by circus skills performed by the young people from the holiday club, supported by Skylight Circus Arts, and a performance from Blackley Brass Band.