Monday, 6 December 2010

Habits and Habitats - The Big Draw 2010

This blog post has been a long time coming. If you regularly read you will know that I volunteer at Halewood Arts Association each Wednesday and here I help to organise and plan events. All summer me and Carole planned a Big Draw event, funded by the Big Lottery Fund (THANK YOU) for the local Halewood area. It took place in October and I have been waiting for the photos Ian Edwards took (Karens husband, his are a lot better than mine and thank you for them!) before I updated here.

Me and Carole wanted to include the Junior Artists Club as much as possible in the process and asked them what they would like the theme to be. After Carole spoke with the children who attend, we decided to come up with the theme of habits and habitats for the event. This also allowed us to take full advantage of the environment centre and the Halewood Triangle.

In the run up to the event we arranged a number of workshops for the Junior Artists Club, all around the theme and with the help of some local artists, Anthony Smith, Karen Edwards and Becky Bryson created artwork to be displayed within our event.

On the day we where a little worried at first, as the weather was awful. The night before had been torrential rain and as a majority of our event was outdoors, it made us worry that people would be put off. We couldn't have been more wrong. Over 200 people came to our event and took part in everything.

There was so much to get involved in. Indoors Anthony drew out a huge mural, showing the journey bees go on when they go out looking for honey. The visitors where invited to help fill in the mural and take part in a huge collaborative piece. It was great to see people aged 5 standing beside people aged 80 all getting involved in the same image. With a great final outcome.

One of our main aims with the event was to get local people to use Halewood Park and Triangle more. It is an underused resource and we wanted to include it as much as possible within our event. There was lots to do outside and using artwork the children had made in previous sessions, we decorated the park area to draw more people in.

As we wanted to ensure as many people where involved in the event as possible, The Halewood Walkers Group also got involved. They assisted Karen Edwards in making honeycomb to adorn the park area. This was a great idea and everyone loved exploring the park and breaking open the honeycomb to discover what was inside.

Outside there was so much to get involved in. Becky Bryson from the Liverpool Lantern Company was helping the visitors to make 2D fish. This was very popular as the visitors loved being able to make something and then take it away with them. With some visitors returning a few times, to make a Mummy, Daddy and Baby fish.

Barry Worrall was also there to assist visitors with drawing and collage. We wanted the visitors to take in their surroundings and create some images of the area we where in. This was really successful and the final images we got where so successful they are now showing in an exhibition in Halewood.

To keep with the theme of bees, Karen Edwards (the lovely artist who gave us a tour of The Bridewell... see previous blog post) came up with a 3D beehive that everybody could get involved with. The visitors where asked to get involved and decorate the individual panels of the beehive. It was really enjoyable and we had people from 2 up to 85 getting involved. The pieces where then put together the week after in the Junior Artists Club.

Overall the day was a huge success! It was great being able to get involved in the whole process from start to finish. Working alongside Carole and all of the artists has taught me so much about how to plan events and being able to do something within the local community was great. The feedback forms for the day where great, and we got 100% positive feedback. I'm looking forward to the Big Draw 2011 next!

Huge post so thank you if you are still reading and thank you so much to Ian Edwards who provided amazing photos from the day, I was going to take some myself but got that into all the activities didn't get the chance.

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