The Grundy Art Gallery has invited local schools to participate in producing art works to coincide with this year’s Showzam! (14 to 18 February). All the schools which took part produced some amazing art work to a circus theme including some very colourful and imaginative clown faces and depictions of other circus characters. More than 750 children, from across the Fylde Coast’s schools, have taken part in this extraordinary show, creating a platform for their artistic creativity.
Liverpool-based artist Kevin Hunt visited the Grundy after the initial opening to present a workshop for the children to produce further work with the same theme and this work is also being exhibited in one of the galleries within the Grundy. The aim of the workshop was to allow the children to produce works of art which would eventually hang in the gallery where leading contemporary artists have previously had their work so it is a fantastic opportunity.
Kevin Hunt posed the question, “How can we make an object disappear?” to the children and they came up with a range of inventive answers in the form of art works. Some examples of the ideas were: white cups placed in front of white walls, sculptures hidden under silver tin foil, drawings erased to leave a shadow of the original image, and paintings on chopping boards (to emulate an artist’s palette) which were then painted over in black, revealing only a flick, or spot of colour. The chopping boards are now placed evenly on the back wall of the gallery space. Other works which are also on display are water drawings in which the water has evaporated, leaving only a faint trace of something more viscous to permeate the card it was drawn onto, leaving only a suggestion of the original image.
By working in the way the artist suggested to the children, it was not just the finished pieces which hold importance. Just as vital are the process and the artistic journey that are undertaken to arrive at the solution.
The works on display are mostly abstract and have mark-making qualities which reminded of those made by acclaimed artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Arshile Gorky, and especially Cy Twombly. Instead of being made in more saturated colours, however, these works by the children are in quite muted, natural shades, and are most delicate. The media used for these pictures was watercolour and ink on wood, for the chopping board pieces. The water marks on cardboard are called ‘Secret Water Drawings’ and the process was made by erasing and washing layers out. Other pieces are ‘Disappearing Sculptures’, which is paper, and ‘Out of Sight’, achieved using erasers.
The show is exhibited from 2 to 21 February.
Images from Grundy Facebook page.
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