Schools & Colleges
flora Schools Outreach on Tour
Oriel Davies is extending our work with schools across Wales for the first time, as artist Jacques Nimki takes our flora Outreach activities on tour with the exhibition to Carmarthen, Pwllheli and Aberystwyth. In conjunction with flora exhibitions at Oriel Myrddin, Oriel Plas Glyn y Weddw and Aberystwyth Arts Centre respectively, a grant from the Ernest Cook Trust is enabling children at a school near each venue to take part in an intensive artist-led learning project. Centred around the children’s local environment and the incidental plants to be found growing there, the project focuses on developing visual literacy, asking ‘what is art?’ and examining the differences between looking and seeing; visual illusions and art language.
In April 2016, flora toured to Oriel Plas Glyn y Weddw near Pwllheli, Jacques spent four days with teenagers with a range of learning disabilities from nearby Ysgol Hafod Lon. All the participants visited the exhibition with the artist and took part in practical workshops back at school that explored both visual literacy and active artmaking, always with wild weeds as their focus.
At Plas Glyn y Weddw, pupils investigated plants in the beautiful grounds outside the gallery and potted up weeds from around their school playground, using these as the basis for drawing, creating proposals for previously unimagined new plant forms and as inspiration for collages.
During autumn term 2015 at Johnstown Primary School, Carmarthen, Jacques Nimki spent four days with a group of Year 4 pupils who had been identified as more able and talented. Together they engaged in a stimulating series of activities that took place at school, in the gallery and outdoors on the route walked between these venues. The pupils made their journey with Jacques on foot between school and gallery, finding plants along the way such as buddleia, Japanese knotweed, blackberries, elderberries, yam-related plants, etc. and learning their stories.
At both schools, Jacques also lead an Inset training session for teachers around the ideas that inform his approach.
This Flora education outreach project is made possible through the support of the Ernest Cook Trust.
Wonderful Weeds flora Outreach Project: Jacques Nimki and Treowen School, Newtown
In June and July flora artist Jacques Nimki worked with Year 3 & 4 pupils from Treowen Primary School in Newtown, in a series of five day-long workshops relating to the Flora exhibition and to the artist’s own practice. Together they explored ideas around visual literacy, the differences between looking and seeing, and developing observational drawing skills – all in relation to the children’s local environment.
Inspired by their visits with Jacques to flora and to Owen Griffiths’ off site project across the river in Dolwerw Park, the children gathered plants, found out about their individual qualities and designed new ‘weeds’ of their own. Back at school, they learned how to use measured drawing to record their surroundings, producing an impressive series of landscape line drawings. These led into collage activities, culminating in the creation of a delicate, two metre high tissue paper wall hanging, made by all 27 children working together on their final day with the artist. These artworks formed the one-day Wonderful Weeds exhibition, shown in the park outside Oriel Davies during the busy Newtown Food Festival and visited with their families by many of the children who took part.
For more information please contact Helen Kozich, Learning Officer, Oriel Davies 01686 625041 firstname.lastname@example.org