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2015 - 2016

COMPLEMENTARY EDUCATION WORKSHOPS Over the course of the 2015-2016 academic year, 18 Key Stage 3 students from The CE Academy attended a total of 77 artist led workshops with Fermynwoods Contemporary Art. The CE Academy provides alternative education for young people who are permanently excluded from school, dual registered and for school age mothers. This year 24 different national and international artists worked with the students, resulting in 12 Arts Award Discover qualifications, 1 Arts Award Explore qualification, and 5 Arts Award Bronze qualifications (QCF equivalent of a passing grade at GCSE level). In addition, 6 of these students had work exhibited at the Youth Open 16 exhibition at Alfred East Gallery, Kettering, including first and third prize in their age group. To be an artist is often to be an outsider, and now in our eighth year, we have watched how young people who have been excluded find it easier to establish a rapport with our artists. They have an ability to connect with young people partly because they are not mainstream, but primarily because they have a passion for their practice that engages, enthuses and in many cases ignites in young people a desire to learn that has lain dormant for a long time.

SUDBOROUGH GREEN LODGE All the workshops take place at our outreach venue and surrounding woodland of Sudborough Green Lodge, two miles within Fermyn Woods. The former hunter’s lodge sits in the largest and richest biodiversity grassland in Northamptonshire, with medieval ridge and furrow ploughing. The surrounding meadow is a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to the diversity of its flora species. Sometimes there are sheep in the fields and the nearby habitat hosts rare wildlife including the Red Kite, Hobby and Siskin birds; rare butterflies such as the Purple Emperor and White Admiral; the great-crested and smooth newt; Natterer’s Pipistrelle and Long-eared bats; as well as foxes, badgers and two species of deer.

“I kind of feel like I’m in paradise.” Charley-Jay, 13

COOKING + CAMERAS Kate Dyer and Lorraine Dziarkowska - September 2015 As an introduction to the woods, Kate Dyer and Lorraine Dziarkowska from Corby Community Arts worked with students exploring Fermyn Woods through digital photography. Students documented their time with us by using a variety of cameras, lenses and techniques, before producing high quality photo books using desktop publishing software, as well as being introduced to darkroom photography in our converted outbuilding. In addition to the photographic work, students collected, prepared, cooked and shared their own food, such as blackberry and apple crumbles and fresh chutneys. Students also enjoyed making and eating homemade soup, gathering around communal fires, as well as reviewing each other’s work with weekly slideshow presentations. Corby Community Arts was established in 1979 and aim to encourage self confidence, communication and joy by the promotion of and participation in the arts.

WOODCRAFT Liam Hadjipetrou - September - October 2015 Artist and Educator Liam Hadjipetrou introduced the students to techniques of wood carving, first by collecting leaves and natural materials from around the site, before drawing and mark-making with different materials such as conker sap. Students transferred designs to planed sheets of wood, using varying chisels for cutting and mark making, fixing the wood to log boards and experimenting with wood burning tools to embellish their designs. Liam is an artist and former teacher specialising in sculpture, experimenting with materials in a playful way. He works mainly with wood but also with stone, willow, clay and wool.

“We used a soldering iron and pieces of wood to make patterns. On mine I wrote ‘Tyler and Devon’ because I didn’t like them at the time because they got me kicked out of school. Then we put it in the fire which helped my anger.” Craig, 12

FELTING Clare Bullock - October 2015 Clare Bullock introduced students to a variety of Felt making processes. Students created bird feeders from organic felt naturally coloured by a variety of breeds of sheep. After adding perches made from discarded twigs, the feeders were hung at the gardens of Sudborough Green Lodge. Over the course of the year, birds used the natural material to make nests with. Clare shared examples of her own work using more complicated methods such as nuno felting and stitching into felted designs. Students also collected paraphernalia from the grounds at Sudborough Green Lodge which was used to stain fabric in unpredictable patterns. Clare is a felt maker based in Ivy Lodge studio in Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire.

INFLATABLE SCULPTURE Sophie Cullinan - October 2015 Sophie Cullinan (also one of our Education Coordinators) is an artist who creates interactive, participatory and performative works often using mundane and domestic ephemera as experimentations in control. Sophie worked with students to explore developments in her own practice, creating a variety of inflatable sculptures from different materials. Describing herself as a subliminal Superhero and a maker of abject objects, Sophie’s workshops proved to be particularly enjoyable, with one student filming an interview with Sophie as his Arts Hero for his Arts Award qualification.

“Because Sophie let me use my imagination I was allowed to lead part of the workshop by showing others how to make an inflatable sculpture. I think that experimentation is the whole point of art.” Alex, 12

BOOK MAKING Phiona Richards - November 2015 Paper Artist and Book Sculptor Phiona Richards worked with students to create their own handmade sketchbooks, which were used as logs for their Arts Award qualifications. Students used sewing machines, hand stitching and other decorative techniques to make their books. Because they had invested heavily in making them we found that many students were more comfortable in using their books to write in. Phiona works predominantly with traditional papercrafts such as origami and paper filigree, incorporating a variety of needlework skills. Having been brought up with a ‘make do and mend’ mentality she collects and gathers materials including books near the end of their existence, regenerating them into pleasing tactile structures. Phiona was an award winner in the Specialist Media category 2013 from the Craft & Design Selected Awards, a UK Hand Knitting Association Graduate prize finalist, and appeared on Kirstie Allsop’s Handmade Britain television series.

“I am realising that I enjoy technical processes and I am good at it.” Maisie, 13

FIGURES IN THE LANDSCAPE Clare Abbatt - December 2015 Students worked with sculptor Clare Abbatt to explore ideas around figurative sculptures in the landscape. Following a short discussion about artists and examples in this context, students created their own life sized sculptures using simple materials and measuring devices. Students then installed the resulting figures in different locations within Fermyn Woods to understand how figures and landscapes can interact with one another. After an interest in the Burning Man gathering, students then carefully set their sculptures alight, igniting their imaginations and documenting the process through photography. Clare’s workshops explore both her own practice and that of other artists past and present, incorporating unexpected tangents to memorably and enjoyably shift preconceptions.

ANIMATION Nita Nathwani - January 2016 Students worked with one of our Education Coordinators, Nita Nathwani, on a workshop exploring a variety of stop motion animation techniques. Students created animations using wire and paper figures with jointed limbs, experimenting with different frame rates and camera angles. Students then developed the animations into animated GIFs. Nita is also an accomplished ceramic artist who throws pots, makes wired ceramic sculptures, paper clay framed abstracts, kirigami plaques and nightlights inspired especially by sea life, sculpted textiles and the built environment. These sensibilities were then applied to making animations using clay figures.

DWELLINGS Emma Davies - January 2016 For these series of workshops, artist Emma Davies, who is also one of our Education Coordinators, turned Sudborough Green Lodge into a mini exhibition area featuring some of her recent and in-progress work. This included a cardboard plan for a skyscraper and paintings of buildings, hidden behind inciting but ambiguously labelled doors. Students then created their own dwellings to exhibit using recycled materials and dolls house accessories, which were later photographed to give the illusion of scale. Emma is motivated by the power of experience and communicating this to an audience. These experiences can range from an intense engagement with a novel, architecture, the natural and urban environments, cultural, social and personal moments, events and issues.

GENERATIVE GLYPH DESIGN Sam Read - January - February 2016 Sam Read is a multi-disciplinary visual artist whose workshops focused on glyphs, symbolism and data. Students were taught to harvest and distil information from procedures such as typographic reduction and physical exercise, creating numbers from heart rates or symbols from their own secretive codes. The information from these processes was then digitised to produce original glyphs. These shapes were then imported to an open source package for data visualisation and manipulated and animated using generative coding software, often with spectacular results. Through using their own data, codes and secret wishes, students invested heavily into the workshops, progressing up a steep learning curve without realising it.

“A glyph is like a logo with letters.� Maisie, 13

DJING + MUSIC PRODUCTION Daniel Johnson - February 2016 Students worked with Daniel Johnson of In Music In Media to learn new skills in DJing and Music Production, at the unusual DJing location of Sudborough Green Lodge. Students created both their own DJ sets and tracks with Daniel, which were performed to the rest of the group. Daniel himself performs under the moniker ‘Hussla D’ as a DJ and producer, and has worked with many of the young people’s musical heroes. His music shows an influence from Jamaican music, reggae music, dancehall reggae, lovers rock reggae, hip hop music, old school hip hop, and RnB, with traits of mainstream British artists reflecting his environment. Needless to say he is very popular with students. Daniel’s focus on music and media is intended to offer alternative methods to engage young people in learning and development, empowering those who may struggle in certain academic subjects but have a passion and talent in music, media and the arts.

DRAWING + ANIMATION Simon Woolham - March 2016 One half of sound and vision project M4SK 22, and one of Fermynwoods Contemporary Art’s Associate Artists, Simon Woolham is an artist whose work is concerned with spaces and the narratives that unfold within them. Students worked with Simon to create their own narratives by exploring Sudborough Green Lodge. By taking rubbings from a multitude of surfaces, students assembled a collection of textured drawing materials. These were then assembled into a wall drawing that was later animated using stop motion animation. Through this process the familiar surroundings of Sudborough Green Lodge became a journey to Mars.

“I liked being in charge of decisions. I also really liked the imaginative part. I think I have a good imagination. I don’t really know what it means when I see certain art but with my imagination I can make certain art look like things I like and hate.” Alex, 12

OCCUPY FERMYNWOODS Melanie Culter - March 2016 Students worked with artist Melanie Culter, whose work also crosses over into activism. Students learned about other artist-activists and grass roots movements before ‘Occupying Fermynwoods’ for the afternoon. Students pitched a tent at the grounds of Sudborough Green Lodge complete with protest banners reflecting their own concerns. After visiting a group exhibition at NN Contemporary Art with us last year, students were asked the question, “Which of these artists would you like to lead a workshop at Fermynwoods?” Melanie was the answer.

EXPERIMENTAL SCULPTURE Louise Clarke - April 2016 Artist Louise Clarke encouraged students to take a playful and experimental approach to mould making, using plaster to create small objects and sculptural forms. The emphasis was upon discovery through making rather than designing an outcome. By deliberately working with materials from the beginning, rather by planning and designing, students learned to challenge and question through manual dexterity. Each unique mould revealed a surprise plaster cast form more akin to a 3D sketch. Louise has co-curated and programmed public art events through the Big Draw campaign since 2000 and worked with institutions such as the British Museum, The Natural History Museum and the V&A. Louise maintains an international profile through various international gallery programmes, including a drawing symposium in Slovakia and British Council supported projects in Russia, Ecuador and Libya. Louise explained her work to students as stemming from childhood memories and thoughts about shadows.

INVISIBLE BRITAIN Paul Sng - April 2016 As part of his UK Q&A Tour, Film Director Paul Sng shared his recent documentary ‘Invisible Britain’ with students. “The film follows British band Sleaford Mods on a tour of the UK in the run up to the 2015 General Election, visiting the neglected, broken down and boarded up parts of the country that many would prefer to ignore. Part band doc, part look at the state of the nation, the documentary features individuals and communities attempting to find hope among the ruins, against a blistering soundtrack by Sleaford Mods”. Either intrigued or indifferent about the music, many of the students identified with areas and causes in their own neighbourhoods that were similar to those focused on in the film. Afterwards Paul explained the process of film making with students, aiming to show that they could have their own voices, and ways in which their voices might be heard.

“When Paul told us about all of the jobs there are in making a film I thought if I was making my own film I would like to be the cameraman best.” Henry, 14

PRINTMAKING 1 Liz Lake - May 2016 Artist Liz Lake introduced students to a variety of print making methods, from monoprinting with a table top press, to screen printing on the lawn at Sudborough Green Lodge. Following Liz’ experimental approach they each created their own characteristic series of works, developing new processes from the initial methods. Liz Lake graduated from the Royal Collage of Art in 2013. Taking a very tactile approach, Liz uses ceramics, printmaking and drawing to explore how substances change state, and how objects are built up or broken down.

PRINTMAKING 2 Susie Turner - May 2016 Printmaker Susie Turner worked with students to create more innovative printmaking possibilities. Students were encouraged to explore the mark making potential of found materials using a variety of monoprinting techniques and a table top printing press. Susie’s work focuses on the natural environment and elements connected with life, movement, and change. Particularly interested in the impermanence of natural processes and the idea that nothing is static or fixed in time.

TACTILE TEXTILES Katie Lewis - May 2016 Textile artist Katie Lewis’ practice is concerned with why we have desires to touch or react towards something unexpected in a certain environment, and uses textiles, words and statements to draw our curiosity. Katie helped students to elaborate on the printmaking techniques they had developed over previous weeks by incorporating textiles and stitching. Students also used an old typewriter to introduce words and stories into their pieces. The tactile nature of the workshops helped students to express themselves in ways that more traditional methods of writing can prevent them from doing.

“It’s like an old fashioned way of texting.” Lewis, 14

PHOTOGRAPHY James Smith - June 2016 Photographer James Smith worked with students suggesting that photography can be considered as a language, explaining “there are no letters or numbers but you learn to read it”. James also shared his own practice of photographing ageing post war towns, which students were able to identify with as many were in their locality such as Corby or Wellingborough. Students then explored how SLR cameras operate, together with a demonstration of James’ Large Format camera. Students then put these skills in to practice, concentrating on creating photographic compositions, photographing at oblique angles and using light meters to correctly set the exposure.

“I like taking photographs. It makes me feel calm.” Ben, 11

GRAPHITE Diogo Pimentão - June 2016 Following his recent solo exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Portuguese artist Diogo Pimentão introduced students to his unconventional approach to drawing, opening up its horizons to a mobile, sculptural level. Students explored a variety of graphite forms, from water soluble graphite, to preprocessed lumps straight from a Portuguese factory. Traces of students’ finger prints were left on large sized paper aeroplanes as the graphite was used in the process of folding the planes and flying them in the grounds of Sudborough Green Lodge. Students later created ‘perfect’ drawings of spheres by changing the drawing process from the visible to the motion of their bodies, shaking containers of discarded pencil leads upon the surface of the paper. To help achieve his Arts Award Bronze qualification, one student researched Diogo online, before preparing a series of questions for him. The same student also created his own artwork inspired by working with Diogo, which later won first prize at the Youth Open 16 exhibition at Alfred East Gallery, Kettering.

INK + ELECTRICITY Mark Dixon - July 2016 Artist Mark Dixon has been exploring the use of electricity to make drawings in his own practice. Mark widened this exploration with students from The CE Academy to incorporate conductive ink. Coupled with MIT Media Lab’s Makey Makey devices (invention kits for the 21st century) as a kinaesthetic method of interacting with computers, students built and performed with their own musical instruments, using conductive ink, cardboard, even buckets of water, as controllers. During 1970’s Mark Dixon worked in archaeology on sites from Hull, to Yorkshire, to Lincolnshire, to Essex and Suffolk. After founding and running a Screenprinting company in Suffolk, Mark studied Fine Art Sculpture at Norwich School of Art.

THE SPACE PROGRAMME Clare Abbatt and Chris Hillcox - July 2016 Students worked with sculptor Clare Abbatt and near space photographer Chris Hillcox on an exciting end of term project that culminated in launching their sculptures 90,000ft to the edge of the earth's atmosphere, literally expanding their horizons in a Northamptonshire first. Clare helped students learn about space travel and aerial photography before a short quiz where students produced answers based on their new knowledge as evidence for their Arts Award portfolios. This informed the design of individual sculptures where students created avatars that were representative of how they might wish to be viewed as representatives of earth. Sculpted from the earth using clay, once fired the sculptures were painted in thermochromic paint which would produce vivid changes in colour as the sculptures travelled through temperatures as low as -50°C. The following session saw Chris Hillcox arrive with two large canisters of helium, a huge balloon, various types of locative technology and a camera, all fixed to a rig to which the sculptures were attached. After seeking permission from the Civil Aviation Authority and conversations with local airfields, the students launched the payload from Sudborough Green Lodge, rapidly disappearing into the clouds, where the students were able to track the ascent and descent of the sculptures online. Once the sculptures had been found after landing in a field in the East of England, the students were reunited with their work which they proudly took home. We were all stunned at the footage we recovered from the onboard camera.

THE SPACE PROGRAMME LIVE STREAMING Martin Steed - July 2016 Students worked with cameraman Martin Steed to film and live stream the entire Space Programme launch, live and online to the world. This included interviewing Chris Hillcox using green screen compositing so they appeared to be presenting in front of the earth from space. Students communicated with Martin using radio headsets to establish camera angles and shots which were live-edited together seamlessly. Inspired by the possibilities of Martin’s equipment, one student interviewed him for his Arts Hero section of his Arts Award qualification.

“A brilliant project - a great example of what Fermynwoods does so well.” Morag Ballantyne, Consultant in the arts and creative industries

YOUTH OPEN 16 9 April - 14 May 2016 Six students from The CE Academy were selected for the Youth Open 16 at Kettering's Alfred East Art Gallery, with art work created during these workshops. One student has won first prize in the 12-15 Years category, with another student in the same category being Commended and awarded a Tutored Photography Studio Session.

“There were gasps of admiration from the judges when selecting the work.� Katie Boyce, Gallery Officer, Kettering Museum and Art Gallery

VISITING EXHIBITIONS NN Contemporary Art and Alfred East Art Gallery - April 2016 To achieve Arts Award Bronze level qualifications, students are required to demonstrate their attendance at one or more arts events and to reflect and discuss their thoughts about them. As part of our provision we took students to visit the Open 16 and Youth Open 16 at Alfred East Art Gallery in Kettering, where some had their own work on show, in addition to visiting the current exhibitions at NN Contemporary Art. Students voted for their favourite works, documented their visit, including meeting artists and exploring their studios, before reflecting upon it in their Arts Award Logs.

“In the Project Space at NN, there were some artists doing Spray Painting. We could watch them work. I like spray painting because it is free – it is instant. I like things that are instant and have expression as well as something that is neat and designed. I don’t like all art styles but I like expressive arts and design. I can appreciate the difference.” Alex, 12

INSET WEEKEND James Smith and Susie Turner - June 2016 Staff from The CE Academy spent an INSET training weekend with us at Sudborough Green Lodge, learning new skills from photographer James Smith and printmaker Susie Turner. James shared his practice with staff, and how their students had been able to relate to it, before giving a masterclass in photography. Staff used James’ large format cameras to establish basic photographic principles and learnt how to set exposure levels by adjusting aperture sizes, shutter speeds and different types of film. This was then translated into using their own cameras and discussed how students might benefit from using simple equipment such as light meters. The following day Susie offered a wide array of printmaking techniques using materials gathered in the grounds of Sudborough Green Lodge, such as monoprinting, drypoint, and chine-collÊ (which allows the printmaker to print on more delicate surfaces, such as Japanese paper or linen).

UNIVERSITY STUDENTS January - June 2016 Our Education Officer James Steventon gave a lecture to students on University of Northampton’s BA (Hons) Special Educational Needs and Inclusion degree, looking at a range of Fermynwoods projects as case studies. After their interest was sparked by hearing of our programme with The CE Academy, two students began volunteering with us and assisting on weekly workshops. Where the university students benefitted from the experience of a live project, the young people benefitted from meeting young adults who were mature enough to set an example as role models, but young enough not to be seen as threatening or authority figures.

“Out in the woods there is a certain atmosphere present: one of creativity and the possibility to achieve” Claire Williamson, Student at University of Northampton

EVALUATION As well as weekly feedback forms for each student, all of our workshops with The CE Academy are evaluated by Fermynwoods staff using a bespoke outcome star chart which uses ten indicators to measure progress. These are reviewed on a regular and annual basis which informs the delivery of future workshops. We have found that rather than excelling on any individual measure the most successful workshops are those with a more holistic balance. Our indicators are: 1 - Took part in activity 2 - Showed curiosity in activity 3 - Worked cooperatively 4 - Behaviour towards each other 5 - Behaviour towards staff and artists 6 - Respect shown to property, equipment, materials, work produced 7 - Empathy 8 - Enjoyed activity 9 - Attendance 10- Artistic development



“I enjoyed the graphite workshop the best and all the printing ones because I like more hands on art and getting messy. Also there is a surprise element at the end as you are never quite sure how the final piece will be. With printing I also like the fact that you can produce lots of images from just one printing plate. With the graphite workshop the artist was my favourite because he used lots of different types of graphite - the art relies on more textured tonal patterns rather than solid colour.� Henry, 14



“I really enjoyed the workshop with the artist Simon Woolham. We created an animation. Simon told us how to make it and then I came up with the ideas! I like being in charge of decisions! I also really liked the imaginative part. I think I have a good imagination.� Alex, 12

ARTISTS WORKED WITH Clare Abbatt Clare Bullock Louise Clarke Sophie Cullinan Melanie Cutler Emma Davies Mark Dixon Kate Dyer Lorraine Dziarkowska Liam Hadjipetrou Chris Hillcox Daniel Johnson Liz Lake Katie Lewis Nita Nathwani Diogo PimentĂŁo Sam Read Phiona Richards James Smith Paul Sng Martin Steed James Steventon Susie Turner Simon Woolham

THIS YEAR STUDENTS HAVE LEARNT TO Animate Arrange Assemble Build Carve Celebrate Challenge Chisel Code Collage Collect Compose Conduct Connect Cook Create Decorate Develop Digitise Discuss Distil DJ Document

Draw Eat Edit Empathise Engrave Exhibit Experiment Express Felt Film Fix Fly Focus Fold Generate Identify Ignite Illustrate Imagine Inflate Ink Install Interview

Invent Launch Layer Listen Livestream Look Make Mould Occupy Photograph Place Play Prepare Present Press Print Produce Project Protest Publish Question Read Record

Reflect Relax Repurpose Respect Scorch Sculpt See Select Sequence Sew Share Sing Stitch Surprise Talk Tape Trace Transform Trust Type Visit Vote Watch


Fermynwoods & The CE Academy - 2015-16  

Over the course of the 2015-2016 academic year, 18 Key Stage 3 students from The CE Academy attended a total of 77 artist led workshops with...

Fermynwoods & The CE Academy - 2015-16  

Over the course of the 2015-2016 academic year, 18 Key Stage 3 students from The CE Academy attended a total of 77 artist led workshops with...