A new painting created by children has been unveiled to mark the first anniversary of Worcestershire Children First.
The artwork reflects the company’s core values, and has been produced by local artist Megan Evans in collaboration with children across Worcestershire.
Under Megan’s artistic direction, children produced a series of collagraph prints using items of litter that had been collected from around the county.
The artwork features a combination of collagraph printmaking and painting, and features a print from every child who took part. The prints have been collaged into the final artwork and labelled with participants' names.
Collaborating on the project were children from:
Who Cares We Care, Worcestershire’s Children in Care Council
Franche Community Primary School, Kidderminster
Alvechurch C of E Middle School
The Chantry School, Martley
Prince Henry’s High School, Evesham
The Forge Secondary Short Stay School, Redditch
Chadsgrove School, Bromsgrove
Megan said: “It has been a pleasure to work with children from such a variety of settings. Children have been involved at each stage of the artwork's journey - from discussions around the original visuals, to reshaping the concepts to reflect their own perspectives. As well as participating in the consultation stage, they have taken part in litter picking (removing around 600 items from around the county!) and learnt new skills in printmaking. The final artwork is a true celebration of children, collaboration, and keeping the environment at the forefront of our minds."
Chair of Worcestershire Children First, Rob Morrison said: “I am honoured to be able to unveil this new artwork and impressed with the artistic skills displayed by the children who have collaborated on this artwork.”
The artwork was virtually unveiled by Rob Morrison at the Annual General Meeting of Worcestershire Children First on Thursday 1 October.
Ewyas Harold Primary School
This collaborative piece of Artwork has been made using litter collected from rural Herefordshire. Children of Ewyas Harold Primary School learnt the process of ‘collagraph printmaking’ with Megan Evans, using items of litter to create the colours and textures that have formed a giant world map, now exhibited in the school hall.
The materials used were collected from the local countryside and roadsides by Megan. The litter was washed and dried before use, then the children applied ink to the surface of the items using sponges and fingertips. The excess ink was rubbed away using tissue paper, and the children then washed their hands before preparing their paper. The children learnt to soak, towel and blot their paper, then place it onto the print press. They placed their inky items of litter onto the paper then layered newsprint, felt and vinyl on top. They then sent their litter through the hand operated roller press by turning the handle. Finally, they could pull back the layers to reveal their textured coloured print. Day 1 of workshops on Monday 21st October saw eleven groups of children all working in blues, purple turquoises and greens to make up the sea. Day 2 of workshops on Tuesday 22nd October saw 9 groups of children all working in browns, oranges, greens and yellows to make up the land.
Under the pressure of the press, the children were able to send through a variety of materials they had collected from rural Herefordshire, including wrappers, juice cartons, plastic bottles and yoghurt pots. Whilst printing, the children also talked about what they thought of litter: How do we feel about it? Why it is dropped? What we can do about it?
Over the course of 2 days, Ewyas Harold Primary School students produced over 150 litter collgaraph prints, which Megan then arranged into one big world map. The final piece is 4ft x 8ft, mounted on a 3mm ply and displayed in the centre of the school, complete with names of all the children who helped create it.
This project removed around 500 items of Litter from the natural environment, engaging students from every year group in the process and giving them a new experience of printmaking. At the end of the project the items of Litter were disposed of and recycled where possible, helping to reduce the volumes of synthetic and manmade materials around around rural Herefordshire.
Brockhampton Primary School
'School Portrait' Project
Children of Brockhampton Primary School learnt the process of ‘collagraph’ printmaking with Megan Evans, using items of litter to create the colours and textures found in their school building. The materials used were from litter collections completed around the local countryside by Megan, and litter collected by each class in Brockhampton from around the school grounds.
The litter was washed and dried before use, then the children applied ink to the surface of the items using their fingertips. The excess ink was rubbed away using tissue paper, and the children then washed their hands before preparing their paper. The children learnt to soak, towel and blot their paper, then place it onto the print press. They placed their inky items onto the paper then layered newsprint, the print press blanket and vinyl on top. They then sent their Litter through the hand operated roller press by turning the handle. Finally, they could pull back the layers to reveal their textured coloured print. Megan then arranged their prints into one big Brockhampton School.
Under the pressure of the press, the children were able to send through a variety of materials they had collected from the school grounds, including wrappers, juice cartons, plastic bottles and yoghurt pots. Whilst printing, the children also talked about what they thought of Litter: How do we feel about it? Why it is dropped? What we can do about it?
Brockhampton Primary School
This was a wonderful project combining natural woodland materials with mixed commercial and industrial waste (intercepted from landfill by Worcester Resource Exchange) and litter collected from the surrounding area. The whacky self portraits went brilliantly with the school's new 'Secret Build' - a Crooked House, revealed on June 8th 2018.