Funded by Hastings Borough Council, Jerwood Gallery has been working with five local primary schools on a series of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Maths) workshops.
Linked with the marine environment, fishing fleet and recycling, this series of workshops was designed to inspire, motivate, build confidence, develop skills and enable young people to achieve their full potential, and become active and responsible adults.
The project enabled children to experience working with a variety of local artist educators, such as Leigh Dyer and Peter Quinnell. The children went out on the beach, learnt to tie fishing knots, were introduced to metal working techniques, did rusting experiments and made life-size sculptures, which will be shown at a celebration event and final exhibition on Wednesday 15 March at Jerwood Gallery.
“This has been an excellent project for children in Hastings. Children from five local primary schools; Castledown, Christ Church, Ark Little Ridge Primary Academy, Ark Blacklands Primary Academy and Rye Community Primary have taken part,” said Cllr Dawn Poole, the council’s lead member for regeneration and culture.
She added: “The three workshops gave children the opportunity to work on several projects alongside the artists. They learned about how materials are used, where they come from, whether they are recyclable or not and if they are hazardous to the environment. Our thanks must go to all that have helped with these workshops, especially the local fishermen – Paul, Mark and Bud.”
Kate Giles, marketing and communications manager at Jerwood Gallery, said: “These sessions had such a lovely, vibrant atmosphere, with real enthusiasm from the children involved, and from the adults too. It was wonderful to connect with the fishing community, who are our neighbours, and with such talented and prominent local artists. We hope to be able to offer more of this sort of session in the future.”
Tina Kearney, one of the teachers involved, said: “The children were sharing ideas, respecting each other’s ideas, helping each other, interacting with children from other schools, solving problems and gaining practical experience. They also got out onto the beach, which some children don’t get the chance to do. They were absolutely buzzing when they got back to school.”