For the second time, Curated Place were commissioned to deliver a school’s outreach aspect of SPECTRA Festival by designing a series of workshops for P6/7 children from a wide variety of schools across the city. Our brief was to combine art, design and maths, and to tie into the Curriculum for Excellence. Participants were to create a piece of work to add to an installation to be exhibited at Spectra festival of light that would be of a quality to stand up as a legitimate mass participation artwork rather than a token community project. Individual works were designed to be returned to the individual children at the end of the project ensuring participants were able to feel proud of their involvement, developing their family and friends as audiences of the event, and having a souvenir of their involvement.
Our response was to use parabolic string art to create a geometric colour landscape to electrify the main festival site on the cold February evenings of the festival. Participatory artists Hannah Ayre and Amanda Yates used geodesic wooden and Perspex structures, hundreds of metres of fluorescent yarn and the landscape of the gardens to create an effervescent visual feast. The work was created by 400 children through 10 different schools throughout Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire in a series of workshops led by Curated Place’s outreach and education team. Through the workshops we taught children the principles of string art and the mathematics of the parabola before providing them with a series of practice templates and a black Perspex final piece to create their own geometric forms. These were then displayed within a UV environment in the festival as part of a sculpture created as a group.
In addition to 9 mainstream classes we also delivered workshops for a visually impaired group, an English as an Addition Language group and for a Children’s Centre. We successfully redesigned the workshops to meet the needs of these groups. For example, using our laser cutter to create 3D worksheets for the visually impaired group. During the planning stages of the project we also delivered a CPD course for teachers to ensure the learning objectives were carried through into their lessons.