Collage work with Heather Fallows

For the Woodland Project, fifteen students were given the chance to work with the artist Heather Fallows. Heather specialises in mixed media work and has had a lot of experience in this area. Although we do take art lessons at school, this is a very different opportunity.

Our general theme for the project has been the Woodlands and on Monday 9 th June we were collecting and compiling materials from the woods in Lyme Regis, to help us put together a final piece.

We had been looking at text from many different poems to help our inspiration for the final piece. We had been looking at such poets as Shakespeare especially "a mid summers night dream," Dylan Thomas and Pablo Neruda.

We were creating our final piece on our own, not in a group, which helps us develop our ideas. Our particular group, working with Heather, had been using natural twine, clay, soil, hessian and different sorts of hand made paper. This helps us create a collage, not just a normal painting.

Everyone in the group had their own view of the woodland, for example, destruction of the woodland, pollution in the woods and the woods endangered habitats. So everyone's design has a personal meaning to himself or herself.

The idea for this project was to have a chance to a very different piece of artwork, and for this we have had the whole week dedicated to working on it. We have had the opportunity to let our imaginations run wild and discover different aspects of art.



Creating a Woodland Mural with artist, Ricky Romain

As part of the woodland project, that went on at Woodroffe, thirty selected students worked together with Ricky Romain, an artist, to create two large murals conjuring the images and feelings of British woodlands.

All of the thirty students that took part in this area of the project have opted to take GCSE art and this week has acted as a good foundation to their forth-coming year. The students really appreciated the opportunity to work with Ricky, who has created many paintings for example "Forest Gazing and Tree Thinking." This piece acted as great inspiration to the students as they set about creating their own masterpieces.

The groups spent some of the first day collecting ideas from the woodland and then went back to the classroom to start arranging them into ideas they could work with. They split up into two smaller groups each to produce their own mural. It took the groups till Wednesday morning to create an idea they were all in agreement with, and both paintings were beginning to look very different, as they began to put their ideas into action.

Both groups went through many ideas and plans before getting to their final piece, and they started by using inks to build up their back grounds, they then moved onto using acrylic paint and started to create the layers of the painting.

The students all agreed that they wanted to express the feelings they felt in the woods and try and recreate the experience they had had on the first day bringing this into the painting in a semi-abstract style.

It took some time for the students to learn how to create depth to their paintings but by Thursday afternoon all of them had begun to understand these new techniques. One of the main things this project has brought to the students at Woodroffe is a wider look at art, and new understandings of the varieties of style they can use.

The final result of one group presented a very figurative landscape of the woodland, which successfully captures the light and shade of deciduous woodland in Britain. The other group also used light but in this painting it created texture and a sense of the seasons. Both paintings are very different, however the students have a final piece that they are proud of.

These two paintings will be on display in the main hall at Woodroffe School for the presentation evening on Wednesday 25 th June and hopefully for along time into the future!