As Creative Agents for the Arts Council of Wales’ Lead Creative Schools Scheme, Addo have appointed four Creative Practitioners through an open selection process involving both teachers and pupils: Aberrant Architecture at Ysgol Bro Dinefwr, Laura Denning at Ysgol Glan-y-Môr, Megan Clark-Bagnall at Pembrey Primary School and CYF Creu at Ysgol Llandrillo-yn-Rhos.
Aberrant Architecture & Ysgol Bro Dinefwr
Aberrant Architecture are working with a group of fifteen Year 8 boys (aged 12–13 at Key Stage 3) at Ysgol Bro Dinefwr in Llandeilo to identify a problem/issue in their community and develop design/product solutions to it. The aim of the project is to improve pupils’ confidence and application of everyday numeracy skills through a ‘real-world’ project. At this stage the brief is relatively open to allow for Creative Practitioners to work collaboratively with the Maths & Numeracy Teacher and Design & Technology and Art Teacher and their learners to develop the project and its outcomes in more detail.
Aberrant Architecture, founded by David Chambers and Kevin Haley in 2010, is a multi-award winning collaborative studio of designers, makers and thinkers whose projects introduce new and unexpected ways of experiencing everyday life. Combining storytelling and research at the heart of their practice, Aberrant takes a playful approach to producing spatial experiences that are both meaningful and beautiful.
Aberrant Architecture’s participatory form of practice places the needs of people at the centre of the problems they address and the opportunities they create. Aberrant Architecture design interactive architecture, interiors, public art, exhibitions & installations, building close relationships with the communities in which they operate.
Aberrant Architecture has exhibited work at international architecture exhibitions at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, Gwangju Design Biennale, Sao Paulo Biennial and the Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale, and co-founded the Gopher Hole, an event space in London. Aberrant Architecture held the first architecture residency at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A); their work has been collected by the V&A and the Museum of Art in Rio de Janeiro.
Over the past four years, we have been researching relationships between curricula and the spaces of learning through our projects for Rosemary Works School in London & our research into the CIEPs [Integrated Centres for Public Education] schools in Rio de Janeiro which we have recently published in our new book called ‘Wherever There Is People’. We are really excited about the potential of working with Ysgol Bro Dinefwr and Lead Creative Schools to allow us to expand our experience and test methodologies found in our research of pedagogical and educational environments.
Aberrant Architecture, 2016
Laura Denning & Ysgol Glan-y-Môr
Artist Laura Denning is working with a group of twenty-five Year 9 pupils (girls and boys, aged 12–14 at Key Stage 3) at Ysgol Glan-y-Môr in Burry Port to identify a problem/need/issue and possible solutions using Creative Digital Media creatively to improve life for people in the community/school/town. The aim of the project is to find innovative and creative ways to help pupils develop the key skills they need for Welsh Baccalaureate (namely: numeracy, digital competency, problem solving & reasoning, research & information management and presentation & extended writing skills) through a ‘real-world’ project.
Laura trained as a painter but now works in moving image and sound, creating (sometimes silent) films and sonic drawings. Recent work has included performative live-streaming from an underwater webcam, large scale projections and immersive sound installations. Laura has recently started to explore the possibilities of augmented reality and am looking forward to learning alongside teachers and pupils at Ysgol Glan Y Mor, making initial experiments into Virtual Reality, Electric Paint (a water-based paint that conducts electricity, allowing the user to paint wires or sensors directly onto common materials such as paper, wood, plastic and glass) and beacons (hardware that uses battery-friendly, low-energy Bluetooth connections to transmit messages or prompts directly to a smartphone or tablet).
Laura’s work has been exhibited widely and she is the recipient of the Bath Spa University Research Centre for Environmental Humanities inaugural PhD Studentship. During 2017 Laura will be curating an exhibition in Budapest (Hungary) and another at Fringe Arts Bath, as well as continuing to exhibit her own work.
I am very excited to be working at Ysgol Glan Y Mor in an environment where trust and openness support a culture of collaborative and reflective practice, where experimentation and creativity thrive, and I welcome the opportunity to be part of that experience, offering pupils a professional relationship that is relaxed yet provocative, informal and mutually responsive.
Laura Denning, December 2016
Megan Clark-Bagnall & Pembrey Primary School
Artist Megan Clark-Bagnall is working with a class of 41 Year 4 pupils (girls and boys, aged 8-9 at Key Stage 2, 15 on FSM register) at Pembrey Primary School in Burry Port. Some of these pupils are disengaged with poor oracy skills and have wellbeing issues relating to their home life. Many go from school to home and back again and see very little of their locality. The aim of the project is to improve pupils’ oracy skills and wellbeing through creative and outdoor activities based around the local story of the ‘People with Little Hatchets’.
Megan has a BA Fine Art (Contemporary Practices) from Dartington College of Arts and a Masters in Contemporary Theatre from The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. Her practice involves making artworks via interactive and participatory processes by inviting audiences or select participants to involve themselves in assisting the realization and outcome of her creative concepts. Her approach is accessible, questioning, fun, humorous and often a little bit ridiculous, encompassing explorations of scale and size, the kitsch, the present day, the past (and historical references), the future and the mundane. Working in a variety of media in response to specific projects or sites, Megan creates large-scale installations, sensory experiences, almost-performances and events and happenings. Recent works include building haystacks from shredded anxiety (Bristol Biennial 2014), throwing spontaneous parties for commuters (Bristol, 2015), establishing positive letter writing stations in a National Trust property (Surrey, 2012) and turning a swimming pool into a pool table with the help of a young swimming team (residency with Crewe Council, 2012).
CYF Creu & Ysgol Llandrillo-yn-Rhos
Artist collective CYF Creu are working with two classes of Year 5 pupils (girls and boys, aged 9-10 at Key Stage 2) at Ysgol Llandrillo-yn-Rhos. The aim of the project is to look at how maths knowledge can be applied through design and technology. The school has an established Forest School and art studio. The latter is an inspiring creative space where the Lead Creative Schools project will be based. Alongside their strong interest in Forest Schools and arts, the teachers would like to further develop skills in music, D&T and applied mathematics and are keen to work with the Creative Practitioners to develop skills and resources that they may use again in the future.
CYF Creu are a group of artists, makers, working within the spaces provided by Carreg Y Fedwen Cyf, a registered social enterprise and cooperative based in Tregarth, Gwynedd. Comprising a number of artists across a diverse range of disciplines, four are working on the Lead Creative Schools Project at Ysgol Llandrillo yn Rhos:
- Stuart Bond – sonic art, cymatics, didgeridoo
- Lindsey Collbourne – kinetic installation, collaborative enquiries, drawing
- Janina Holloway – fine art sculpture
- Luke Evans – multi instrumentalist
Collectively our unique approach enables collaborative working and engaging artistic practice to uncover the secret patterns hidden all around us, in nature and physical reality. At the heart of this is an understanding that maths, geometry and physics are basic tools that can be used to describe, measure, quantify, compare and contrast these phenomena and that art is often the best way to teach these subjects. We can’t wait to work collectively and collaboratively with the pupils, the teachers and the school.
CYF Creu, 2016
More about the Lead Creative Schools Scheme
The Lead Creative Schools Scheme provides opportunities for schools to explore new and exciting creative approaches to teaching and learning across the curriculum, supporting them to address issues, important development priorities and the needs of learners. It aims to develop the creativity, aspirations and achievements of young people in Wales, opening up more opportunities for their future. It supports innovation and the development of long-term partnerships between schools and creative professionals. The Lead Creative Schools Scheme is funded by the Welsh Government and the Arts Council of Wales. Click here for more information.
The Lead Creative Schools Scheme funded by the Welsh Government and the Arts Council of Wales, matched with funding from each participating school.