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Stoke Damerel Community College

Year 9 and 10 Students take part in 4 day Art Extravaganza

Year 9 and 10 students were recently presented with an incredible opportunity - a four-day art extravaganza that took them on a captivating journey through various locations.

From local trips in Plymouth to venturing further afield in London, this experience was an integral part of their curriculum course, designed to enhance their learning and expand their understanding of different art forms.

The project was offered to current and future GCSE art students. The aim of the Design Lab Nation project is for students:

  • To be more interested in pursuing a career in the creative industries
  • To be more interested in studying a creative subject at school or beyond
  • To be more confident in their art and design skills, and develop 21st century skills (creative thinking, critical thinking, and collaboration) essential for future workplaces
  • To have a better understanding about design, and how to access collections and industries at a local and national level
  • To gain a sense of place, understand their regional design network, and to see the purpose of design in their local area.

On Monday, a group of 22 students from years 9 and 10 visited The Box, where they were tasked with a design brief focusing on repurposing and finding alternative uses for the abundance of abandoned yachts, boats, kayaks, and other vessels found along the UK coast. The day began with a private tour of The Box, followed by engaging activities such as observational drawing and construction exercises.

The artistic journey continued on Tuesday, as the students embarked on a trip to The V&A museum in London. Despite the early departure from SDCC at 5:30 am, the students' excitement was palpable. At The V&A, they immersed themselves in design-related galleries, participating in guided tours and engaging in drawing activities. The afternoon was dedicated to construction and sculpture exercises, allowing the students to apply their creativity in a hands-on manner. Exhausted but inspired, they returned to SDCC, enriched by their exposure to the vibrant art scene in the capital city.

The following Friday, the students returned to The Box, eager to further explore their artistic abilities. In the morning, they delved into various 3D construction techniques through a sculpture exercise inspired by Richard Serra's work. In the afternoon, they collaborated in small groups of two or three, designing their final concepts for repurposing abandoned ships and boats. The day was marked by intense creativity and enthusiasm.

The culmination of this art extravaganza took place on the following Monday, as the students spent the entire day bringing their final designs to life using recycled materials. The day was filled with excitement and anticipation, culminating in a presentation of each sculpture at the end of the day. The students' dedication and commitment to their projects were evident, with some even sacrificing their breaks to ensure the completion of their artwork.

For their participation in this extraordinary project, the students received certificates, acknowledging their commitment to the journey of exploration and creativity. The experience left a profound impact on those who completed all four sessions, with many expressing their genuine enjoyment and satisfaction throughout the process.

The art extravaganza not only provided a unique platform for the students to expand their artistic skills but also fostered a deeper appreciation for the possibilities of repurposing and creativity. The hands-on activities, visits to renowned museums, and exposure to real-life construction sites allowed the students to witness the intersection of art and industry, inspiring them to think outside the box and find innovative solutions.

Congratulations to all the students who took part in this remarkable journey. Their passion, hard work, and dedication have not only created lasting memories but have also enhanced their understanding of art and its potential to transform the world around us. The art extravaganza exemplifies the power of experiential learning, reinforcing the importance of providing students with opportunities to explore and express their creativity.