Connecting with local history for art projectPosted: 17th November 2020
An international art project saw our young people connect with London’s history.
Year 10 students from Royal Docks Academy took part in Rivers of the World, a project by the British Council teaching through environmental, economic and cultural themes.
Through the Thames Festival Trust, schools and artists from around the world came together to create art about the rivers they love.
Royal Docks students took part in workshops and engaged with artist Shona Watt over video call to look at the importance of the tin foil industry into North Woolwich Road, Silvertown, in 1910.
The factory concentrated on metal foils which were used to package tinned fruit and vegetables.
Artist Shona used the material of aluminium foils to introduce students to a metal embossing technique.
Identifying fruits and vegetables still packaged in the same way, they drew detailed textured studies into the aluminium foils, before cutting out the shapes and lacquering them with coloured enamel paints.
The finished artwork, in the form of flag banners and boards was put on exhibition outside the Tate Modern in September and will be exhibited in Sudan.
John O'Donnell, creative arts faculty leader, said: “The creative process was a welcome experience and in contrast to the feeling of isolation. The students were engaged and very productive in producing sustained embossed drawings. Each day, they built upon the momentum of the previous workshop, culminating in a richly decorative banner, which could be viewed outside the Tate Modern.
“Out of adversity can come great creativity. Frida Kahlo painted masterpieces while suffering from a broken heart. Royal Docks students have embossed foils to light up the Southbank while experiencing a pandemic”