Harrow Way Community School has been inspired to initiate a Big Draw Celebration as part of the National Big Draw, the world’s largest drawing festival. Students from all years participated in at least one of the two simultaneously run events which challenged them to try something new and be creative.
A beautiful eight metre drawing is the result of a week-long project led by Art Teacher Jenny Gibbs who explains: “We encouraged the students to attempt something different so they drew with paint, they drew with rollers, they drew with tea and even with sand. They used coloured pencils to add detail and they used printing ink to add texture to the drawing. Whatever they drew and however they drew it, one thing was common, they were asked to draw on one very long piece of reclaimed card and they had to work collaboratively to make the piece flow.”
This collaborative artwork saw students communicating, discussing ideas, improving their peers’ drawings and those made by teachers and other staff according to their understanding of what it should look like.
“As usual, the youngest were the bravest!” comments Jenny Gibbs, “They were not shy to come and ask to take part in the project. Devoted to their work they kept coming every day and were resilient to any difficulties. Some had to draw on their tiptoes to be able to reach; others had to draw while looking at the work upside down.”
The students’ enthusiasm proved contagious and more students and staff joined in. Trees, lakes, birds and bees started to cover the landscape drawing. Seasons emerged and with them a snowman and the reindeer appeared. The night fell and the stars shone in the sky. The picture is described as a fairy tale which materialised throughout the week. The completed artwork is now very proudly displayed in the school’s auditorium.
Harrow Way’s Big Draw Celebration also included a more architectural inspired initiative. For only 15 minutes students drew their houses; real, dream or a combination of both, to re-create the streets surrounding the school. As the object of their drawing was so familiar and personal to them, many students chose to use unconventional media for their drawing. Some drew with sand and glue, while others used felt tip pen and added water. They drew onto coloured paper, lined paper, squared paper and any other type of paper available. Some students produced small and delicate drawings, while others took the stand and created large and dominant pieces of art work. The result was a display of over 50 metres which Jenny has described as “stunning.”
The Campaign for Drawing promotes drawing as a tool for thinking, inventing and communicating. The Big Draw is an annual celebration of the power of drawing how it nurtures creativity, developing the imagination and power of invention. Drawing is also a transferable skill with great opportunities for cross curricular developments.
Harrow Way is a holder of the prestigious Artsmark Gold award in recognition of the school’s commitment to, and excellence in, arts education.
For more information on Harrow Way Community School, please call 01264 364533 or visit www.harroway.hants.sch.uk. Visits to the school by appointment are always welcome.