great arts & cultural stuff to do at home

SPECIALLY SELECTED & COMMISSIONED FOR CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE IN CARE

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creative challenges

 

creative challenges

All the creative challenges we've published will be kept here for you to visit and revisit whenever you like.

14 May

 

GIVE IT A GO - street commercial dance

by Shanelle

Learn a basic dance routine to Dua Lipa's Break My Heart.

Commissioned from Shanelle Clemenson for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

GIVE IT A GO - street commercial dance

by Shanelle

Learn a more advanced routine to Dua Lipa's Break My Heart.

Commissioned from Shanelle Clemenson for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

On our career pathways page Shanelle talks about the huge variety of work she's involved with through being a freelance dance artist.

GO & LOOK Challenge

Small Worlds

You may feel that your life has got quite small since being in lockdown. At the moment we can’t go to as many places or see as many people as we used to. Artists specialise in creating tiny scenes using everyday bits and pieces with amazing results!

Artist Tatsuya Tanaka creates and photographs small scenes in everyday places using everyday objects: Click Here

Gardens in a tea cup: Click Here to look at the work of Muhaiminah Faiz.

Challenge

Create a tiny scene in a tiny place somewhere inside or outside of where you live.  Photograph the scene you create, take sevral photos from different angles. Share your work with someone else. Create a folder or album (digital or paper) of your scenes. Send your pics to us if you like - click here.

Next steps

Create an exhibition or a trail of your tiny places for people to look at, inside and outside of where you live.  Can you create a scene somewhere along a place where people walk - see if they notice it!  Create a series of scenes and film them.  Add a soundtrack to your film.  Research other artists who create mini worlds or small scenes.

7 May

 

GIVE IT A GO - drawing basics

by Jamie Neville

Jamie shows you how to draw expressive faces.

Commissioned from Jamie Neville for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

GIVE IT A GO - more advanced drawing

by Jamie Neville

Jamie gets you drawing superheroes.

Commissioned from Jamie Neville for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

How do you make a living as an illustrator. Find out from Jamie on our career pathways page

GO & LOOK Challenge

Artful Architecture

Take a look at these unusual building designs  

What do you think is important for the outside of a building and the inside?

Take a look at these amazing small spaces (YouTube clip) that have been designed carefully to look fabulous and be fun to live in.

We have some architecture activities for you to do at home from Foster and Partners – templates to build your own paper city, town, village. Click Here

Challenge

Can you design your perfect space?

  • Draw it – inside and or outside, floor plans

  • Make a model from card and paper, tin foil, or plasticine, play doh, lego, building blocks – any mixture of things you can find.

  • Create a mood board (collage) of the colours and textures you would like in your perfect space, pictures of the gadgets and accessories, the furniture and furnishings – decorations, lights, what else would you have in your perfect space….?!

Next steps

Create a location and an environment for your designed space. Where would it exist – a city? A desert? 

 

Research some contrasting architects and designers here

 

30 April

GIVE IT A GO - drumming for primary ages

by Sarah Westwood

Sarah introduces some basic West African drumming rhythms based on the 'heartbeat' pulse.

Commissioned from Sarah Westwood for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

GIVE IT A GO - drumming for secondary ages

by Sarah Westwood

Sarah introduces some basic West African drumming rhythms based on the 'heartbeat' and the Macru rhythm

Commissioned from Sarah Westwood for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

Find out more about Sarah's career as a drummer and drum teacher on our career pathways page

GO & LOOK Challenge

Being Well - Mental Health and the Arts

It can be tough to stay emotionally steady during this lock-down time.  Many people have dips and wobbly times, and it can be especially tricky at the moment.

TROUBLE IN YOUR BUBBLE? has great tips for keeping those relationships and yourself as healthy as possible during lock-down (click the image to download the pdf) - there are some useful thoughts and pointers around well-being. The resource was created created in New Zealand by an organisation which supports Pasifika culture.

You can also use arts activities to pick up your mood, distract yourself or work out your thoughts and feelings:

MUSIC – create a playlist that helps you to feel calm and relaxed or energised and positive.

DANCE – have a dance to get yourself moving. Stick on your favourite tunes and move your hands, feet, arms, body to your top tunes. Many people enjoy dancing (see here) You could turn, jump, travel from room to room in your home – enjoy! (N.B. links to YouTube and features adverts. We recommend you don't follow any links)

WRITE – Poet Joseph Coehlo reads his poem ‘Argument’ here

Write a poem, rap, a rhyme, speech, letter, scene for a play, story. 

Download a free journal template here

DRAW - colouring, doodling are all useful things to remember and use if you are struggling to stay steady.

Free colouring book by artist Johanna Basford here

The arts can be a great way of expressing feelings during difficult times

BLURT – Project Quaranzine: take part in The blurt Foundation's zine project here

 

You could create a zine (folded leaflet) and draw, write, collage your thoughts and feelings. It doesn’t have to make sense or shown to anyone else but yourself.

How to make a zine here

Download a zine template here

Helpful prompts and ideas

Challenge

Can you create a list of the top 3 arts activities that help your mood? If you wish, share them (or this page) with others - the challenge may help them too!

23 April

 

GIVE IT A GO - pottery for secondary ages

by Jon the Potter

Jon shows you how to make a coil owl from clay*, using only a plant pot, a bag and some makeshift tools.

Commissioned from Jon Williams for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

GIVE IT A GO - pottery for primary ages

by Jon the Potter

Jon shows you how to make a pear from clay* using just a pencil!

Commissioned from Jon Williams for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

* If you don't have clay, you can try it with Play-Doh or make your own. Either of the recipes below should work, depending on what you have in your cupboard, but please check with an adult before you go making a mess with their stocks!

Homemade Play Dough 1

Homemade Play Dough 2

Check out some of Jon's own ceramic work in our Gallery

GO & LOOK Challenge

Making music in extraordinary ways

Have you ever seen or heard of instruments that are made from different materials? Explore the links below and discover a whole new world of sound and music making!

Watch this short film about the amazing Landfill Orchestra in Paraguay: Landfillharmonic

Other unusual ways of making music using everyday instruments include:

STOMP Brooms

Coffee cup percussion

 

Band in one body (Bobby McFerrin)

Bucket drumming

Vegetable orchestra

Glasses and water

Blue Man Pipe Drumming

The challenge:

Have a go at creating your own rhythms and/or tunes using everyday objects and yourself!

Next steps:

Record or film your piece. Ask for other people's feedback on your piece. Can you create a group piece of music with the people you live with? Maybe start with a rhythm and see where it takes you.

 

Try creating pieces in different styles. Give your piece a title.

16 April

 

GIVE IT A GO - Matt's Big Shout Out

by Matt Windle - boxing poet laureate

Matt shows you how to create rhyming couplets. Send us your rhyming couplet via our Contact page and Matt will combine everyone's into one Big Shout Out poem!

GO & LOOK Challenge

Makeup Design & Costume - Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil is a world class performance company who combine circus, dance, drama, theatre, storytelling, visual design and performance.  Look at how the performers audition and train to get a place in one of the Cirque companies.

Behind the scenes Auditioning for Cirque du Soleil - Click Here

Costumes and make up are one of the key features and attractions of Cirque du Soleil shows.  Have a look at these films to see what goes on behind the scenes:

‘Alegria’ Make Up & Costumes - Click Here

Short interview with make up designer - Click Here

Stage make up tutorial by Cirque performer - Click Here

(there are plenty more if you search ‘Colour me Cirque’

Behind the scenes at a Cirque du Soliel show - Click Here

The challenge:

Can you design a circus costume and make up?  It could be any type of character or creature that you can imagine. Feel free download and use our template:

Next steps:

Have a look for other costume designers work in different kinds of theatre and performance. Make up artists work in daily TV studios as well as in films and stage productions that need special make up effects. Can you design accessories for a range of characters including masks, headdresses, hats, footwear, gloves, etc?

If you want to get more into costume design, you can find a great range of templates at this site. You'll need to subscribe, so make sure you have permission if you need it.

9 April

 

GIVE IT A GO - Artist Demo & Challenge 1

by Matt Windle - boxing poet laureate

Aimed at primary ages. Write your own acrostic poem using the theme and example set by Matt.

Commissioned from Matt Windle for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

GIVE IT A GO - Artist Demo Challenge 2

by Matt Windle - boxing poet laureate

Aimed at secondary ages. Write your own acrostic poem using the theme and example set by Matt.

Commissioned from Matt Windle for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

Want to find out about Matt's unconventional career pathway to becoming both Birmingham Poet Laureate and ranked 6th super flyweight boxer in Britain?

Watch his career pathways film.

Check out some of Matt's own poems in our Gallery

GO & LOOK Challenge

Dance - hand dancing

Look at the choreography of the company ‘Up and Over It’: Up and Over It click here

 

Can you create a hand dance to a piece of your favourite music, either on your own or with someone you live with?

Look at the work of finger tutting expert JayFunkY for inspiration: JayFunkY and Behind the scenes with jayFunkY

Share your work in ways that suit you – in person or digitally online. We would love to see it, so you can send photos or a film clip of your 'handywork' to us via our contact page and we'll display some of the images in the gallery.  

Next steps – research what other dance styles use hand movements in a specific way such as flamenco, khatak, vogue, more finger tutting

2 April

 

GIVE IT A GO - Artist Demo & Challenge 1

by Mark Anderson - Infuse

Create 4 photo images of hands making a pattern. Each photo needs to have a different hand pattern and a different background. 

Commissioned from Infuse for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

GIVE IT A GO - Artist Demo Challenge 2

by Mark Anderson - Infuse

Create 4 photographs, each photograph based on a different word. No faces to be in the image, but you can use feet, hands, arms, back views, objects, shadows etc. Choose 4 words, make your own up or choose a word like support, connections, flight, rest, community, strength, etc. Each photo needs a different background.

Commissioned from Infuse for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

Want to find out how Mark built a successful career as a dancer, dance leader, photographer and film-maker? Watch his short career pathways film.

Check out some of Mark's own photography work in our Gallery

GO & LOOK Challenge

Visual Arts Creatures

Take a look at ‘Butterflies & Moths Collection’ – Natural History Museum

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/natural-history-museum

 

Check out how other artists have created artworks featuring creatures:

Artist Jennifer Murphy:

https://www.thisiscolossal.com/2019/11/magazine-cutouts-form-nature-collages-shaped-like-birds-and-butterflies-by-jennifer-murphy/

Artist Fredrico Uribe:

http://federicouribe.com/

The challenge:

Create a creature (real or imaginary) either by:

  • making a model (plasticine, play doh, salt doh, natural items found outside stones, twigs, leaves etc or inside – everyday objects),

  • collage – cutting out creatures from magazines etc (ask first!) and arranging them,

  • painting/drawing – using pencils, crayons, pens, paints,

  • or using any other ideas you have…..

 

Share your work in ways that suit you – in person or digitally online.  We would love to see them, so you can send a photo of your work to us via our contact page and we will display some of the images in the gallery.

Next steps:  research other artists and designers who use creatures, animal images in their work e.g. pokemon, manga art, tinga tinga art etc. 

https://www.tate.org.uk/art/teaching-resource/animals-art

PLEASE BE CAREFUL!

Children & Young People: please make sure you stay physically safe when doing any of the activities, and check with an adult before starting, as Artslink can't accept liability for any damage to yourself or property!

Children & Young People and key adults: please be aware of the importance of e-safety.

We strongly recommend the Thinkuknow e-safety website.

Artslink is a programme by West Midlands Virtual Schools, co-funded by Arts Connect. It aims to ensure that

all children & young people in care are able to access high-quality arts & cultural experiences and activities.

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