great arts & cultural stuff to do at home

SPECIALLY SELECTED & COMMISSIONED FOR CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE IN CARE, THEIR CARERS AND FOSTER SIBLINGS

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go & look challenges

A mish-mash of arts stuff you can go and find out about, maybe that you haven't come across before, or a different take on an artform you know well. Click on a heading below to zoom down to the detail.

ARTFORM INSIGHTS

graffiti  and  street art 

- make your mark -

 

Have you got something to say? Do you fancy leaving your mark ? Do you know your street art from your graffiti ?

Meet David 'Panda' Brown - a graffiti artist from Birmingham. Check out his website here, and watch this short film explaining the difference between street art and graffiti, and what's legal and illegal.

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Take a look at this feature on graffiti art in Digbeth, Birmingham.

Check out Sheffield graffiti artist Trik09's work from our Summer Festival last year.

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Brush up on graffiti art facts with this article https://kids.kiddle.co/Graffiti

Watch a teenage graffiti artist create a ‘stay at home’ message for his fellow citizens in Athens here

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Explore these 10 types of graffiti

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Is graffiti a good thing or just vandalism? Take a look at this short animated film and decide for yourself!

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graffiti careers

Find out how Panda - David Brown - became a professional graffiti artist at our Career Pathways page

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Listen to street artist Mohammed Ali’s story of how he became a professional artist

have a go!

Graffiti Art 1 - tags

by David 'Panda' Brown

David shows you how to create your own tag using pens and paper.

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

Graffiti Art 2: sketching

by David 'Panda' Brown

Learn how to sketch a spray-can and a side profile face.

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

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Create a graffiti style pinboard with BBC Bitesize artist Ricky

Grab some chalks and brighten up the pavements and concrete nearby

N.B. Contains ads and external links

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- Masks Theatre -

Check out How Hard Is Waving? by VAMOS Theatre Company on BBC iPlayer. 4 short films (10 mins approx each)  tell the story of a young man called Ryan, his Gran and zoom during lockdown. No words, just music, masks and movement tell this funny and touching tale.

masks in theatre

 
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Vamos Theatre company is based in Worcester and is the leading mask theatre company in the country. https://www.vamostheatre.co.uk/

Masks appear in other plays and musicals, including The Lion King

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Watch actor Adrienne Walker become the fearless Nala in The Lion King using make up, mask and costume

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Check out the colourful make up and costume for Rafia (actor Tshidi Manye) in The Lion King

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masks in festivals & fashion

Take a look at these stunning masks from the annual masked festival in Venice, Italy – which is your favourite?

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See how the venetian masks are made in this short film tutorial

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See this master craftsman at work creating beautiful masks.

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Since the COVID pandemic we have to wear masks to keep safe. Look here to see how the fashion industry is getting involved in designing fancy face masks

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Here is a tutorial to guide you through making your own face mask, you can recycle clothes and fabrics and turn them into masks. 

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ready to have a go?

Stuff for all ages. Click the images to go to the activities

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Younger people

Try making these simple animal and monster masks from Jim Morris's Artgames

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Take your pick from this huge range of simple masks to make with children

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Younger people and teens

Check out other forms of body art and ways of decorating and disguising the body in Artslink’s Festival Body Art Tent. Have a go at designing your own mask or face make up

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Make a 3D paper mache mask using a balloon, paper, glue and paints etc to decorate.

Singer Sia often hides her face using hats and wigs. Use a face template to design a ‘look’ which cleverly hides the face using hair or mask or a fan or a hat or... whatever you can think of... let your imagination go wild!

WMVS TV

Check out the brand new WMVS Children in Care Foundation YouTube Channel and watch Jaz tell you her story! We all have a story and Jaz will help unlock our young people's potential so their story is a successful one.

 

New videos every Wednesday. Click here to visit/subscribe to the WMVS TV YouTube channel

ARTFORM INSIGHTS

N.B. previous artform insights can be found on our Go and Look page

 

- Writing & Spoken Word -

Watch the film to find out how Matt become a professional boxer and poet.

Meet Matt - Poet with Punch

 

Matt's work

Catch some of Matt's poems

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GO AND LOOK

Check out the story created by Therese Collins and care experienced young people in the Story Play and Poem session as part of our Artslink Check It Out Challenge

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Top tips for creative writing from writer and editor Andy Prentice from Usborne Publishers

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Here are some top websites and Apps for children and young people of different ages with a range of writing information and activities

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Heard of a nut, graf or a lede? Us neither!  What are the 5W’s? Find out in this introduction to writing for media

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Here are some top tips for writing a play from different top playwrights.

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Spoken word can explore different topics including mental health.

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Check out these top 6 spoken word poets on BBC Bitesize

 
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Pen at the ready? Fingers at your keyboard?

give these writing challenges a go....

 

Stuff for all ages. Click the images to go to the activities

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Have a go at Matt's poetry challenges

Primary ages

Secondary ages

From top authors to tongue twisters, try out some wordy activities from our More Activities Literature page

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Have a go at writing song lyrics

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Check out the Poetry Palace Tent from our Summar Arts Festival - try the spoken word quiz and explore poems from Spoz and Jasmin Gardiosi

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Listen to Mr Tumble’s top 3 nursery rhymes for young children

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Check out these signed BSL stories for children

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ARTFORM INSIGHTS

N.B. previous artform insights can be found on our Go and Look page

 

- Digital & Film-

Selfies...photo shoots...fashion...video games – all of these are part of the digital arts world. Take a look at the many ways that technology can create artworks and check out the exciting activities to try yourself. 

Meet Birmingham based artist Mark Anderson, who combines his professional dance skills with his fascination for film and photography. 

Meet Mark

 
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Mark's work

Click the links to find out about Mark's work as a:

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Career

Watch this short film and hear how Mark became skilled in dance and digital arts.

GO AND LOOK

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Fancy photographing city scenes? Here are top tips for beginners photographing cityscapes.

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Have a look at BBC bitesize to discover how to create art on a computer.

Take a look at these top 10 travel portrait photographers - which is your favourite and why? What does it tell you about the person?

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Check out these fantastic digital projections and animations on historic buildings around the world.

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Good for secondary ages

Take a look how coding and technology can create fashion and clothing creations.  This short film about a ‘fashion lab’ has fantastic clothes that synchronise with music and are designed for bands such as JLS.

Good for secondary ages

Check out this short film which explores the world of a gaming designer.

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Career​s

Find out about a career in digital film and arts by listening to photographer Adrian Burrows's journey into professional photography.

Look here how digital effects and dance are combined to create a dazzling display of shapes, shadows, colour and movement.

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ready for action? give these a go....

Stuff for all ages. Click the images to go to the activities

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Try out our photography challenges from InfuseDANCE

Get outdoors photographing nature and try these creative challenges set by professional photographer Adrian Burrows

Adrian helps you get started on photographing, up close, the things you find in green spaces around where you live.

Already a keen photographer? Watch Adrian's film and get started on shooting great pictures of plants and wildlife. You can also download Adrian's guide to shooting on smartphones - some really useful pointers on getting that perfect shot. Click on a flower below to download!

Fancy having a go at animation?  Try these animation activities on Artslink’s More Creative Challenges

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Good for primary ages

Try out these simple online digital painting and drawing tasks from Tate Kids. Create your own painting and post it onto Tate’s online gallery!

Good for primary ages

Check out Tate Kids' photography filter challenge

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ARTFORM INSIGHTS

 

- Music -

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Meet VITAL

Wolverhampton-born rapper, musician, media business owner and BBC radio presenter Vital Powers is never happier than when inspiring young people to make and enjoy music.

 

Q&A

Over the February half-term 2021 Vital was one the artists delivering our Check It Out Challenge, and the care experienced young people posed Vital a whole set of questions about him and his career. He answers them on this film.

Vital's Journey

Find out how Vital navigated "this thing we call the music industry" to build a successful career as a musician in this fascinating film.

Want to get into the music industry yourself?

Have a look at the interviews on this brilliant BBC page: BBC Introducing: Jobs at music festivals and in the music industry

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BSL signed songs

5 signed songs for children

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For teens - Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran and much more...

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ready to make some music? give these a go....

Stuff for all ages. Click the images to go to the activities

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Check out the great range of musical activities for different ages on our Music page - from body percussion and free music-making apps to opera sessions for SEND young people and creating a rap.

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Meander around our Festival Music Tent and try composing beats using your phone or using Garage Band, then relax and listen to the songs from around the world with musician Ricardo Roche and singer Sam Fox.

Here's a range of musical activities to do at home from Derbyshire Music Education Hub:

4-7 years

7-11 years

12-16 years

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Check out Soundabout's YouTube Channel which has a range of inclusive, fun music activities for people living with disabilities and special needs.

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Take a look at Babies' Adventures in Music on YouTube for their warm and interactive musical performances for babies, carers, families and friends

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ARTFORM INSIGHTS

- CERAMICS -

Jon Williams is based in Herefordshire and amazingly his studio is the grounds of Eastnor Castle. Click the images to find out more.

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Meet Jon the potter

 
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How do you become a potter?

Hear Jon talking about how he first got his hands mucky and developed a love of working with clay in his Artslink Career Pathways film.

(other Artslink artist career interviews here)

How do you make a clay pot?

Check out the different stages of making a pot

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Jon's work

Jon's exhibition Sensational Clay was all about people being able to touch smell, hear and even taste clay! Click the image to find out more.

You can see more of Jon's work on our online gallery here.

more about ceramics

Pottery is becoming really popular​

Channel 4 is currently showing The Great Pottery Throwdown on Sundays at 8pm, or catch up with the programme on All4. Click the image for more info.

The series was filmed in Stoke-on-Trent at Middleport Pottery. Click here to find out more.

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Have a look at...

Beautiful sea creatures created in clay by ceramic artist Shayne Greco.

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...and the world famous Terracotta Army

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ready to get your hands dirty? give these a go....

 

Stuff for all ages. Click the images to go to the activities

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Sensory activity​ - grab some old newspaper, water, a bit of salt and flour and create paper clay

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Here’s a range of scented and textured play doh recipes that you can scrunch, chop, twist, stretch and model

Some clay starter activities

Try making these beautiful clay bowls by following the instructional video

Instead of using clay, try paper mache to create a unicorn head sculpture, or make your own imaginary animal head

Or head over to our Creative Challenges and have go at Jon the Potter's challenges here

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How to take part

YOUNG PEOPLE

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TEENAGERS

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2. Watch our video on what to do with the sheets:

Have you taken part in any of our Check It Out Challenges? Either the stuff on this page or one of our webinars? We'd love to feature what you've recorded or created in our online Gallery.

Click here to find out how to send.

 

Any famous artists from your local area? Brilliant performance venues? Stunning statues in your local town? Online arts activities?

Take part in Artslink’s exciting Check It Out Challenge and see how well know your local area. Find out what arts and culture is around you.

1. Print out the relevant Check It Out Challenge sheets:

3. Get out and about spotting arty things in the area you live

4. Get online and find out about famous artists, arts venues & classes from your area, etc

5. Try an arts activity online with our Creative Challenges or an activity you choose to do

6. Record on your sheets what you've seen/tried

Send your completed sheet to us (email here) and you could win a prize!

 

INTRODUCING....

Crispin & Nathan

Crispin is a visually-impaired teenager who has spent some of his life in care. When he met and started working with Creative Mentor and theatre maker Nathan Geering as part of Derbyshire's Creative Mentors programme, Crispin discovered artistic skills he didn't know he had. Initially thinking 'the arts aren't for me', Crispin has since choreographed and performed as a BBoy and become a skilled contact staff artist.  Nathan and Crispin have now developed an accessible way of creating dance which blind people can participate in as choreographers, performers and viewers.  

Watch these films to see Crispin in action and hear how he has journeyed from reluctant participant to skilled performer, as well as giving some stuff a go yourself.

 

Crispin featured on BBC's Strictly It Takes Two, talking about the massive boost to his confidence he's gained from learning to breakdance. Click here to watch (subscription to BBC iPlayer required) - the feature runs from approx. 7'30" to 11'30".

Interview

Crispin and Nathan chat about Crispin's first experiences of break dancing and becoming a multi-skilled performer

Accessible choreography

See how a soundpad is used to create different sounds for different movements

Creating a performance with audio description

See and hear Nathan describe Crispin's performance

Crispin contact staff demo

Watch Crispin in action

Handwrap tutorial

Crispin teaches you to perform a handwrap move. Give it a go!

Public performance

See how far Crispin has come.

 

INTRODUCING....

Yusuf Paul McCormack

Yusuf is many things to many people. He is an Artist, Poet, Writer, Author, Trainer, Dad, Adopter and Foster carer, who spent the first 18 years of his life in the harsh environs of children’s institutions.

 

Here he was taught the lessons of shame, rejection, fear, silence and retribution. Remarkably, not only did he survive, he thrived.

As a storyteller, Yusuf uses his art and poetry to voice and explore the emotions he was unable to voice as a child. "It’s been painful, but honest, reflecting a world that is talked about, just not fully understood, and where those that grow up in it know that something isn’t right, yet often remain unheard and unable to do anything about it"

He uses his combined experiences as an artist and a child of the state, to inform and share with those who genuinely want to improve and sustain better outcomes for those who never chose their start in life. And he stresses it's not about making a difference, it's about being the difference, which is much more personal, less aspirational and probably more doable!

Introduction to Yusuf

Yusuf's artworks

Ty

Benedict Okwuchukwu Godwin Chijioke was born in London into an Igbo family from Nigeria. He spent many years of his youth in the care of private foster parents in Jaywick, Essex. "As kids we had no clue why we were here, and then my parents said 'we're going now, but you're staying', so we didn't know why we were being left here. And just feeling a little bit abandoned really."

In the early nineties, he was discovered after competing at the open mic competition at Muthaland at the Borderline in London's West End. He continued to hone his skills and make connections and in 1995 co-founded Ghetto Grammar, a pioneer in Hip-Hop education in the UK, and went on to release a series of successful rap albums before diversifying into spoken word and contemporary jazz. In 2019, he was joined by Black Twang and Rodney P to form Kingdem, which the New York Times called a "supergroup of British rap elders". He sadly fell victim to Covid-19 in 2020 and is no longer with us, but his influence on Hip-Hop will live on.

Check out his 2013 single Let's Start on YouTube. It's a multi-artform feast - great lyrics over a great riff, featuring interactive animated artwork, specially designed t-shirts and urban dance.

Let’s start

They say the sun don't shine forever
But I'm categorized as soft when my actions say I'm tougher than ever
Al Green let's stay together
Through a minefield of naysayers, see why I still endeavour


Nestled between a rock and a hard place
We cover more notes than a rock guitar case
I don't take any inspiration from Scarface
Never stood still, I even slip with a fast pace


Nat King Cole, unforgettable soul
That does not walk the path that Johnny Cash controls
Ring the bell but don't move for whom the bell tolls
Follow fashions need to run and sell clothes


No popularity contest, I'm trying to make meaningful music
My conquest designed to shake
Whoever's on it feel the sonic far and wide
Close the distance let's get real platonic... and roll


Let’s start

Pulling rabbits out of thin air is not my habit
Please, give me room, let me work my magic
No day off work straight through the Sabbath
Shake the dice and stroll past snakes and ladders


In a rush, give me the keys to the truck
The road to victory is peas to the mush
To fight the power becomes easy to us
In the midnight hour, we turn leaves into dust


Let's skip breakfast at Tiffany's
I'm trying to skip by what you're slipping me
Giving me false hopes of living vividly
Through dusty telescopes you hold timidly


Nahhh I refuse this weak imagery
Eating stale food is not obligatory
So let's start the dialogue
'Cos we're one people reporting to some kinda God... now... let's go

Let’s start

Rap now is a circus with clowns
Rap circles around

INTRODUCING....

 

Saira-Jayne Jones

Saira-Jayne Jones is an artist and poet born and raised in Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham and now living in Coventry, who spent much of her young life in care, developing her own creativity despite discouragement on all sides. With no formal art training or qualifications Saira-Jayne has become a successful self-taught visual mixed media artist, creating a variety of artworks reflecting contemporary, expressionist, abstract and conceptual styles.

Introduction to Saira-Jayne

Saira-Jayne's artworks

Lemn Sissay

Lemn Sissay is a BAFTA nominated International prize winning writer. He was awarded an MBE for services to literature by The Queen, The Pen Pinter Prize and a Points of Light Award from The Prime Minister. Google “Lemn Sissay” and all the hits will be about him. There’s only one person in the world called Lemn Sissay.

Lemn worked with care leavers in Coventry in Channel 4's Superkids: Breaking Away from Care. To mark second lockdown, we feature a brand new poem, No Lockdown in the Imagination:

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THEATRE & CHARACTERS

Sensory - stories

Explore these wonderful sensory stories Here

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Give it a Go - drama games

Have a go at these drama games and activities on Connect and Create Here and warm up with actress Tonia Daley Campbell’s give it a go challenge Here

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Make & Create - inside theatre

  • Watch how Royal Shakespeare company create theatre Here and see a rehearsal from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Here and Mathilda Here (YouTube)

  • Explore different types of theatre Here

  • Creating characters is often a part of stories, theatre and acting Here. Hear Vimal Korpal explain how he interviews guests and creates characters for his radio show Here

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Make it Mine - deep inside theatre

  • Dip into our Street Festival Tent and see how street theatre artists create their characters and acts. Can you create a character that could be appealing, mysterious and entertaining?

  • Try these great theatre activities from Bubble Theatre (click the image to download the pdf).

  • Listen to actor Bill Mitchell from the fabulous Kneehigh Theatre company talk about a new piece of theatre he is creating Here (YouTube)

Have a look through the varied roles and career pathways in theatre on our Career Pathways page.

 

VISUAL ART & EVERYDAY OBJECTS

Sensory - identifying objects

Have fun using different senses to identify everyday objects Here and Here (YouTube)

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Give it a Go - recycled art

  • Check out artist Claire Witcomb’s recycled art projects on Connect and Create Here

  • Try these using these everyday objects to create different painting projects on YouTube Here

  • Look at this Go & Look challenge on Create and Connects showing how different artists use stones in their art in differing ways on Here

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Make & Create - art from everyday objects

  • Check out the Visual Arts Tent at our online festival Here and explore the recycled and upcycled artworks that can be created from things that are thrown away.

  • Experimenting with different materials is an important and fun part of developing your own artistic preferences Here

  • Can you create a piece of clothing, art, music or a dance from everyday objects, using them in imaginative ways? What makes an artwork a quality piece? Is it personal opinion or is there more to it? Have a look Here, and see what you think!

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Make it Mine - professional arts

  • Everyday buildings can be made to look extraordinary by public art and graffiti. Look in our Visual Arts Tent and check out Trik 09’s work Here and also the amazing spaces that can be created by creative architecture Here

  • Research how design briefs are set Here

  • What makes an artwork a quality piece? Is it personal opinion or is there more to it? Have a look Here, and see what you think!

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Careers

Check out  various careers in visual arts in the Visual Arts Tent Here and hear from artists Claire Witcomb - artist, Jon the Potter, Jamie Neville – graphic designer, David Brown – Graffitti artist in Connect and Create’s Career Pathways Here

 

COSTUME & BODY ART

Sensory-friendly Halloween costumes

by understood.org

Get some great tips here on creating Halloween and other costumes that work well for kids with sensory processing challenges.

Give it a Go - festival body painting

Check out the body painting demo by Cabasa Carnival Arts in the Body Art Tent at our Summer Festival Here. Could you design a face and shoulders decoration like the one in the picture? Why not send us your design?

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Make & Create - carnival and fashion designs

Have a look at beautiful Brazilian carnival costumes Here

Check out the work of island fashion designer Letila Mitchell on our Visual Art page (near the bottom). Now try creating your own patterns Here

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Make it Mine - your costume designs

Are you a keen artist, or interested in fashion and costumes? Why not send us your designs? We've already featured designs from young people in the Gallery: check out designs by Paris, Lauren and Lewis.

Feel free to use our Makeup & Costume design template below.

Have a look at this brilliant insight into designing a fantasy character's costume.

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Careers - how to become a costume designer

A fantastic guide at backstage.com on what the world of film costume design Here.

 

DANCE STYLES & INTERPRETATION

Dance styles

A 'sofa dance' from the BBC (YouTube)

Site-specific dance

ACE Youth Dancers

Make it Mine - Dance interpretation

 

Watch these three versions of a swan solo from Swan Lake:

HIP HOP

CLASSICAL

CONTEMPORARY

  • What parts or elements are effective in your opinion? Costume? Movements and body shapes? Patterns made by the dancers? The link between music and dance movements?

  • Which version has the biggest emotional impact? Do you feel sad/interested/bored/entertained?

Check out the National Youth dance Company and how young people interested in dance can develop their skills Here

Career Pathways in Dance

 

Find out how these people have made dance their everyday job:

  • Shanelle Clemenson in our careers section Here

  • Contemporary dancer Here

  • Commercial TV dancer Here

  • Choreographer Here

Which of these would you like to try? Can you copy one of the moves?

Dance styles through the ages

 
 
Book Recommendations

Jasmine a care-experienced young person in Dudley - has written about her favourite books, and suggests 10 you might try:

I can't really choose just one book because every book this author writes just seems to get better and better. So my favourite author has to be Cassandra Clare, every book she writes has a new and thrilling plot that just draws you into the book and the world she creates. She includes a range of different ethnicities and sexualities in her books that make it even more interesting. Her books always includes vampires, werewolves and warlocks but also discusses demons and Angel's. The books that she writes tackles a lot of difficult things, such as racism, homophobia and a lot of other things that just hits home. Every book that she writes is different and new and gives you plenty of reasons to love her as an author. I warn you though If your going to read any of her books you should always be prepared for an emotional roller coaster. Plus no matter what you'll fall in love with nearly every character she creates as each one is unique and has a special personality.

Jasmine's Top 10 Book List

1) Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

2) City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

3) The Maze Runner by James Dashner

4) Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

5) The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

6) Smart by Kim Slater

7) Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

8) Percy Jackson by Rick Riordon

9) Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan

10) The Magersterium by Holy Black

Chill Skills
 
from Artslink Awesome Arts Festival

On the final day of our summer festival we looked at Chill Skills, ways that artists unwind, chill out and de-stress.

 

Head over to the Chill Out tent and pick a few films from the collection to watch. See if you've tried any, or would like to.

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Festivals
 
1. For younger festival goers

There are many festival held in the UK and in other countries. Have a look at these:

Which would you like to visit, and why?

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2. For older festival goers

Research some festivals. Use these below or find others.

Who do you think is the target audience for

each festival? E.g. young people, families, children…..

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BBC
 

1. Being a BBC Production Apprentice

by Annie Chisambo

Annie talks about her background in local radio, and about what it's like to be a BBC apprentice.

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

2. BBC Young Reporter Competition

Open August - October 2020

A chance for 11-18 year-olds to share their unique stories with the BBC. This is the third year of this editorial opportunity and previous winners have produced reports with the likes of BBC Three, The One Show, BBC Breakfast, Radio 5 Live, Newsbeat, Newsround and the News at Six.

All the details will be on www.bbc.co.uk/youngreportercompetition where at the moment you're still able to see some of this year’s winning stories.

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Crazy Cover Versions

Listen to these pop songs which musician Hildegard von Blingin' has transformed into medieval covers. Click Here

Check out Post Modern Jukebox, who take modern day hits and transform them into 1920/30/40’s style performances. Click Here

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Challenge

Take a song you like and know, and transform it into a different musical style. For example, can you change a nursery rhyme into a rap? A love song into an upbeat pop song?

Next Steps

Look at ‘cover versions’ that artists have created from well known existing songs. Radio 1’s live lounge invited artists to do this Click Here

Food sculpture
 

Look at these extraordinary sculptures carved from fruit and vegetables by artist Vincenzo Scuruchi: Click Here (YouTube)

 

Artist Manami Sasaki creates works of art using food items on toast. Click Here

 

Japanese chef and food artist Takehiro Kishimoto creates exquisite patterns into all sorts of vegetables and fruit Click Here. His work is based on the Japanese tradition of ‘mukimono’ decorating and garnishing food.

Challenge

Create a sculpture or image using items of food.

Photograph your creation. You can eat your sculpture afterwards so you don’t waste food!

N.B. please do not use any sharp objects without adult permission and supervision.

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Next Steps

Research other traditional carving patterns such as maori wood carvings Click Here and their meanings Click Here. Research other patterns such as celtic patterns and meanings Click Here. Create your own patterns using ideas from zen doodling Click Here

Postage Stamp Art
 

The Royal Mail create ‘special edition’ stamps which many people collect. Previously there have been special sets of stamps based on Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Gruffalo, James Bond, Royal Navy ships, Alice in Wonderland. Click Here

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Challenge

Challenge:  Design a set of stamps based on your

interests in life.  Experiment with different ways of

creating your design:

  • Drawing

  • Painting

  • Printing

  • Collage

You can use these templates or design your own stamp shapes too! 

Next Steps

Research stamps from different places.  Notice the different sizes, shapes and colours. Look at the way stamp design has changed over the years in this country.

Comic Book Characters

Take a look at the fabulous superhero characters that artist Iqra Babar created here. Have a think about what makes a character ‘super’ - click here for some ideas.

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Challenge

Can you create a comic book character or a flying superhero – human or animal?

Think about its characteristics – positive ones and things that get it into trouble! Design a character including its expressions, any makeup or masks, accessories, costume, key phrases and name it. Use a range of ways to create the designs:

  • Collage

  • Paint

  • Pencil sketches

  • Crayons and felts

  • Photographs – mix and match them

Next Steps

Research superheroes from different countries and cultures. Look at different stories, animations and comics. Create a model of your superhero using clay, playdoh, plasticine, paper, card, tape, paint... any materials that can create a 3-dimensional figure.

 

Create a life size costume for your superhero - use fabric or paper and paint/pens/chalks or newspaper and sellotape to create the garments. What would your superhero wear, what lengths and shapes would their clothing be?

 

Create a story or adventure that your superhero appears in. Tell the story (voice record, live performance, video, write it down, create a comic strip) and share it with others.  We would love to see your designs and stories.

 
Portraits

Take a look at the different types of portraits in the National Portrait Gallery’s online collections: Click here 

 

Explore the artists featured as part of ‘National Portrait Artist of the Year’: Click here. Which styles and materials do you particularly like?

Check out some weird and wonderful portraits made with unusual materials

Challenge

Can you create a portrait of someone, or maybe a pet, or use a photo to create from? Use materials of your choice – collage, caricature or cartoon, chalks, pencil, fine liner pens, paints, charcoal, objects…. Explore trying different styles and materials and find your preferred materials and style.

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Next Steps

Research portrait painters and photographers that you like. Create portraits yourself and build a collection. Have a mini exhibition somewhere in the place you live or create a digital exhibition - PowerPoint or slideshow and share it with people you live with.

 
Rockin' Around the Room!

Look at this fantastic film of people dancing in and around their houses - different people in different places with different moves.

Dancers from Paris Opera made this film on YouTube to encourage people to stay home during lockdown.  Do you recognise the music? See if you spot the little people getting involved!

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Challenge

Can you dance around wherever you live and create different movements in each room or space (corridors, stairs)?  Can you teach movements to people you live with and dance together?

Next Steps

Research site specific choreography – that is dance pieces choreographed about and  to be performed in a specific place.  Look at these dance pieces created and performed in specific places:

Can you create a dance piece in a particular space? Practice it and film it. Share it with others.  

 
Land Art

Take a look at the way artist Tamas Kanya creates sculptures, patterns and pictures using stones and other natural materials. Click here 

 

For more stone patterns click here

 

Artist Andy Goldsworthy also uses stones and rocks to make large patterns and sculptures outside. Click here

 

Artist  Erzsebet Szilajka uses pebbles, stones and sea glass in a different way to create simple beautiful images. Click here

 

Here’s a YouTube video on painting stones – you could try this at home. Click here 

 

Japenese artist Akie transform stones into animals. Click here

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Challenge

Can you create an original piece of art using stones and pebbles? Paint them, balance them, arrange them into patters – whatever you like. Think carefully about the background you are placing them on – grass, pavement, plain paper, material/fabric, cardboar, tin foil, plastic sheet…. Photograph your art work. We would love to see it and share it in our gallery.

 
Graffiti Art

Look at this article on graffiti art in Digbeth, Birmingham. Look around where you live, is there any graffiti art? What do you think of it?

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Challenge

If you were given a wall or patio to transform, what would you do? Design on paper your own graffiti image or have a go on the Tate online site: Click here

 

Ask whoever you live with if you can use coloured chalks to transform an outside wall or patio/pavement/paving slabs area. Here’s some work that a mother and child created to cheer up their pavements in the neighbourhood: Click here

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 work .

Next steps

Research the work of other graffiti artists. Create a collection of work that you like.  Create a series of your own designs. Create your own graffiti tag. 

 
Animal Sculptures
  • Look at these incredible beautiful breeds of bird: Click Here

  • Artist Patrick Cabral creates intricate portraits of endangered species by cutting paper: Click Here

  • Take a look at paper artist Lisa Price who used nature as a focus for her paper sculptures and 3-dimensional pictures: Click Here

  • Artist Brian Mock makes sculptures from nuts, bolts and other recycled material: Click Here

  • Here’s some simple craft bugs using items from the garden: Click here

  • Here are some guides for making simple origami (paper folding) animals:

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Challenge

Can you create a creature or creatures (real or imaginary) using different materials:

 

  • A creature using leaves, stones, sticks

  • A creature using paper - folding it, cutting it, drawing on it

  • A creature using recycled materials - cardboard, junk mail, drink cartons

Share your work in ways that suit you - in person or online. We'd love to see them, so if you'd like to send them to us for our Gallery: click here.