June 30, 2012
The Helen Foundation financially supported a brilliant project organised by Devon Arts In School Initiative (DAISI) and Team Devon that involved working with schools to celebrate the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
DAISI brought artists into schools to work with children to create large banners (3m x 1m) that were professionally printed onto translucent vinyl banners and hung in Exeter Cathedral in May to celebrate the coming of the Olympic Flame to the city.
Practising artists worked with children in each school to explore how they responded to the ideals of the Olympics and Paralympics – excellence, friendship, respect, determination, inspiration, courage – and what this major global event meant to them.
The schools involved in Teignbridge supported by The Helen Foundation include: Doddiscombsleigh, Denbury, Ide, Rydon, Widecombe and all ten schools in the Dawlish Learning Partnership: Cockwood, Dawlish Community College, Exminster, Gatehouse, Kenn, Kenton, Oaklands Park, Ratcliffe, Starcross and Westcliff.
Artist Cara Roxanne worked in a number of schools and writes:
“For myself as an artist educator I have found these workshops have been particularly inspiring in the way I teach. I have enjoyed acting as facilitator, helping the children conceive their ideas for the banners. It has been an exciting process going into a school with the materials but with no fixed ideas of how the banner will look like beforehand. This became the responsibility of the children, and each time they proved they could do this with great success.
The children loved using paint and it made me aware of how few schools actually give the children a chance to use it regularly. It was also exciting to work on such a large scale with the children, watching groups of children huddled around the banner working on their specific pieces. The youngsters were excited about seeing their banner up in Exeter Cathedral and it reminded me of how important it is for them to see their art work valued and for them to be given a showcase for many to see.”