Andy O’Rourke at Clytha Primary

The new Curriculum for Wales emphasises the importance of bringing together to the different Areas of Learning Experience (AoLE). Two new AoLEs in the curriculum will be Expressive Arts and Heath and Wellbeing, and schools are looking for new innovative ways bring these into their classrooms.

Artist Andy O’Rourke is inspired by graffiti art, which the art of the city, using the built environment as its canvas, but Andy’s is also inspired by nature and ways to bring the image of nature back into the dry walls of the city. In has work nature is contemplative and mindful with an understanding that to spend time in nature is an escape for the bustle of the city and therefore calming for the mind.

Working with pupils at Clytha Primary School, Andy helped the class experiment with mindful art, including mark making, mindful drawing and depicting nature and the natural. This included the use of iPad and smartphones with a kaleidoscope app to create kaleidoscopic images of the world, which led to the class creating mandala art work with pencils and pastels. The digital kaleidoscopes turned out to be a playful way to create instant masterpieces.

Following this the class experimented colour harmony and other drawing exercises to practice being free and unrestrained with their drawing techniques without worrying too much about the result. The final stage of the project saw the designs painted onto leaves cut out of wood, which were then embedded in resin and used as the centrepiece of an art installation that the class made at Cwtch.

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