Friday, 17 April 2015

Art Outdoors.

A panorama of Bear Woods -showing the nursery & main school below & beside it.
We have an amazing scrap store in Belfast: The Play Resource; that offers busaries to schools to allow them to have professional artist come in to work with the children. Over the past 7 years we have availed if this scheme and the nursery is full of fabulous one off pieces of art work the children have created during this time. This year I was lucky enough to secure the services of artist Fionnuala Duffin & when we chatted about what she could do with the children, I mentioned wanting to have some large scale outdoor art for Bear Woods & the playground. Fionnuala will be working with the class over 4 days this month, a Friday & a Monday. On the Fridays we will actually create the art up in Bear Woods & then on the Mondays make some more pieces to add to Bear Woods or for the playground.
I had to send Fionnnula photos of the type of fencing we had etc. so she knew what materials to bring with her.
The finished woven sea scape with lovely boat bobbing along.
Today we had our first session up in Bear Woods and although it was dry it was a little chilly to start with. As Fridays are our outdoor days before we went up to Bear Woods we had made some creme egg popcorn, the children had declared this sticky & delicious! After this lovely gooey treat we all headed up the hill to see Fionnuala. At the moment there is some building work going on in the main school playground so the children can't run ahead anymore and they know they have to walk with or behind the lead adult. There was also great excitement because there was a new shed in the space too. This is for the gardening club but it will provide 3 wooden walls for us to 'play' with and eventually make a shelter off plus it has provided a proper home for our camping toilet. 
Fionnuala had lots of strips of coloured material and she had clearly marked a top and bottom to the piece so the children could see where to weave. They had lots of fun doing this & some spent the whole session engrossed in the activity whilst others just dipped in and out.
Eventually the sun came out and we decided to make a path using bags of bark chippings. Of course some of these became extra 'loose parts' for play as they were moved about in some of the dumper trucks that stay up in Bear Woods. 
The path created using bark chippings.
When we all had to go back down to nursery for lunch, Fionnuala finished off the woven sea score by adding a lovely orange boat. The children were very excited to see it when they went outside to the playground after lunch, that is a huge advantage of Bear Woods being just above the nursery.
On Monday we hope to make some jelly fish and decorate CDs to hang around the playground to brighten up dark mornings.


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  2. That looks like a great activity for the kids, it's fab that your school has the opportunity to have artists in. I love the sea scape, it's great that the kids could bob in and out of the activity too, it makes them so much more interested when they were taking part. You've obviously got a busy time going on in the nursery. Thanks for linking up with Country Kids.

    1. Thanks Fiona, was glad I had a post to link up. You know all about busy too, I don't know how you cope with all the different age groups!


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