My residency with Chase & Chalke continued into May with an opportunity to work with an immensely talented and enthusiastic group of Year 10 GCSE Art students from Burgate School in Fordingbridge.
We met on Cranborne Chase for an ‘Awesome Archaeology and Art Journaling' workshop inspired by an archaeological collection evidencing local human activity dating back to the Paleolithic (Old Stone Age), approximately 500,000 – 10,000 years BC, alongside finds representing 18th and 19th Century rural life on the Chase and fossils from slightly further afield and millions of years old!
With rain threatening, we began indoors, using handmade folded sketchbooks to draw in and make notes. I encouraged the students to experiment with their sketchbooks: to use them opened out or folded up, or a bit of both, and to think about what they wanted to draw, why and how. For example, they could make simple line drawings, or use a variety of materials and layer their drawings up, or draw just details or the whole subject, or to experiment with the scale of their drawings. The aim of the workshop was for the students to capture their own personal experience of the day, investigating the archaeological finds that caught their imagination and interest in a way that was unique to them.
Later on, as the sun came out, we set off for a walk to discover local earthworks, barrows and archaeological sites, set within a landscape blossoming with an array of native spring plants and flowers – we even saw two brave hares. I asked the students to notice their surroundings, to make marks to represent the weather conditions and the sounds they could hear.
Back at base there was time for a working lunch to finish off our journals by adding colour, notes and if liked, a map of the walk we’d taken.
I absolutely loved my time with the students of Burgate School – they inspired me with their creativity, interest and love of drawing!