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Tag Archives: OPEN Ealing
Regular readers will know that earlier in the summer I did a voluntary project in the half term holiday with OPEN Ealing and the local children. We collectively made a mosaic tree and then donated it to O’Grady Court sheltered housing in Ealing. It was a great community project to be involved in and O’Grady Court invited us all over for an unveiling session providing a delicious buffet brunch.
I was so impressed when I met Birgit and Gasper and they told me all about O’Grady Court and the facilities. They obviously loved the mosaic tree so I offered to make them another mosaic as a present. I returned a few weeks later and discussed options and eventually we came up with the idea of one of my sun/moon mosaics. I wanted to give them a piece that was nice and bright and would sit in their lovely outdoor garden.
I had made one sun/moon before for my garden shed but this one was going to be much larger and brighter. I started by drawing in the face and the first things I mosaiced were the eyes. I am really pleased with them because they are the most realistic pair I have done so far. I then did the nose and slash of a mouth. Then the fun part starts, putting in all that lovely colour and bling. For this I used a lot of coloured stained glass so I that I could have really large, bright coloured sections. I then “filled in” the gaps with iridescent tiles, glass beads, metalic tiles and anything else that I thought would add to the piece and make an impact.
So having completed and delivered the mosaic, I went along on Friday for the unveiling. As well as Birgit, Gasper and all the residents, Maud from Open Ealing came along and proceedings were introduced by the regional Manager. After a lot of compliments were made and photos were taken, I talked about the inspiration for the piece and how I went about making it. It was a beautiful, bright morning and the mosaic glittered and sparkled in the sunlight – exactly as I had hoped it would. We then went inside for a lovely buffet and I had my first mince pie. I was presented with a beautiful bouquet of stunning autumn flowers – my perfect colours. I really enjoyed making the piece for all the residents at O’Grady Court and I know from their reaction and kind words that they really like and appreciate their sun/moon that will look down on them for many years to come.
When Maud from OPEN Ealing asked me if I would like to run a Mosaic Workshop for the local children during their half term art programme, I was delighted. I love working on community projects and I couldn’t resist the idea of introducing children to the wonderful art form of mosaic
OPEN Ealing is an arts centre that is the focus for creative excellence,inclusion and aspiration. Their aim is to introduce a refreshing cultural space and exciting arts programmes to the community by bringing artists, performers, art groups and residents together, promoting creativity and creating new opportunities.
The remit was that during the week children would carry out various art projects ‘Following in the Footsteps of’ a famous artist. To be honest, one of my favourite artists is Rembrandt who’s dark and m0ody self portraits do not lend themselves to a children’s bright mosaic project! No worries, I would decide on the mosaic first and then work in an artist.
It was agreed that rather than make individual pieces, we would make one large mosaic which we would donate to a local organisation. Maud identified O’Grady Court, a sheltered housing complex, who were delighted with our offer of a mosaic for their beautiful rooftop garden.
My biggest challenge was not knowing how many children would turn up, their ages and artistic ability. I didn’t want anything too simplistic that would not catch their imagination but I was also aware that if the piece was too large I would be doing a lot of mosaicing at home that night! Also, how do a group work on one piece while putting their personalised stamp on it. Eventually I took inspiration from the trees I made for the Log Cabin, lots of different sections with varied styles within the overall piece.
Luckily for me my nephew Steven, a maths teacher, was coming to stay for the weekend so as soon as he arrived he was given a cold beer and told to ‘design’ a tree made up of squares, rectangles and other mathematical shapes – all alien to a ‘creative’ like me!
On the day 10 children arrived and were immediately attracted to the beautiful glass tiles, shiny ceramic beads and glittery adornments. Working in pairs, they selected the sections they wanted to work on and then, armed with their handfuls of ‘coloured treasure’, started to design their section before placing and sticking them in the main piece. They were totally engrossed and were determined that the mosaic would be finished within the session, so all of them were working flat out. Each section is very individual – some of the children were incredibly neat, others were colour focused, many had an abstract slant. The end result is a fantastic ‘mix n match’ of different styles, all very distinctive but they all work in harmony as a whole.
I hope you will agree that our ‘Picasso Influenced Cubist Tree‘ is a great success.
Residents from a sheltered accommodation complex in West Ealing were presented with a very special mosaic for their garden from some of the young people who helped make it.
During OPEN Ealing’s May 2016 half term workshops, youngsters aged 8 to 14 followed in the steps of famous painters such as Klee, Klimt, Kandinsky and Van Gogh, using varied artistic treatments.
Led by local mosaic artist Rosanna Henderson, the children collaborated to create a cubist tree. When Rosanna suggested they made a large piece of art to be donated to a ‘good home’, the young people quickly agreed and the communal rooftop garden at O’Grady Court was the natural choice – being in the centre of West Ealing and providing sheltered and supported accommodation for retired people over the age of 55.
Birgit Huhn, Manager of O’Grady Court, on Melbourne Avenue, has been extremely supportive of the project from the outset and she and some enthusiastic residents came to OPEN Ealing during the workshop session to see the piece being created.
O’Grady Court and OPEN Ealing are practically neighbours and this project has reignited their collaboration and stimulated the residents into taking art classes themselves in the future. Perhaps they will return the favour and do a piece for a local school? Mandie Wilde of OPEN Ealing commented, “the piece created in a 2 hour session and finished by Rosanna to make it suitable for garden ornamentation, is amazing. Not only have the workshop participants grasped the technique of mosaic and the famous practitioners, they have added their own touches making it very personal. The standard is amazing and we are delighted that OPEN Ealing can facilitate workshops like this and encourage raw talent.”
OPEN Ealing wishes to particularly thank the children for their dedication in producing such a beautiful work of art, Rosanna for her skilful lead on the workshop and finishing touch on the piece, our volunteers Ruth Holmstock and Stephanie Sundle for their precious help during the workshop, Birgit Huhn and Catalyst’s O’Grady Court management and maintenance teams for their support of the project, and finally the residents for their enthusiasm.
This article appeared in the Ealing Today Newsletter this week. Thanks to OPEN Ealing and AnneMarie from Ealing Today for writing the article and initiating and supporting the project.
NEXT BLOG: The story behind the mosaic.