Date Posted: 04/06/2015

We asked WHERETHEWALL co-ordinator Rob Dean about the opportunities on offer for school children attending street art workshops in Bristol.

WHERETHEWALL is a street art group based in Bristol offering educational creative design workshops for school children that include graffiti lettering stencilling and other curriculum linked experiences.

How were the educational WHERETHEWALL workshops created?

WHERETHEWALL runs the Banksy Bristol Street Art Tours which is the number one activity to do when visiting Bristol (according to Trip Advisor) so we adapted the very successful tour into an experience for schools and colleges, incorporating a walking tour: looking at the awesome street art murals and paintings around the city, before embarking on a creative workshop session in our design studio set up.

At WHERETHEWALL we are all artists who could be described as ‘creative nurturers’, so it was perfect harmony to develop the workshop sessions.

Why did you decide to run these experiences for school children?

We want to help contribute to future generations by encouraging creativity and self-expression through visual art forms, and Banksy who comes from Bristol, is such a compelling story, for adults as well as children, that he engages an interest into the art form. He is a truly inspirational figure from which much can be learnt from.

Since we started delivering workshops we discovered that many teachers and lecturers use Banksy themselves as an example for many forms of learning, from maths (scale) to geography (urban regeneration) to art to photography.

How many street art experiences do you run a year for schools?

We have school groups from all over the world coming to Bristol to experience our workshop sessions, I would say that, at the moment, we average one a week, but we have capacity for five or more per week.

What Key Stages are the workshops aimed at?

KS3, KS4 and beyond.

How many children can participate in the WHERETHEWALL educational sessions?

With all of our facilities we can comfortably accommodate groups of up to 50.

Who runs the sessions?

The team of people who work for WHERETHEWALL could be described as creative nurturers: street artists who have focused on nurture and education and youth working, alongside art and creativity as the main focuses in their lives.

Where do the workshops take place?

The workshops take place in the creative centre of Bristol, Stokes Croft, in our custom built design studio.

Are these workshops purely for art students?

No not at all. They are for all abilities and interests. Whatever the age group, all individuals create interesting stencils. Street art is about self-expression and the workshops are about encouraging this.

Tell me about the content of the different workshops

Usually starting with a Bristol Street Art Tour the individuals get inspired by the work of Banksy and famous international artists that they can see and photograph in all their glory.

The groups get to look in-depth at styles and techniques used by the artists, first hand, which is always very inspirational.

At the start of each design session the artist running the session will demonstrate different stencil styles, and discuss ideas with the group.

The groups will then split into smaller groups, continuing to discuss designs before moving onto the creation of their stencils.

Using specially developed fume-free spray paints everyone gets to spray their designs onto the group wall.

What practical activities do the students undertake in the workshops?

Street art stencil designing and sketching of ideas using pencil, paper, rubber.

Design cutting and creation.

Control of a spray can, often referred to as ‘can control’.

How does WHERETHEWALL develop skills required for the National Curriculum?

We liaise closely with the group’s leader in order to complement the learning path that the young people have been following. These sessions are very much a collaboration. Areas include History, Geography, Maths, Photography, urban environment and of course Art. Also literacy skills, discussion and debating skills, blogging skills and many more.

Are there any plans to take the WHERETHEWALL educational sessions outside of Bristol?

Yes very much so, we are open to new ideas and enjoy new experiences ourselves.Our newest invention is a two-sided mobile spray wall on wheels that allows portability, enabling us to set up and run sessions anywhere.

For more information about WHERETHEWALL educational experiences visit, www.wherethewall.com/experiences-for-school-groups.

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