7 Things We Learnt at Village Green Schools’ Day

Metal’s Village Green arts and music event in Chalkwell Park is always preceded by a day dedicated to school kids – Village Green: Next Generation. And, this year – #VG17 – SEVEN collective was asked to take part as artist stall-holders.

Seeing as Metal have been kindly hosting our creative journal workshops for a wee while, we thought sharing some of our idea-generating techniques with local school kids was the least we could do. Eeeek!

This is what we learned:

1. Be prepared

Not just for scouts or evil lions (see the Lion King for details) getting to the park for 7:45am demanded organisational and timing skills the A-Team would be proud of.

2. Don’t get stall envy

Everyone’s Village Green stall looked glitzier than ours. Branding. Banners. Colourful whatnots. You name it, we didn’t really have it. Just us and our arty stuff. Would we be overlooked or dismissed out of hand? (See point 4).

3. Locate the coffee

See point 1. The early start plus fear of the unknown (aka children) required at least one caffeine hit. Thus, locating the Village Green coffee stand was an essential part of the set-up.

4. Proximity to the loos can be advantageous 

And, not for the reason you think. But because teachers and kids using the facilities checked us out. On their way to the loos. As they waited by the loos. On their way back from the loos. Or while lost and looking for the loos.

5. Keep calm & carry on (ideally with glitter)

As wave after wave of primary school kids and their teachers came to check out our art tables – think: mandala collage, collective doodling, and swing tag-making – it was all we could do to just muck in and make the most of it.

More gems you say? Certainly. Lost your prized sunglasses? We’ll help you find them. Want pictures of cars for your mandala collage? Coming up.

6. Kids do come out with some words of wisdom

Don’t know where to start with your art? “I just scribble ’til I think of something,” one boy told us, while getting stuck into our free range doodle roll.

And, sure enough, after a scribble or two he warmed up and started doodling like no business.

7. Our top tip: change shape

Something we found went down a treat with our mini artists was mandala collaging. Turns out eschewing the ubiquitous rectangle for a circle can help overcome placement anxiety – there’s no right or wrong way.

All in all

Village Green: Next Generation had a lot to teach us. Surprising. Rewarding. A little hot. And, at times, a bit overwhelming. But, hey, there’s nothing like learning by doing, right?!

And, we all slept very well afterwards… Thanks to Metal for the opportunity.

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SEVEN at Leigh Art Trail 2017 – the facts, figures + the private view

SEVEN at Leigh Art Trail 2017After months in the making SEVEN’s creative journals are full to bursting with ideas and ready to go on display at Leigh Art Trail 2017!

But what we really need now are some lovely folk – friends, art lovers, curious-types, young and old – to come and peruse our colour-filled, collage-covered creations and get inspired.

Yes, we mean you.

WHERE: Planet Leasing, 91-93 Leigh Road, Leigh-on-Sea, SS9 1JL

WHEN: Saturday 10th June – Saturday 17th June 2017

OPEN: Saturday 10am-4pm, Monday to Friday 9am-6pm (Sunday closed)

PRIVATE VIEW: Want to meet some of the SEVEN crew and indulge in a tipple and nibble or two? Then we’d love to have your company.

Come along on:

  • Thursday 15th June
  • 6-8pm

Everybody’s welcome!

PS – Check out LeighArtTrail.com for more info on over 80 artists, exhibiting in 52 venues across Leigh, over 8 art-packed days. Including our very own Amanda Jackson and Kerry Doyland – they’re so talented they’re in it twice!

Future Park Talk @MetalSouthend

This evening Metal in Southend are hosting an event called Future Park and SEVEN artists have been invited to present a 3 minute wonder talk.

Come along to find out about creative opportunities and hear what local artists are working on.

The event is FREE. Doors open at 7pm (Chalkwell Hall), there will be drinks & nibbles, guest speakers, networking and more.

Hope to see you there!

Mandala Workshop

In Leigh-on-sea, there is a local Meetup group called Trawler, that supports small businesses and self-employed people. They meet on a regular basis and its a great opportunity to share ideas or to get advice from like-minded people.

Having been inspired by a couple of recent courses Jo was invited to run a creative workshop at one of the sessions.

The task she set the group was to make their own  mandala that would represent happiness to them. The word mandala can be translated to mean ‘circle’ and it has been used for centuries as a meditation tool. Jo chose the theme of happiness as we can sometimes forget to be happy and yet it has many benefits which can lead us to be more productive and effective in our lives.

Using magazines, she asked the group to quickly pick images that they liked, it was important that they used their gut instinct, therefore not allowing themselves to overthink or question their choice.  Once they had selected a few images they cut them out and glued them onto their paper plate. The process involved starting in the centre and working outwards, making sure the images overlapped the edges of the circle. Once complete, the edges were then trimmed to make the circular mandala.

These are some of the lovely creations…

Having created their own piece of happiness everyone was asked to take their mandala home and display it where they could see it everyday, giving them a gentle reminder to be happy.