Children Explore their Identities in new Art Exhibition

GALLERY EXHIBITION OPENING WITH SOPHIE HOWE (FUTURE GENERATIONS COMMISSIONER) AND LOCAL SCHOOL CHILDREN.An art collaboration between children at Pencoed Primary School and Textile Artist Haf Weighton has been unveiled at Wales’ only hospital art gallery.

The Hearth Gallery at University Hospital Llandough is displaying the exhibition ‘Fabric Nation’ which was officially opened by Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner.

In January, Pencoed Primary School selected Haf to be their creative practitioner as part of the Arts Council of Wales Lead Creative Schools scheme.

The new exhibition at the HeARTh Gallery features the creative work of the children and Haf since the project began.

The school identified 18 students from Year 4 to work on the project, which is aimed at using creativity to raise attainment in Numeracy, as well as building confidence and self esteem amongst the group.

Sophie Howe said, “Wales is the only country in the World with a Future Generations Commissioner and the Arts Council’s Lead Creative schools project fits perfectly within our remit. Using a creative approach to learning will skill our children up for the careers of the future.

“When you think about art you don’t necessarily think about a hospital but actually it’s the little things around us that can have a huge impact on how we feel. It means that people in the hospital can experience this art and feel a bit better, but it’s also good that people from the community can come into the gallery space and look at the fantastic artwork too.”

The project is based on the school’s year 4 topic of the Stuarts. The children have learnt about the design of the Union Jack while exploring their own identity by creating new designs for the iconic flag. The children have made their new flags using textile skills such as printing and embroidery.

Miss Maddocks from Pencoed Primary said; “This project enabled us to combine art and design with numeracy to help the learning and development of the children in a fun and interactive way. The project also enhanced their wellbeing and social skills and many have come on leaps and bounds with their confidence. As the project has developed, we managed to increase the numbers from 18 children to now 60 children who are involved in the project.”

Fiona Kinghorn, Interim Director of Public Health at Cardiff and Vale UHB said “As a Health Board, art is a big priority for us and you can see it just makes a difference to the experience of people that come to the hospital. There’s really strong evidence to support art and its role in health and wellbeing.

“We’re really lucky at Llandough to have this exhibition space, it’s a fantastic resource and you can see that people enjoy it when they come in.

“It is great that we have this opportunity to welcome you all, but in particular the children who have engaged in this Fabric Nation project, which is the first school exhibition we have hosted.”

Artist, Haf Weighton said “After weeks of trying to describe what a gallery is, it was fantastic to see the children’s faces light up when they saw the space and their work up on the wall.”

The exhibition runs every day from 9am until 8pm until 31st March 2017.

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