Animate Arts Company website (click here)




Description: #ArtBuilders Manifesto Day
Date And Time
Tue, 1 October 2019

09:30 – 15:00 BST

Location: Turner Contemporary




SOLD OUT? Want to join us?

Please email [email protected] and we will put your name on a reserve list, in the chance that tickets are released or somebody is unable to attend. Thank you

Dear teachers, artists, educators, cultural makers,
Meet the Art Builders
Hear their voices
Gather ideas
Be inspired
Join the campaign to bring more art into every school
A special one-off event to bring together the activists, campaigners, do-ers and supporters of education and creativity under one roof. This programme of speakers and practical activities will bring like-minded people together to learn about the Art Builders programme by Animate Arts Company, and its profound impact on primary schools, pupils, artists and communities in Kent. Over the course of the day, delegates will build a Manifesto to build more art into schools for 2020.
Pledge to make a difference
Attend the Manifesto Day
Be an Art Builder
Please note that due to popularity and limited availability, there is a maximum of 2 places per school/organisation.


‘Why cardboard?’

It all began in 2011 when we discovered Kent’s industrial heritage. We were pitching to make a new piece of work for north Kent that took inspiration from its local heritage. We discovered that paper-making was once a massive industry, but particularly in towns along the north Kent coast line. For making paper, they had a great water supply and perfectly positioned to ship cargos of wood from the Nordic countries. With the advance of printing presses and nearby location to London, newsprint was a needed product in 1900s.

We made an art work for the Medway Festival entirely out of paper and cardboard (it was a full 3-piece suite – sofa, armchairs, the works). It amazed us what you could do with paper and it amazed visitors who would sit and chill-out in the full-size sitting room.

Today it’s versatility still astounds us. That old philosophy that kids (and probably adults too) love a cardboard box stands true – it brings out the creativity in us all!

2019 marks the #yearofgreenaction #kentgreenaction and we proudly continue to think outside of the box to recycle, reuse, unwanted material. We are constantly seek new supplies of different paper and cardboard matter to create into something new. Let us know of supplies of unwanted paper packaging… we could turn it into some thing rather amazing!


Herne Bay Juniors is a Primary School in my home town. I don’t think I have run any workshops in there and my children did not go there, but none the less I was very interested to see what they had made. Particularly interested as I saw their work displayed at Beach Creative, an Arts Centre in the town. This earlier display was what you might describe as ‘teacher heavy’. It was mounted on several layers of coloured card, cropped very heavily and appeared very selective about what was displayed and how things related to other pieces. Well put together, or curated if you like, but  not much sense of children exploring anything. I am sure you know that 6 and 7 year olds do not ‘study pointillism’ and become ‘inspired by the brush work of Van Gogh’ as it says on the description next to their work. 6 – 7 year olds are perhaps, expressionistic, spontaneous, erratic and clumsy when using paints and I could not see so much of that going on. So that is why I was so interested to go and see their display in a local children’s bookshop called a Bundle of Books. They had created a large window display using the Lost Words book as a starting point just the same as I had with my school.

I think its an interesting question on how far to intervene with children’s artwork, or community artwork come to that. I know I’m being harsh on the Herne Bay Junior teachers for wanting their pupils work to look good.

The first thing I noticed was how colourful this was. Many of the pieces were covered in coloured tissue paper. Some even used paint, I don’t know why I am surprised, probably because I never use paint. Perhaps I’m austere and keep it puritanically cardboard? The bookshop owner was very keen to hear what I thought? It became apparent that she had no idea I was part of the wider project or had used the lost words book for two similar installations. It was a fly on the wall opportunity to hear what as a partner or stake holder she thought about the project. As a children’s bookshop schools were her target audience and welcomed any opportunity to work closely with them on any kind of cultural project. She thought the whole thing was great and caringly replaced items that sagged where gravity had taken over. She said the physcodelic hedgehog was her favourite.

My favourite the birds nest or the fox, I have a soft spot for foxes.




Below is a leaflet showing the Art Builders activities over the month of June. All eight schools produced work for these public displays.

A very busy time with a lot to organise. I was interested to see how the others projects had come out and what they had created.

See the Heron Video made with St. Alphage school

Heron video click here


I got a text saying ‘are you coming to meeting?’ …….. 5.13pm.

At 6.25 pm …………. I read it and replied saying what meeting was that then and where was it?

As things became clearer on social media over the course of the evening and the next day it turns out it wasn’t really a meeting as such, more like a ‘Party’. A picture of a birthday cake with my name on appeared with a caption sorry you missed the party….er meeting!

This was a shame as it was clearly a team strengthening event with the virtual reality 3D film being previewed by all the artists involved in the project. Jolly photos of everyone wearing head sets exploring the moon landscape we had created in Dreamland in Margate with 8 Kent Primary Schools. It would have been great to see everyone exchange stories about the Art Builder installations we had just made in museums, galleries, bookshops, libraries, cafes, social clubs and churches and other public spaces across Canterbury, Ashford and Thanet. All eight schools creating a temporary installation open to the public. Art Builders everywhere.

I totally missed this, probably deleted the email with the invitation or just missed it altogether. I am sorry I missed the change to see everyone and hear what is happening next. I know there will be an Art Builders conference event at Turner Contemporary in Margate in the autumn and I missed the planning session and my role within it.

I expect I’ll get the chance to catch up. I have just had too many plates spinning at the same time and dropped this one. Actually, it never had a plate in the first place I didn’t know I’d dropped it.