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.