It is so rewarding to see the impact of the work we do in person, and an important reminder of why we do what we do.
By Ella Breen
Now that restrictions have eased, over the Spring term the Delight team have had more opportunities to see our programmes in person. I had the chance to observe one of our in-school Rainforest Retreat art sessions, Delight in Watts exhibitions and a Delight in Shakespeare in-school rehearsal and children’s performance.
Delight in Shakespeare rehearsals and performances
I was lucky enough to see both a rehearsal lesson lead by a Guildford Shakespeare Company actor and the final performance by children from St Mary’s Primary School. It was so amazing to see how far the children had come from the initial rehearsal a few weeks beforehand to the finished production, and especially great to see the massive audience turn-out of friends and family. I could feel it had been a while since having a performance with external visitors. The children, teachers, and parents were all very excited!
Rainforest Retreat in-class session
For our newer programmes, it is useful for us to see the classroom in action to help with the material development of the programme and other projects.
I went along to Riverview CofE Primary School to observe a Rainforest Retreat lesson lead by Hannah, our Paintbox arts partner. The aim for this lesson was to create a diorama (3D miniature scene) looking at rainforest animals, foliage and treescapes. Although some of the children were very energetic and struggled to sit through the initial teaching, this enthusiasm later turned into a classroom full of artists and amazing work.
Delight in Watts exhibitions
In the last term we have seen two amazing Delight in Watts exhibitions at Watts Gallery – Artist’s Village. For some of the children’s families this was their first experience of a gallery, and both exhibitions were great, positive celebratory experiences for the schools and visitors.
The initial exhibition was by St John’s Primary School children whose project explored the question ‘What do I want to be when I grow up?’. It was interesting to hear the children’s wide range of aspirations, from chocolate taster to astronaut to footballers and dancers!
The more recent exhibition by pupils at Darley Dene Primary School showcased their magical hybrid animals and mythical creatures. It was great to see the children’s vivid imaginations expressed through their art and to listen to the children’s stories about their animals.
I am looking forward to seeing more of the programmes in action during the summer term, we have Delight in Dance performances and more Delight in Watts exhibitions to look forward to. Stay tuned via our social media for frequent news and updates!
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