Art attack!

Students let their creativity loose at Livability Victoria School’s recent Creative Arts Week, with a programme themed around plastic pollution in our oceans.

An ‘urban festival’ was part of the week’s events, with students loving street-dance and beatbox demonstrations, and trying out projection mapping – projecting images onto a surface to create the illusion of 3D art. Student Jon* was enthusiastic: ‘The beatboxing workshop was brilliant. It was a good laugh. We learnt a lot and he was a good teacher.’

The Victoria award-winning arts team devised an exciting and varied week for students, including a workshop with an integrated drama group for people with and without disabilities; a bubble workshop with bubble artist ‘Squidge and Pop’, and creating thought-provoking art with recycled plastic bottles.

‘Students made amazing bugs out of bottle tops and bottoms,’ says art teacher Alison Calcut. ‘Some used whole bottles and filled them with gel, along with sequins and glitter, so the bug’s “insides” move.’ Digital art is hugely popular with students, who can access programmes in a variety of ways, including Eyegaze technology, head switches and other devices.

Why does Victoria School make creative arts such an important part of the curriculum? ‘We can see how much creative art helps our students, working together on something that isn’t prescriptive but is very much student-led,’ says Alison. ‘Having that freedom to be creative really helps their wellbeing.’ This was evident to Alison during pandemic months when she noticed how coming to class and using familiar art techniques was soothing for some students.

Towards the end of the week, former student Scott, a professional DJ who has appeared at Glastonbury Festival, returned to Victoria to perform a set for an outdoor dance session. For student Emily*, this was the best bit: ‘The Bubbles show and disco was good fun. It was lovely to see all the other classes.’

*name changed

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