The students in Year 8 from Ambrose Barlow School, Salford, were challenged to create a science/art exhibition that would be part of a teachers’ conference organised by the school in partnership with the Ideas Foundation (Heather MacRae , Venture Thinking) and the Comino Foundation.
Geraldine Cox, Artist in Residence at Imperial College London said “I have rarely come across such engagement, enthusiasm, curiosity, reflection and creativity as I did when I spent a day working with pupils at St Ambrose Barlow School.”
We gathered to learn about the Sun and find new ways to talk about what we’d learnt through art. The day began with everyone reading a poem or prose, singing a song or showing images they’d made or gathered that shared perspectives. Dr Helen Mason, a solar scientist (Sun|trek project), and Geraldine Cox gave talks and we enjoyed many searching and thoughtful questions. With commitment and enthusiasm, the group planned an exhibition and organised themselves with everyone volunteering for this or that task. After lunch, working individually or in groups, designs for artworks were created that shared something of particular interest learnt that day. A myriad of ideas was born: dresses and accessories, fixed and kinetic sculptures, large installations, interactive magnetic devices, compositions for paintings and an illustrated book of poems.
The students continued to work in and after school with their art and science teachers to create and curate artefacts for the ‘Hot Spots’ exhibition. Parents were invited to a private viewing at the school and given an opportunity to meet the project team. The students’ work has been collated into an online magazine: