School Holiday Programme - Spring is here Celebration Shrine

Excess was the order of the day at the Mexican-inspired Aratoi school holidays art workshop last week. Children channeled Frida Kahlo and dressed up in the spirit of the event, using luscious decorations, garlands and glitter to create a collaborative  'Spring celebration' installation in the Wesley Wing.
The two-day workshop was led by Kathy Bartlett and Janie Nott. 'The 'more-is-more' aesthetic really appealed to the group,' says Bartlett. 'Adding layers upon layer of colour and shine and 3D elements was really fun, and allowed the kids to be freer with what they were doing than in some of our other workshops which have required more sitting still and attention to detail.'
Children could find the activity that 'clicked' for them, says Bartlett, and they had the option of decorating a box in any way they chose. 'We had different activities set out for them - small sculptures on one table, paper flower-making on another, and decorating photos brought from home at another.' Collage, glitter and even mini-sculptures suspended on wire went into the boxes, which created 3D tableaux.
'The kids seemed instantly excited and we were very lucky to have a focused group who got along well and were really enthused about the project.'
Musicians 'Novella' from Martinborough added a festival atmosphere to the last day, when friends and family were invited to see the finished work. Food was donated by the Friends of Aratoi and the kids performed a haka to welcome guests. The work was then disassembled, enabling each child to take home their individual piece.
Aratoi runs art workshops for ages seven to 14 every school holidays, with Friends of Aratoi helping children participate who may not otherwise have the chance to attend.